The Department of Justice (DOJ) is under scrutiny for issuing over $1 million in anti-human trafficking grants to less qualified organizations, according to a Reuters report on a whistleblower complaint. The DOJ issued grants to two groups including Hookers for Jesus, a Nevada nonprofit and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation in South Carolina last year according […]
BATON ROUGE, La. (RNS) A national organization of scientists has informed Gov. Bobby Jindal that it will not hold its annual convention in Louisiana as long as the recently adopted science curriculum standards remain on the books.
The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology told Jindal that its executive committee chose Salt Lake City for its 2011 convention over New Orleans “in large part” because of the science standards. The letter from society president Richard Satterlie is posted on the group’s Web site under the headline: “No Thanks, New Orleans.”
Jindal signed the law last year, agreeing with its supporters that science teachers need wider latitude to use supplemental materials for lessons on topics such as evolution, global warming and cloning.
State teachers unions have said educators already are free to use materials other than textbooks, though a handful of students testified before lawmakers that teachers are sometimes unsure of how to handle questions that challenge established scientific theories, particularly evolution.
Many science groups, both in Louisiana and nationally, urged the governor to veto the bill. They cast the act as a back-door attempt to allow Judeo-Christian creation theology or “intelligent design” — the concept that biological life forms are the result of an intelligent being — to be taught as part of science class.
The act allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials as part of its curriculum. The state school board retains power under the law to bar specific materials, either on its own or after a public hearing on a citizen complaint about specific texts approved at the local level.
“It is the firm opinion of SICB’s leadership that this law undermines the integrity of science and science education in Louisiana,” Satterlie wrote to Jindal.
By Bill Barrow
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