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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "State sends mixed message through support for creationism"

Updating this ILB post from yesterday, quoting a Fort Wayne Journal Gazette story, today the FWJG has an editorial that begins:

Is Indiana a good place to create jobs in science, technology, engineering and math-related disciplines? The state’s investment in training and recruiting teachers in the so-called STEM fields tells prospective employers it is; spending millions in taxpayer dollars to teach creationism as science tells them it is not.

Without the standards or accountability required of public schools attached to its voucher program, Indiana’s reputation as a state where scholarship, scientific inquiry and innovation are celebrated is threatened. Its ability to attract and retain jobs in the very fields it has targeted for expansion is compromised.

Further along in the editorial:
Indiana policymakers have placed virtually no requirements on voucher schools regarding instructional content. Liberty Christian School in Anderson, which has collected more than $2 million from taxpayers for its elementary and high school programs over the past three years, offers a description of a high school earth science course on its website: “Students have opportunities to gain a Biblical worldview of the creation and history of the earth and universe as contrasted with a flawed evolutionary worldview.” * * *

What biotech CEO is interested in locating his or her company in a state where a growing percentage of the state’s education dollars is invested in schools that proudly defy scientific fact? Why would a CEO want to start a science-based endeavor in a state where an increasing number of students receive instruction not only counter to accepted scientific thought but also contrary to the law? The courts have repeatedly rejected the teaching of creationism and related lessons, rightly finding that “creation science” is religion in disguise and therefore illegal to teach in publicly funded classrooms.

Indiana policymakers invite lawsuits in silently sanctioning religious instruction as science. They also threaten an academic reputation bolstered by well-respected institutions of higher learning. The state draws thousands of students from across the country and the globe to study at Indiana and Purdue universities, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame and more. Will they continue to come if Indiana proudly supports K-12 instruction contrary to law and to the advancement of biomedical, life, and earth sciences?

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 4, 2014 09:51 AM
Posted to Indiana Government