“The governor and the Legislature need to listen to Louisiana’s students and teachers and the international science community and repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.”
With an aggressive reform agenda planned for the upcoming legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal is positioning himself as an “education governor.” He may get a chance to further burnish those education credentials if a successful attempt at repealing the Louisiana Science Education Act makes it to his desk.
Opponents of the LSEA — a deceptively named measure signed into law in 2008 that ostensibly allows biology teachers in state public high schools to “supplement” the standard curriculum with materials that question long-established and widely accepted tenets of evolutionary biology — characterize the law as a Trojan Horse for creationists. No mainstream scientific organizations endorsed the law before it was enacted; the religious-right Louisiana Family Forum was virtually the only group to back it.
Repeal of the LSEA failed in a Senate committee last year despite the urging of more than 40 Nobel laureates in the sciences and a host of other scientific groups, but the organizer of that drive tells The Ind he’ll be back for the upcoming session in March to give it another go. Zack Kopplin was a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High last year when the repeal effort began. He’s now a freshman at Rice University and says about 30 more Nobel laureates have signed on to his effort to end the LSEA.
“We’re going to be back stronger this session,” Kopplin vows. “We’re organizing students and we’ve also received the endorsement of 72 Nobel laureate scientists.”
Last year’s bill to repeal the LSEA was sponsored by state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans. Kopplin says he hasn’t yet secured a legislator to sponsor this year’s legislation, although it appears Peterson may be ready to once again join the effort.
The LSEA passed the Legislature almost unanimously four years ago, but Kopplin says he believes the education-reform agenda of Jindal, who majored in biology, makes repealing the act a nice component of overall reform. “The governor and the Legislature are focusing on education this year,” Kopplin says. “Their first act should be to reform misguided legislation that allows creationism into public school science classrooms. They need to listen to Louisiana’s students and teachers and the international science community and repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.”
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.