Oh Louisiana

Stories pop up in the news about misguided school curriculum in America; for the most part I dismiss them as isolated cases on a slow news day. As a Canadian, I suppose it just seems too preposterous for educators to push bibles or deny evolution. Sure, you can send your kids to Catholic schools, or enrol them in any number of private institutions – that said; in most Canadian provinces    evangelical and private schools are obligated by law to teach evolution and LGBT rights. Under no circumstance imaginable would publicly funded schools be allowed to stray from an open minded curriculum.

When I heard about Louisiana’s Voucher School Program, I started to ponder. It may be my age as the story that peaked my interest reported these schools teaching “hippies” were dirty, draft dodging, immoral, Satan worshippers. I grew up on the Vietnam war, remember the Kent State  riots, and wore a flower or two in my hair – this did not sit well. The following is a page from the book America:The Land I Love, used as an 8th grade history textbook in Louisiana voucher schools.

voucher-school-hippies

My decision to learn more about voucher schools didn’t make me any happier. In a nutshell the program is the brain child of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He publicly defends his “education reforms” as a chance to help poor and under privileged students receive a better education.  Low income families can apply to the state for a “voucher” that will cover the cost of enrolment in participating private schools. In January District Court Judge Timothy Kelley ruled the program unconstitutional, as it used  money intended for public schools. The case is under appeal, and the program continues.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/us/louisiana-voucher-programs-financing-is-ruled-unconstitutional.html

So what’s the big deal, aside from the dirty hippy reference and questionable use of public funds? Ponder some of the other gems in the voucher school curriculum.

The KKK was a “force of good”, most slaves were treated well, dinosaurs and man lived at the same time, and fire breathing dragons may actually have existed. The link below to Mother Jones has a list of knee slapping jaw droppers Louisiana believes well educated children need to know.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/07/photos-evangelical-curricula-louisiana-tax-dollars

I can’t decide whether to laugh or scream. Oh Louisiana – there must be a better way.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

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16 thoughts on “Oh Louisiana

  1. Why can’t you laugh and cry? The American South is where they had the Scopes Monkey Trial (Tennesee) after all. Things haven’t changed much.

  2. Jindal holds a degree in biology but he signed the Louisiana Education Act (or whatever it was called?) which permitted the teaching of Creationism in classrooms. How very odd.

    • I guess that explains why man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Remember the friend of my mother I told you about? Member of the Church of God; believes Obama is the Antichrist,forbidden to watch TV on Saturday but rationalizes the weather channel is acceptable and has turned it into a soap opera – she teaches university physics.

  3. Don’t get me started on US education. The reason I got involved in Private education was because public schools were unbelievable insane. An example…a piloted math program being delivered in a school that was recognized as one of the better schools introduced the idea that “creative” answers were given more validity than correct answers. The result is everyone who was in the school during the pilot, failed math concepts at a key point, you know…foundation stuff. They wouldn’t stop the program because the pilot was supposed to run seven years…even though it was proven a failure.

    Vouchers allow the schools to step away from the required curriculum…but this one in Louisiana is just…well…strange! :0

    • When I was in grade 3 the school board launched an alternative education system. All students were given an IQ test, those with the highest scores were plucked from the mainstream system and sent to an alternative school. That’s how I landed in the “Major Works” program.We were encouraged to learn whatever we felt like. There was no right or wrong – from grade 3 – 7 we were set adrift.An utter failure! I missed basics in math, grammar, and science.I entered high school not knowing a verb from a noun, and struggled with concepts that should have been a no brainer.Having spent the last 4 years doing not much more than reading books (which wasn’t so bad, it was what I wanted to do)I was a fish out of water. I look back at the other kids in this little experiment and can’t think of any who didn’t struggle.We couldn’t concentrate, had no discipline, and most of us got into some sort of trouble in our teens.

      • That is a horrible thing to do to young children. I could see the possibility of doing a program like that for high school student but would still have some required courses, including basic economics and learning how to balance personal budgets.

  4. Pingback: School text book: Hippies were rude, didn’t bathe, worshipped Satan | Reason & Existenz

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