My response to Gambit endorsements in BESE District 1 election
Let me clarify the real source of the divide among this year's important race for BESE characterized by Clancy Dubos in his October 18 edition of Gambit as a "showdown."
Classroom teachers - not school board members, school superintendents or unions - are the largest and most significant group of education professionals in the state and a cohort member of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education. I represent that important group as a National Board Certified Teacher and founding member of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education.
Classroom teachers statewide and nationally are leading the opposition to the still miserably failing premise that a "world class public education" can be crafted through community school closures, takeover by quasi-public charter schools with their autonomy from rules and regulations designed to protect our children, expansion of high stakes standardized testing, and replacement of state certified teachers by unqualified college graduates.
Classroom teachers want a qualified education professional to replace incumbent James Garvey precisely because of his unreliable but consistent vote for the failed reforms of the Recovery School District and former Supt. Pastorek's unfettered and poorly regulated issuance of charter contracts.
Reforms were initially sold to the education community as "choice" and "optional," like the new teacher evaluation formula with 50% of the evaluation being based on student standardized test scores and further distorted by a complex value-added metric. After getting the proverbial "foot in the door," Mr. Garvey and his anti-public education promoters are no longer hiding their original intent to force this failing experiment down the throats of every teacher and school in the state.
Classroom teachers are against the privatization and sell-out of our public school system. They proudly service all the challenges public school systems, by law, must address that many charters seek to circumvent because the economies of scale don't exist that would allow them to maintain their autonomous business models: services to special education students, Louisiana's high poverty rate, absenteeism, language barriers, child abuse, nutritional deficiencies, community crime and the simple fact that not all children learn at the same rate or have the same intellectual capabilities.
Teachers aren't vested in the political capital Mr. Garvey and his partners in reform represent. They are committed to the well researched, proven education principles that can bring about true learning for all children that will also contribute to healthy communities and economic opportunities for everyone. I am a highly qualified, award-winning, classroom teacher, and my candidacy for District 1 BESE offers an opportunity for real educators and the tax-paying public to have a voice on BESE, the state's highest education policy-making body in the state.
The election is Saturday, October 22nd. TEACHERS - You can make your collective voice heard!!!!!