Sunday, July 22, 2012

Louisiana up to crazy anti science stuff.

Louisiana is heavily pursuing a school voucher program for the 2012/2013 school year.  I probably don't have to tell my readers I think this is incredibly stupid.  It will no doubt land children in schools explicitly teaching creationism over evolution and many other church state separation issues.

Oddly enough atheists have found a strange bedfellow in opposing this measure, though abet for very different reasons.

Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges, was supporting the bill until she found out that based on the limits set by the U.S. constitution they can't just support the religion they like, the voucher system has to be open to schools that promote other religions Islam.  She had this to say:
“Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,” Hodges said. “We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”
First off, not all of the founders were christian obviously to anyone knowledgeable of U.S. history, but mostly I just find it funny that they suddenly understand what atheists are objecting too with school vouchers when they realize that not everyone has the same religious beliefs they hold.

Apparently she thought it was totally cool for the state to support schools supporting Christian schools who teach anti-science rhetoric and revisionist history.

At least there are suits ongoing to block this legislation.

Union sues to block Louisiana school vouchers, funding method


  1. Actually some of the most recent studies on Voucher programs (as well as private schools) RAISE test scores in Math, Science, and Reading.

    But you know...go ahead and assume that Voucher programs lead to no one learning science or math...which studies did you base that on by the way?

    Source- Education and Capitalism (great book, btw)

  2. Well since many of the schools in LA are explicitly teaching creationism in their classes I am rather skeptical that they are going to raise science scores, at least in Biology.

    Unless you are arguing that we should be teaching creationism in classrooms? That teaching non-science in a science classroom is somehow magically increasing test scores?

    I didn't mention math (as far as I know fundamentalist Christian groups haven't found a way to mess it up), but you know I did actually attend home school for several years so I have direct experience with some of the books being used by these schools in that area. Beka books are being used in some of them from what I have read, and those are pretty freaking bad when it comes to science. History has also been a point of revisionism of late too, and I remember those books being heavily biased as well. Most of the rest they usually do well on, but Science and history are kinda important.

    There are several lists online of some of the schools in LA which will be getting funds in a few months if this stands, they aren't exactly ivy league.

    Of course, this still does not address the blatant church state violations which were the primary topic of my article. (So blatant even a Republican noticed, though for slightly biased reasons) I never once mentioned standardized test scores.

  3. An interesting article I ran across showing that test scores specifically in Louisiana are actually lower with voucher children.