Monday, February 16, 2009

Wonder why Louisiana has a decreasing population?

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


  1. Jim, surely you are kidding with this last post."P. Z. Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, notes that....." Are you seriously
    quoting one of the most militant atheists in the country, as just a
    biologist? The State of Louisiana is blessed that this piece of garbage won't be coming here for anything remotely scientific. This is the person that says, "Nothing should be held sacred." You might want to do some research on Mr Myers because I just lost all respect for anything you might say in the future just from this post.
    Unbelievable, and you're supposed to be the voice of Bossier City. Not in this lifetime, Sir.

  2. Jim, why don't you go to Mr Myers
    blog, Pharyngula, and come back and post some words of wisdom from over there. Abortion on command, no God, no spirituality, lobster sex and worm porn. Is that what your about? Is this what you believe in, Jim. Do you pal around
    with Richard Dawkins too?


  3. I credited the blog where I picked up the quote.
    So, sans that quote, you think that this ridiculous legislation is good?

  4. First, Louisiana has to kick it's public image to other states. I can't tell you how many people turned their nose up to me when I said I was moving from Florida to Louisiana... and what they thought was a bad place to move. My family and I actually really like it here.

    Old ideologies and old politics are holding Louisiana back. I like Jindal, but wary of any politician who spouts they are "conservative" and is too far to the right or left.

    I don't have the answers on how to solve education, but it probably needs to start over from scratch. It's gonna hurt, but how else can Louisiana undo some of the poor policies over the years.

    Healthcare has to be done the same way. Putting band-aids over the current problems will not solve the poor health care outcomes in this state. It too, needs to start over from scratch.

    If you could rebuild education and healthcare from scratch, how would you do it?

    Somebody's gotta have the guts to start over... but nobody will.

  5. I think that the legislation is not perfect, but it is definitely
    better than the legislation of the democratic party line that says, if you take this money you can't pray, if you take this money you can't even speak of any Christian
    principle whatsoever.

    Did you research the background of the author of the quote that you stated as if it were fact? P Z Myers, is that the depth of the opposition of this law? If so, then I am all for it.

    My respect for your opinion still stands, there isn't any.

    Adios Jim

  6. No, I never heard of Myers before I picked up his quote.
    He is not being quoted as an authority, merely as saying he is not coming to Louisiana.
    If you disagree with him, that should please you.

  7. Looks like some folks got themselves in a tizzy over personality, to the detriment of the issue at hand. Prof. Myers is not the issue; and Jim should not have to vet any person quoted in a news story to see if he/she is PC. It is enough, Jim, that the person you quoted made a public statement, and you told us what it was. Don't let the people whose emotional reactions to seeing a quote from someone they do not like deter you.
    I have never heard of Prof. Meyer, and still really don't care who he is. If he and his coalition don't want to bring their convention to Louisiana because of some law, that is their right. We cannot be beholden to blackmail from interest groups. Nonetheless, there's nothing wrong with quoting a person who makes a public statement, in order to explore the substance of the story.
    By the way, I would wager the posters who dogged you for this are basically good people. They seem a bit intellectually immature, though. Guys, grow up. People who disagree with you are out there -- and they don't all have horns and tail. Deal with it.

  8. Anon at 5:46: No, I'm not backing down. There is a reason that Louisiana is the only state that has passed this legislation. It is so bad that even Oklahoma and Utah nixed it.
    People forget that we went through this in the early 80's, only the State Education Department and the BESE Board refused to implement it.
    As for the earlier remark about the Democratic agenda, a Democrat introduced this bill and Democrats voted for it before the Republican governor signed it. It has nothing to do with party, it is just pandering of the worst sort.

  9. Jim & Anon(read atheist): Exactly
    what section of the actual bill that was signed by Jindal are you so opposed to? I guess you two have
    no problem teaching our kids that we evolved from some primordial muck and our ancestors swam before they walked. Why don't you move on up to Utah where Mr Myers and friends felt more at ease. That's
    quite the cult they've developed up
    there and I'm sure you will fit right in.

  10. Creationism has nothing to do as to why LA ranks last. There is a long history in LA that will take time to change - Jindal's efforts will be begin to tap into this

  11. No more comments from Marshall Dillon and Festus?

  12. we have been teaching evolution in Louisiana Schools for over 35 years. This science has not helped increase our knowledge base. In fact, not teaching a moral lawgiver and focusing on the science has only led many people in Louisiana to poverty as they have had to deny their Christian upbringing. These scientist should apoligize to us for leading three and one half generations astray.

    I have studied genetics and genetic coding and there is no way that this happend by chance. watch this video and tell me that this can happen a billion times a day in your body and that it all happend by accident.

    Current scientist are watching this video and they say that we can from aliens. This will be what the next generation learns in our schools, because the evidence of a code maker in our DNA is undeniable. So at this rate the next generation will learn from these scientist that aliens left a code behind and that they will return some day. Now is the time to take a side and I commend the law makers for stepping out in faith and angering the right people.

  13. BY the way, let your kid or grandkid memorize this video and then you will see why they act like apes.

    this guy thinks we came from aliens, he is a huge believer in a higher power, not God , ALIENS>

    he inspires all those scientist that don't want to come our bible thumping state.

  14. Jim, why did you remove your last comment from this thread? You are being shown for the fraud that you truly are and your opinions are worthless.

  15. I removed my last comment because when I re-read it, it really wasn't responsive to what I was commenting on.
    Kindly explain how you think I'm a 'fraud' simply because I am not in agreement with you.


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