Sheldon Berman, a social-studies teacher who is taking a year off to direct the organization's efforts, estimated that at least 100 public and private schools in greater Boston, and 300 to 500 others elsewhere in the country, held special classes, convened meetings of parents and teachers, or worked nuclear issues into the day's regularly scheduled science, art, English, and even physical-education classes.
Arguments began last week in a lawsuit attempting to overturn Louisiana's law requiring "balanced treatment" of "creation-science." The case, Aguillard v. State of Louisiana, is being tried in New Orleans.
The Louisiana state board of education has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in the suit. The plaintiffs are asking U.S. District Judge Adrian Duplantier to declare that the law is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment's prohibition of state advancment of religion.
Louisiana is the only state with a law mandating the teaching of creationism. A similar Arkansas law was struck down in January.
One major difference between the laws is that Louisiana's provides a much less detailed definition of "creation-science," and does not include, as Arkansas's law did, any "scientific evidences" for creationism.
West Virginia Attorney General Chauncey Browning has again asked the state Supreme Court of Appeals to consider his appeal of a trial judge's finding that the state's method of funding schools is unconstitutional.
Mr. Browning filed the petition a month after the high court first rebuffed his challenge of Circuit Judge Arthur M. Recht's decision to permit the state education department to appoint an advisory committee to draw up a master plan to meet certain specific education standards.
The attroney general argues that Judge Recht was improperly assuming legislative authority in his order. However, the court turned Mr. Browning's appeal aside, noting that the judge had not yet issued a final order in the case, so it is too soon to determine whether the decision "will intrude upon legislative or executive authority."
In his petition for a rehearing, Mr. Browning, representing State Auditor Glen Gainer, noted that Judge Recht had denied motions for a stay of his order pending appeal. The auditor "is thus faced with the dilemma of distributing funds under a void system of school finance without recourse to this court to challenge the lower court's rulings," Mr. Browning stated. The court has not acted on the second appeal.
Meanwhile, the 95-member education task force must have the details of the master plan ready by Dec. 15.