Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dear legislators and voters who are wondering about the viability of Jindal's proposals for educational change: a long-term teacher responds in brief . . .

Caddo Magnet Class of 2011    f by trudeau
Caddo Magnet Class of 2011 f, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Please resist the Jindal team and the fast-tracking of his education legislation.

The governor is ignoring the basics in Louisiana. To truly tackle the problems in Louisiana schools is to address the impoverished state of the population.

Research in educational practice - charter schools, for instance, mostly do not prove out - does not back his proposals. Jindal's legislations were written by politicos who seek to privatize education in the service of
quick profits. As a 30-year teacher I have the wisdom to see a disaster ahead in JIndal's plan.

What do I propose? Louisiana needs to link educational reform to addressing the generational poverty that blocks schools and hard-working teachers from being effective. Alas, there's no quick fix in that route.

A sensible program begins with all legislators and state admins being assigned a 3-class unit to teach in public schools. The teacher will be a mentor to the legislator.

Following the widespread experience of businessmen facing students and parents, let us sit down in committees to write a revised list of core problems. From that process will come a fresh perspective and a suitable list of adjustments to be sought.

We might begin with my classroom. Would you like to teach a brief unit on China to world geography 15 year-olds? The very good news is that I teach in one of Louisiana's highest-achieving schools, Caddo Magnet HS. Conditions at Caddo do not reflect the norm in the Bayou State. Regardless, it is a good place to begin.

Robert Trudeau

This is a letter sent today to La Reps Carmody and Peacock. Feel free to copy, modify and send to your representatives.

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