Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Committee adopts new administrative handbook

It appears the controversy over Louisiana's changes to the Education curriculum has meant nothing to the Science Teachers.  The Discovery institutes bluster and smoke and mirrors has failed.  Maybe they will have to be more explicit in future so our recalcitrant science teachers understand that Evolution is evil and all text books that mention such a thing should be burned!  Burned I say!


Clifford M Dubery


Committee adopts new administrative handbook


Posted: Jan 14, 2009 08:44 AM


Updated: Jan 14, 2009 09:06 AM


By Caroline Moses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -A state education committee adopted a new administrative handbook Tuesday, as part of the recently passed Louisiana science education act. The handbook does not specifically ban teaching creationism or intelligent design. Supporters say it doesn't need to because teaching religion in public schools is already banned. But that's why opponents say this entire debate is a costly distraction from the real issues facing state public schools.


"It's up to BESE to implement this in our policy," said Dale Bayard who is chairman of the state education board.  Senator Ben Nevers of Bogalusa passed a law last session called the "Louisiana science education act." It gives state education committees the authority to decide what can be taught in state schools. But the committee was a little vague about what's allowed. "It's up to us to provide students with every possible element of new discovery and that's the intent of the act," said Bayard.


Gene Mills with Louisiana Family Forum asked Senator Nevers to sponsor the original legislation. He says the intent is to promote "critical thinking" in classrooms, especially science classes. "Where teachers can approach students to inquire about controversial science subject matter," said Mills. But Louisiana Federation of Teachers president Steve Monaghan says not a single teacher in his organization has complained about current science materials. "The time spent on this issue may be in total excess of what the problem was because we don't believe there was a problem in the science classroom anyway," said Monaghan.


Even the committee chair Dale Bayard who is in favor of the legislation agreed. Lesson plans may not change much. But he says their hours of debate do help further the discussion. "We don't discourage any discussion that's important," said Bayard.  "I believe what this has done is create a stage for what unfortunately seems to be an embedded political movement. We're going to find ourselves getting tied into knots over issues people are invested in by faith, emotion, and miss the big picture," said Monaghan.


Monaghan predicts there will likely be future legal battles over the new law and handbook. Bayard says he is not worried about possible litigation. Thursday, BESE will review the committee adoption. State school board and committee member Dale Bayard expects they will ratify the committee's decision. For more information on this discussion.. Go to Caroline's 9News extra on the home page.


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