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The State of Louisiana

Well, years of education reform in Louisiana and still we are listed as one of the worst states for education in a new study.  Really

1-most of the students I now teach are from fractured homes.  I have no idea who or what to call for help.  Is it any surprise when they don’t care about education?  School is just a place to get a free meal and hang with your friends.  

2-Many of the parents are down-right abusive in their tone when you do manage to call them.  I was told a few weeks ago “I ain’t had no education and I did alright.”   Yes, you are holding a cell phone paid for by the state of Louisiana for welfare recipients.   That would be sad if it were not so funny.  

3-Our leadership yells “charter schools! and School Choice!”   as the answer.  The students that go to charter schools are attempting to escape the behavioral problems that are left to the public school teachers.   What do you think the public education system in Louisiana will be when all the smart kids without behavioral problems leave?  I will tell you in one word: chaos.    And BTW, the charter school employs public school teachers.  I should know as I taught in one for years.  So, what are we really choosing?  To be with “our kind” or “people like us.”   Separate-but equal…right?  Oh, wait…

4-Teachers are leaving the profession in droves.  Can’t say that I blame them, but we need old teachers.  Some of the greatest teachers I had were ancient:   E. J. Marshall, Ms. Ezell, Mrs. Middlebrooks.  They were so old they may have written the books that we had in class.  Thirty years later, I know they did a great job.  I have been a new teacher, now I am ancient.  I am a better teacher now that I was when I began.  I hate to tell this, but I have seen bad teachers.  Some get better with time and the rest quit.   

5-Constant observations and testing is NOT helping our students or teachers.   What makes a crop grow better?  Feeding and nurturing OR constant measuring.  Mull that over.  While we are at it…what makes a teacher improve?  Should we feed and nurture our education system OR should we constantly measure data????  Teachers, parents and students feel as though there is no winning in the standardized test  and the teacher observation game.      But…you will have TONS of data. 

6-Louisiana residents need to understand that until they value education, their children will not value education.  You can yell reform all you please, but the reform has to come from ALL the stakeholders.  Teachers cannot complete the reform alone. 

7-Republican leaders need to understand that until they value public education, their public educators won’t value them.  We paid beaucoup bucks to out of state specialists to come in and explain how we could improve Louisiana education.  So, here is what we got for the money:  top ten worst states for education!  Go us

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