The Texas State Board of Education is heading back into the news this week.
I have to say I like the way Louisiana is headed these days. Last night, a stealth-creationism bill died in the state legislature that would have opened the public school door to religious concepts in science classes.
If it were left up to Gov. Chris Christie, public education in New Jersey would be a free-for-all.
At a town hall in Manalapan, N.J., last week, Christie said he believes public school districts should get to determine whether to teach creationism in science classes because that’s a decision that should be made “at the local level.”
When asked at a press conference yesterday about this issue again, Christie reiterated his stance.
It looks like Texas is due for another round of fussing and fighting over creationism in public schools.
The state Board of Education continues to be dominated by Religious Right zealots who refuse to accept modern science and seek to teach religiously based concepts in biology classes. (They also reject accepted history. Remember, these are the people who hired “Christian nation” propagandist David Barton to help rewrite their social studies standards.)
Every year at the Values Voter Summit in September, the Religious Right makes sure to put its young activists in the limelight. They serve as a reminder (and a warning) that the fundamentalist political agenda will be pushed for years to come.
Fortunately, advocates of church-state separation have our own youth activists ready to take them on. Baton Rouge, La., high school senior Zack Kopplin is a good example.
A Louisiana high school senior is on a mission to save science education in his home state.
Zachary Kopplin, a senior at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, wants to see the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act repealed, and he’s working with state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) to garner support for a bill she plans to introduce in April that will do just that.
One of his first stops to rally the troops was the Darwin Day event put on by the Louisiana chapter of Americans United last weekend at a Unitarian church in Baton Rouge.
With Darwin Day (Feb. 12) just around the corner, scientists, educators and citizens across the world are gearing up to celebrate the birth of Charles Darwin and his contributions to science.
As Bill Nye “The Science Guy” recently put it, teachers’ reluctance to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution is “horrible.” Scientific advances that benefit everyone could be at risk if students don’t learn sound science.
We’ve written several times about the antics of John Freshwater, an eighth-grade science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, who was accused of teaching creationism and promoting religion in class.
It took a while, but there is good news to report: Freshwater has been fired.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at least has one thing right: taxpayers should never be required to fund discrimination.
Earlier this month, Beshear outraged scientists, civil liberties activists and, indeed, lots of people who care about reasonable and responsible government, with his plan to provide tax incentives for the developers of a creationism-themed park featuring a full-size rendering of Noah’s ark.