Bookmark and Share

By Barbara Forrest

The Alice-through-the-looking-glass atmosphere in Louisiana just never ends. It must be something in the swamp gas. Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel (R-Metairie) is asking the legislature to support his Senate Resolution 120: “To urge and request the Board of Regents to develop a strategy to attract more students to, and graduate more students from, the state’s colleges and universities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).” According to the May 24, 2012, Baton Rouge Advocate, “The Senate adopted the resolution without objection.” Appel’s resolution is about as blatant an example of gall as anyone could think up.

Sen. Appel, who now chairs the Senate Education Committee, voted in 2011 to defer action on SB 70, which would have repealed the creationist LA Science Education Act. The committee’s vote to defer effectively killed the bill. He also voted against this year’s repeal bill, SB 374. And he did this despite the fact that Zack Kopplin had succeeded in getting 78 Nobel-Prize-winning scientists to endorse the repeal effort, and despite the fact that — in both years — Louisiana students and teachers asked the committee to support the repeal bills.

Now, however, Sen. Appel is sponsoring Senate Resolution 120, “To urge and request the Board of Regents [Louisiana's higher education governing  board] to develop a strategy to attract more students to, and graduate more students from, the state’s colleges and universities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).” He wants this resolution because, among other reasons,

  • the scientific, technological, and engineering advances of the 20th century fueled the economic dominance of the United States; and
  • as we moved into the 21st century and it became clear that our economic preeminence was threatened as other countries became more educated and started gaining economic ground, national leaders began calling for increased recruitment of students to STEM fields of study; and
  • careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics serve to increase the state’s and the nation’s capacity for innovation as it engenders the creation of new ideas, companies, and industries.”

SR 120 provides that

the Senate of the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby urge and request the Board of Regents to develop a strategy to attract more students to, and graduate more students from, the state’s colleges and universities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

How nice! Can you say “damage control”? Let’s all remember this when next year’s repeal bill is introduced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Copyright © 2012. Louisiana Coalition for Science. All rights reserved.