In Light of Recent Events. . .

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.




3 comments:

  1. It amazes me how few people are getting the message that the current trends in "education reform" are more regressive than progressive, and will ultimately lead to the destruction of public education as we know it.

If left to continue, these ominous trends will void the American promise of a free, quality education and relegate the teaching profession to a part time avocation with no career security. Children who can't make the new, quasi private school grade will be cast aside to grovel for what pathetic remnants are available of the former institution of public school, where "teaching employees" will struggle with the decision to meet the challenges of dealing with these unfortunates or get a better paying job at the burger joint. 

Thanks for your insightful post and to others who are trying to fill the void in the mainstream media of meaningful reporting of these devastating trends. I will link to your post in my blog All Our Kids Count, and look forward to reading more of "your thoughts."

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  2. Thanks Carey -

    The promises of No Child Left Behind federal legislation and the power of privatization backers to influence the media message of miracles myth has left not only the public, but educators, reeling in the backdraft of Race to the Top.

    Now that the dust is settling, it's time to repair the damage that has already been done after years of insidious, one-size-fits-all brand of reform that can only serve to "standardize" our kids so they can perform well on standardized tests.

    The labels of "status quo" and "innovation" have been STUCK on the wrong packages. Test and drill has been around far too long. The ability of teachers to bring meaningful innovation building on sound, time-tested principles of education theory, has been circumvented by weighing them down with paperwork and the persistent diversion of change for the sake of change.

    The public is ready to take back our public schools and make it possible for all children to dream and to be able to reach for that dream without being scripted or branded as failures because they fail to produce the same product that every other child produces.

    geaux teacher!

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