Governor not laying out facts surrounding education reforms
Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has been busy making a name for himself across the country with the GOP, most likely prepping for a 2016 White House run, is not painting a correct picture regarding education reform in the state. In Virginia this week, Jindal helped to promote Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s education reform package, which would allow the state to grade public schools on a letter scale as well as take over chronically failing schools. While Jindal talked about the good those changes have done in Louisiana, he left out a big piece of the puzzle: taxpayers and educators are far from impressed with the changes. The state government has slowly moved in on authority that was previously left to our schools and school boards and the education system has become more of a rat race. Teachers are overwhelmed with reforms taking place in schools while also fighting to maintain employment under new evaluation guidelines.
On top of this, the state is now eyeing how it can revamp special education services, which would include changing how tax dollars affect each student with a learning disability. The changes would also affect the special education curriculum in order to encourage a higher graduation rate.
The state also brought in Course Choice providers, private businesses, to offer online courses that count for Carnegie Units. However, during a recent interview in the Jennings Daily News, Jeff Davis Parish Superintendent of Schools David Clayton pointed out that those online classes require no supervision or seat time. Public school students are required to attend certain amounts of school days and check in and out of classes and their grades affect teacher evaluations. The private businesses are not held to those same standards.
And let’s not forget the voucher fiasco.
If Jindal is going to use education reform as a talking point in his bid for bigger political dreams, he should tell the entire truth. Yes, there are some small measures made over the past few years that have benefited some Louisiana schools and students. People across the country should know that the state wants to use tax dollars to fund private and charter school students; that our teachers endure insult and blame for problems mostly beyond their control; and that Jindal and his followers spent more time considering money and politics than people when mapping out education reform.
After all, if the governor no longer wants the Republican Party to be known as “the stupid party”, as he stated not that long ago, he should give people the facts, not the fairytale.
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