Governor Bobby Jindal is making all the right moves to improve the educational system in Louisiana and is creating a model that will serve the entire state, maybe even the entire country.
Governor Bobby Jindal recognizes that our present education system has severe flaws that require immediate attention. Our system is riddled with shortsighted policy that refuses to understand that not all children want to go to college, but even punishes those that do. These failures in our educational system have brought our state to a point of crisis not only in education but in economic development as well.
With Governor Bobby Jindal’s “dual track” system, those students desiring to learn a technical skill will finally have an acceptable program that will help these students move toward a technical education.
Even though our old system has overly focused on college bound students, its narrow thinking actually discourages these students from taking advanced classes for fear of losing funding through our TOPS program. The Governor intends to fix that mistake, as well.
Because our educational system has failed to recognize that not all students want to go to college, this narrowest thinking, has not only depleted this state of qualified technical workers, it has created a dropout rate in our high schools to unimaginable levels approaching FIFTY PERCENT. Along with this unacceptable dropout rate, has been the cultivation of the second worst discipline problem in the country.
Compounding our failures, this severe discipline problem is the number one reason we are losing our best new teachers. Governor Jindal moves forward in his plan to insure teachers that the state will stand behind them and protect them from uncontrollable students. As the state works to provide these students with a curriculum more suited for their needs, the discipline problem will improve and dropout rates will come down. These new curriculums will spur their interests and relieve them of the boredom spawned by a seemingly useless education.
With this very commonsense approach to fix our education system will be a very organized defense of the failing status quo. This defense will be led by a well-financed group that would normally be considered an advocate of quality education, but their advocacy in truth is for mediocrity; teacher unions.
For decades the educational system of Louisiana has failed to stop its downward spiral. With an anchor around its neck, placed there by the failed policies inspired by teacher unions,
Year after year test scores stay below acceptable levels, but the efforts to change these failures remain the same; FAILED UNION POLICY. Teacher unions year after year call for higher teacher salaries but facilitate legislation that ensures the worst teachers remain on the job. This union protectionism only serves to generate hard feelings between taxpayers and ALL teachers and degrades the quality of education for our children.
Continuing to allow teacher unions to dictate their failed education policy, while they protect incompetent teachers, and expecting the system to improve, is the very definition of insanity.
Making matters worse, present policy punishes students by forcing them to attend failing schools based solely on their home address, condemning them to a future of mediocrity or worse. Teacher unions have fought against a parent’s rights to choose the school their children attend for no other reason than to prevent the isolation of bad teachers and to maintain their revenue through union dues, all at the expense of our children and this state.
In the Wall Street Journal, extensive studies of available information being reported shows that school choice promotes competition and competition improves schools, a fact long believed by advocates of choice and long obscured by teacher unions.
“Similarly, studies of Florida’s A+ program, which gives students in chronically failing public schools a voucher to attend a private school, found that the threat of losing students caused public schools to improve performance on the state assessment test. There are four such studies available, and all show a positive competitive response from the public school system.”
Recognizing that immediate help is needed in our worst schools, the Governor has proposed a plan to rescue the children of New Orleans from a system corrupt with self-interests. The Governor is proposing a $10,000,000 scholarship plan to allow students stuck in failing schools to attend private schools that are providing a far better education for their students.
With failing school systems around this state, I am certain, AND I HOPE, parents from these other areas will cry for equal treatment. My exposure to the Governor tells me that a statewide effort is in the works. Governor Jindal campaigned on bringing this state up together and ending the obvious and longtime neglect of areas like Northeast Louisiana that suffers a disproportional number of the failing schools in this state.
Also in Governor Jindal’s new education plan is the proposal to reward teachers that work harder and produce more. Could it not be more amazing that it is teacher unions that oppose merit pay for our best teachers? Again, with the most disingenuous reasoning, teacher unions oppose rewarding our best teachers and encouraging other teachers to better themselves out of fear that the worst teachers will be illuminated, likely causing their replacement and lowering union dues.
It is well past time for those teachers who really do care about the quality of education that our children receive, our best educators, to standup against the unions that have only served to punish them, their students, and their state.
It is important for voters to understand that of all the plans the Governor has to lift this state up, despite his miraculous accomplishments thus far, it is his education plan that is receiving the greatest opposition. You must ask yourself why and understand that not only are the teacher unions in this state opposed to these positive changes, these same unions on a national level with their Socialist, self-serving agenda, are mounting their defense to maintain the status quo which has best served to keep this state in last place.
If the voters of Louisiana fail to speak out against these unions and fail to support our Governor in his efforts to deliver a brighter future for our children, we will be condemning our children to a continued life of declining mediocrity.
If we fail to support a better Louisiana, we will have no one to blame but ourselves, but it will be our children who bear the greatest punishment for our failures.