An end run on textbooks

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.: Without knowing the background, there is no apparent reason to object to a bill in the Legislature that would give local school districts more freedom to choose the textbooks they use.

Unless you remember that the sponsor of House Bill 116, Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, has a history of opposition to standard science textbooks.

Hoffman was among the legislators and critics of evolution who tried to block adoption of standard biology textbooks in 2010. Fortunately, a committee that included responsible educators refused to go along with the objections raised by Hoffman and extremely conservative religious groups. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education backed the experts, despite political pressure from the Louisiana Family Forum.These latter-day flat-earthers push “alternatives” to evolution — a thinly veiled effort to introduce into public-school classrooms, and substitute for evolutionary science’s discoveries, the Bible’s story of Genesis.

Thus, Hoffman’s bill is not, as he said, about “autonomy for the local school systems.” It is about subverting expert review to allow alternative texts, which we believe will set science education back in this state.

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