Some good news out of Ohio: One of its public school districts recently announced that creationism and other region-based ideas will not be taught in science classes.
Starting now, by order of Youngstown Schools Chief Executive Officer Crish Mohip, science curricula in Youngstown must follow the 344-page science standards developed by the Ohio Department of Education. Those standards do not include any religious dogma.
In an expose published by Slate magazine, pro-science activist Zack Kopplin revealed that many Louisiana science teachers push religion in public school classrooms.
Kopplin filed a Freedom of Information request and obtained a number of emails in which science teachers openly admitted to teaching creationism in their classrooms, often with the explicit support of school administrators.
A Louisiana school district that lets teachers use the Bible to teach creationism is doubling down on its sectarian instruction, claiming such lesson plans are permissible as long as the school does not provide that material.
A company called Responsive Education Solutions runs charter schools in several states, most of them in Texas. These schools receive millions in taxpayer support every year.
It seems American’s taxpayers are on their way to spending $1 billion annually on vouchers and other so-called “school choice” programs. And just what, exactly, are those taxpayers getting for their money? Certainly not a better education for their children.
Americans United recently compiled an extensive report on all the problems with vouchers and offered a mountain of evidence to show that they just don’t work (you can read that report here).
Louisiana’s voucher program is in some real trouble thanks to a federal lawsuit alleging that the scheme hinders federally mandated desegregation in many school districts, but before answering to the U.S. Department of Justice, the state will have to deal with a 20-year-old who advocates for sound science education.
Change comes slowly to some parts of the country. Louisiana is a stark reminder of that.
It’s 2013, and state legislators continue to resist efforts to teach evolution in public schools. There was another showdown on the matter yesterday, with members of the Senate Education Committee voting 3-2 to table a bill that would have repealed creationist legislation in the state.
Activists who have defended the separation of church and state for a long time sometimes ask me if there’s a new generation of young people who will carry on this work in the years to come.
The answer is yes. This past weekend, you might have had the opportunity to see one of them on “Moyers & Company” on PBS.
Long-time PBS journalist Bill Moyers interviewed Zack Kopplin, a 19-year-old college student and Louisiana native who causes headaches for creationists everywhere.
There’s good news from Louisiana for a change. A state court on Friday struck down Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ill-conceived voucher plan, saying it violates a provision of the Louisiana Constitution governing education funding.
The challenge to vouchers in Louisiana was not brought on church-state grounds. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.