Following up on our coverage from a month ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) recently created a new voucher system in his state, using taxpayer money to subsidize private-school tuition. Among the many problems with the new state law is that the schools receiving the vouchers, most of which are religious institutions, will get the money with no strings attached.
In other words, the state will have no role in ensuring accountability, approving curricula, making certain that these state-subsidized private schools are doing right by their students.
Deanna Pan reports today on the wacky "facts" that Louisiana's kids will be taught at taxpayer expense.
For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who's taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19that teach or champion creationist non-science, and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.
Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensecola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based "facts," such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn't have to.
Click the link for the full list -- there are some real doozies in there -- but I was especially amazed to learn that some schools, relying on "Bob Jones University Press," will tell unsuspecting students that humans and dinosaurs coexisted at the same time, dragons were real, the Trail of Tears helped "bring many Indians to Christ," and the KKK and slave owners weren't so bad.
It's taxpayer-financed education like this, Bobby Jindal believes, that will help Louisiana and make the state more competitive in the future.
Kenneth R. Miller recently made the compelling case that Jindal has a "science problem." That's absolutely true, but in the larger context, that's not the governor's only problem.