Louisiana is suffering from population loss, the largest any state has suffered in the last 60 years. In the near future, we will probably lose a congressional seat.
We rank dead last in healthcare, near last in education, we are only 2nd to Mississippi in the number of families living in poverty.
Keep in mind that we are last in the United States, which ranks behind Finland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan & Singapore in education.
Before he came into office, Bobby Jindal promised to
Improve the caliber of math and science education in our high schools
A strong proficiency in math and science has been shown to be a needed
skill for many of the current and projected high-wage jobs in Louisiana, as
well as a key indicator in college achievement and higher ACT scores. For
those districts having trouble attracting and retaining teachers qualified to
teach these subjects, we need better training programs and on-line courses
to help those teachers succeed. We should also better pursue talented
graduates of multiple fields (e.g., physics, math, or biology) to make up for
teacher shortages and expand alternative certification programs so that
working professionals with expertise in these subjects can be taught the
skills needed to relay that knowledge in the classroom. School partnership
programs with local employers are critical to educate students on the
usefulness and value of strong math and science skills. Louisiana has a
large manufacturing base that uses technology daily and we should leverage
that presence to improve math and science instruction in the classroom.
This sounds good, considering that the governor is a smart guy, holding a degree in biology from Brown University.
Sounds like a dream, in fact. A governor educated in science who desires to attract business and research facilities to our state so we can keep our kids here and build our future.
Good in theory, but bad in politics, and Bobby Jindal is a political animal. He lives and breathes political opportunity and that seems to be in conflict with his scientific training.
Of course, politics trumps all.
Jindal supported Sen. Ben Nevers “Academic Freedom” (read creationism) bill and signed it into law, making Louisiana the only state to have such a law.
Although Nevers played the innocent, saying “This is strictly about teaching science in the classroom, it has nothing to do with religion”, the bill as intended opens the door to exactly that. Otherwise, why pass a bill saying that you can ‘teach science’ and have critical evaluation of scientific theory in the classroom? We have had that for as long as we have had schools.
Improve the caliber of math and science education indeed!
Science deals with natural phenomenon, religion with the supernatural. The two will never meet, and were never intended to. Belief in scientific findings are based on empiricism. Religious beliefs are based on faith.
Science should be taught at school, religion at home and in church.
The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology has now informed the governor with this letter that the SICB will not come to New Orleans for the 2011 annual meeting because of the state law that undermines science education and attacks teaching evolution.
P. Z. Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, notes that
“After the Louisiana legislature passed the LA Science Education Act, a total of nine national scientific societies publicly called on Jindal to veto it. He ignored them, as well as everyone else who contacted him requesting that he veto the bill, choosing instead to help execute the agenda of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), the Religious Right organization on whose behalf Louisiana Sen. Ben Nevers introduced the bill and on whose behalf Jindal signed it. Jindal is a staunch ally of the LFF. The citizens of Louisiana, whose educational well-being the governor claims to be so concerned about, are now paying the price--literally--for his loyalty to his conservative Christian base. Sorry, Louisiana. You are a lovely state, but scientists won't be supporting you as long as you're going to be dedicated to anti-scientific foolishness.”
Do you still wonder why we rank last in education, and why our kids have to leave the state to find opportunities?
H/T to Your Right Hand Thief