Revelations surrounding Abramson Science and Technology Charter School and Kenilworth Parkway in Baton Rouge, both run by Pelican Education Foundation and under the governance of the BESE led Recovery School District (RSD), should serve as a wake up call to the public that the escalating attempts the last few years to dissolve our nation's incubator for democracy - public schools - is a powerful tool for destroying our nation and its economy.
That tool is being used to remove public schools from any connection to or influence by their communities. Charters do that by:
* Eliminating the democratically elected local school board governance structure
* Hiring officials and administrators from out of state/country
* Firing highly qualified/certified Louisiana teachers based on unreliable
measures of effectiveness
* Hiring young/unqualified/elitist college grads from out of state
* Usurping property owned by local entities then having no vested financial or
personal interest in or responsibility for facilities
* Allowing virtually unbounded autonomy without accountability
* Dismissing rules and regulations created over years of experience that
contribute to an effective education/social structure
* Using unreliable and invalid testing measures to create a culture of failure
* Manipulating, hiding, and misrepresenting indicators of failure/success to
promote the charter miracle myth
* Threats of takeover by the State/RSD
* Bribery and threats by charter owners and administrators
* Bussing students out of their communities to eliminate the ability of parents
and community members to interact with the schools
* Restricting/limiting enrollment under the guise of CHOICE
* Using illegal and ineffective discipline measures
* Suspending and expelling students rather than addressing their needs
* Failure to fulfill their legal responsibility to serve special needs students
* Destroying the ability of teachers to collectively bargain for their/students'
workplace safety and security. . .Did I leave anything out?
The number one goal for supporters of a public education available to all citizens should be to preserve local governance and oversight because local governance means control by the citizens of the communities for which they ELECT representatives whom they have the ability to influence.
All Louisianians need to understand that what is happening in New Orleans is a leading indicator of what is planned to happen statewide regardless of a school's or district's or community's economic viability if the public allows our schools and their district structure overseen by locally elected school boards to be removed and their control of the schools taken away.
It is evident that the Department of Education is NOT looking out for the best interests of our students. It is easy to understand why some of the top administrators at the DOE are paid such high salaries. They are obviously willing to do whatever it takes to protect them.
The Coalition for Louisiana Public Education, a group of dedicated, qualified, experienced education professionals , is carefully considering which candidates it will endorse for the October BESE elections. Check out their FACEBOOK page and watch for their press releases in the coming months.