LSEA Repeal Gains Steam
Yesterday, the fight to Repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act
won an important battle. In only our second attempt to overturn this anachronistic
legislation, the opponents of repeal offered notable clues into their weariness in defending the law.
Repeal the LSEA In Senate Education
The Senate Education Committee took up the Repeal with only 4 members present on the dais, the minimum for a quorum. At the outset, it was clear that several members wanted to avoid voting to retain this law. Last year, the same Committee boldly voted 6-1 to scuttle the repeal. This year, however, despite an extensive agenda during which other members were present, several walked out in the hall during the Repeal debate. Once again, Zack Kopplin effectively articulated the crux of the repeal effort:
"This law is an embarrassment to our state, to our country, and to our education system. Never before have so many Nobel Laureate scientists taken a public stand against a law passed by a state legislature. These 78 Nobel Laureates are the Drew Brees' of science .They are the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates and the Warren Buffets of their fields. We should listen to what they have to say...
Take it from the experts. 78 Nobel laureate scientists. Listen to your teachers. The Louisiana Science Teacher's Association called this law a "dramatic step backwards." The National Associaton fo Biology Teachers and the Louisiana Assocation of Biology Educators have joined them in calling for a repeal. Listen to science organizations. The repeal has been endorsed by the largest science organization in the world, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with over 10 million members. Scientists are against this law nad teachers are against this law. Who do you trust to educate our students in science?"
During the debate over the Repeal, opponents seemed to trip over themselves in befuddlement to defend this scientifically indefensible law. After testimony deploring the law from LSU College of Science Dean, and Professor of Biological Sciences, Dr. Kevin Carman
, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Conrad Appel, revealed he doesn't believe psuedo-science or creationism should be taught in our science classrooms in public or private schools
. You can watch the exchange above. This despite the fact that this very Committee passed a Statewide voucher program last week, signed by the Governor this week, that would send state money to private institutions without demanding accoutablity in the private school's educational standards
Senator Dan Claitor amended the Repeal bill (SB 374
) to repeal further language in Louisiana law, Louisiana RS 17:286.4
, which provides explictly for "balanced treatment of creation-based science," and which has already determined to be unconstitutional. This amendment was accepted without objection by the Education Committee. You can learn more about how this previous creationism law, passed in 1981, was ruled unconstitutional by the United State Supreme Court, here
In the end, the Senate Education Committee defeated passage of the bill by a close vote of 1-2, with Senator Claitor voting in favor. The Chairman exercised his right not to vote.
The Repeal will return next year, and each year, until we defeat this law. It is the right thing to do for our students, our state and our future.
Congrats To Clark Seniors
I want to send special congratulations to Clark Prep seniors! Over 90 seniors with a total of 123 college acceptances in 21 states! #nolalove