Louisiana teachers want Bobby Jindal recalled

posted at 3:40 pm on March 27, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Louisiana teachers took the day off today to protest Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform plan, which would make changes to teacher tenure, restructure teacher compensation to reward performance and enable low-income students to use vouchers to leave underperforming schools to attend private or charter schools.

It was a cornily themed protest: Teachers declared it “the funeral for real education reform” and even toted along a mock coffin. Intimidating. They hoped for “real reform,” they wrote in a release, “but the policies proposed and the legislative process thus far is proving fatal.”

At least they’re out in the open about their flagrant disregard for the legislative process. Their proposed alternative to it? An election to recall the governor! Have they not seen what a catalyst for cross-country conservative activism Scott Walker has become? Eh, well, if they want to grow the conservative movement, I’m cool with that.

But the children. No, seriously, what about the children? This is the second time this month that Louisiana teachers have canceled class to attempt to, er, put the nail in the coffin of the legislative process. As The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke wrote about a mid-March protest:

When one-third of all students are below grade level, the last thing public school employees should be doing is using class time to lobby the state legislature to prevent much-needed reforms. But they are joining the education unions who are descending upon Baton Rouge and are in full force to maintain lifetime job security for teachers, a compensation system that fails to reflect teacher performance, and a lack of school choice options for children.

It’s a combination that has been failing Louisiana students for too long. Jindal is working to implement significant reforms that are in the best interests of children in the state—not the demands of the adults in the system—and for that, public school teachers are leaving the classroom this week to join hands with the unions.

Naturally, taxpayers will be footing the bill for the teachers’ lobbying, since the school districts are considering these “professional development” days.

This is the attitude of too many public school teachers today, yet Bill Maher still has the gall to criticize the Santorums’ decision to homeschool their children! Disappointing, but not surprising.

A quick caveat: When I write, “This is the attitude of too many public school teachers today,” I do not mean, “This is the attitude of all public school teachers today.” (Crazy that I have to clarify that, but so be it!) As a graduate of a public high school, I deeply appreciate the teachers who made a significant positive impact on my education. Similarly, as a relative and friend of several public school teachers, I am encouraged and inspired by teachers whose first concern as teachers is the education of their students.

Still, protests like these suggest that adults care more to preserve the system than to improve the quality of education children receive. They also smack of a certain elitism that assumes union leaders know better than individual teachers and teachers know better than parents how to raise and educate children. In fact, one Louisiana union leader has admitted as much:

According to Dr. Michael Walker Jones of the Louisiana Association of Educators, low-income parents “don’t have a clue” when it comes to making decisions about their children’s education. Last week, in an interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, he stated: “If I’m a parent in poverty, I have no clue because I’m trying to struggle and live day-to-day.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) was quick to respond to Jones, who leads the state’s largest education union:

“The union leader’s comments are just the type of top-down, arrogant, elitist mentality that has badly damaged our system of public education in this country. I believe that parents—regardless of their income or circumstances—know what’s best for their children. It’s ridiculous and insulting to say that parents can’t make decisions in the best interest of their children.”

I’m with Governor Jindal.

Update: Forgot to link to this article that mentioned teachers’ desire to recall the governor!


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I’m not surprised the teacher unions want to stop Jindal – Walker has already proven in WI that conservative ideas actually work – so they must be scared to death in LA that Jindal will do the same.

dentarthurdent on March 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM

seabuzz on March 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

there are good and bad charter schools. Some of them are wonderful and very rigorous.

juliesa on March 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Living in Lousiana I’ve been listening to the teachers crawl over this, using the same arguments used before; we will lose funds and can’t improve, private schools will be overwhelmed, the tenure system doesn’t make sense, etc.

Louisiana is still a populist state, with the echos of Huey P. Long still casting a long shadow. It will be a hard fight; the teachers unions are organized and look to stop this. My best to Jindal, he has had to deal with massive losses in revenue due to the DOE and the EPA refusing to open leasing in the Gulf. IMO he’s the best governor we’ve had in 30 years.

itsspideyman on March 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Public worker unions should be barred from contributing to political entities. It would seem to be a coercion of taxpayers in that those contributions might go to someone taxpayers would otherwise not support.

marinetbryant on March 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM

itsspideyman on March 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Best since my ancestor, Alexandre Mouton turned an almost bankrupt state into swimming in black ink in ONE year.

Kermit on March 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM

– and they will likely hire the good teachers away from the lousy public schools.

dentarthurdent on March 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Huh?

How can they be lousy if they have good teachers?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM

The Grammar Nazi hopes these aren’t English Teachers:

“but the policies proposed and the legislative process thus far is proving fatal.”

The compound subject really calls for the 3rd person plural form of the verb:

“but the policies proposed and the legislative process thus far ARE proving fatal.”

Policies and Process = 3rd Person Plural

arik1969 on March 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM

How can they be lousy if they have good teachers?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Because having “good teachers” does not measure the effects of the bad teachers on students with regard to the damaging effects of a single bad teacher on a student’s desire to learn.

“Good teachers” would not have an issue with merit pay or pay linked to performance, because their results will speak for themselves.

Also consider that in virtually every other paying profession where a person is employed by another, poor performance results in bad career consequences to that person – government jobs excepted. But nevermind that, tenured teachers know better than you, or that horrid school principal or horrid local school superintendent, and expect you to pay their salaries without whining about their overall crappy results.

I just watched Waiting for Superman last night, and I have to say that movie was amazing, even if it was directed by the same guy who couldn’t find any negatives with Obambi. The public school system overall is hosed. Period.

Wanderlust on March 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM

The problems of poverty in Louisiana are so overwhelming that they invade all aspects of schooling. A school is a reflection of the community from which it draws its students – nothing more, nothing less. If you don’t like what you see in the schools, well….

seabuzz on March 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

The problems of poverty in Louisiana are so overwhelming that they invade all aspects of schooling. A school is a reflection of the community from which it draws its students – nothing more, nothing less. If you don’t like what you see in the schools, well….

seabuzz on March 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Complete BS. Some of the most brilliant people of the world have come from abject poverty and/or broken homes.

Conservative4Ever on March 28, 2012 at 1:52 AM

arik1969 on March 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Blame the “milieu” and a “don’t use it, lose it”. Practice, repetition and bucking the cultural masses is hard, especially when it comes to language.

A friend of mine taught in Marksville, LA for several years and would frequently attend School Board meetings. He got to see plenty of corruption and general laziness and stupidity on the part of educators and elected officials – who knew eh?

Anyhow, he told me about a candidate forum he attended which further framed the situation in Marksville. An individual with suspect personal business/tax dealings and a long-time local politician talked about how he was running “fo de chirren”. His accent and dialect wasn’t what irked my friend – who is a grammar Nazi – but he abject ignorance of basic English grammar which made much of his speech confusing when you could understand it.

Minor “infractions” are one thing. I’m horrible at grammar admittedly. However, for many, little to no attempt is made at speaking well, and thus, even if the person is intelligent they come off as dumb.

And, if you point it out, well, you’re a snarky nitpicker and possibly even racist depending upon who you’re confronting.

Logus on March 28, 2012 at 9:15 AM

arik1969 on March 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM

That’s purely because of your linear, patriarchal reasoning! If you were more understanding and embracing of diversity, you wouldn’t be so rigid!
/s

GWB on March 28, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Best since my ancestor, Alexandre Mouton turned an almost bankrupt state into swimming in black ink in ONE year.

Kermit on March 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM

A very interesting man. To balance the budget he liquidated state assets and met the bond obligations without raising taxes. He least out the state labor and equipment, promoted the removal of property as a qualification to vote as well as run for office. I lived in Lafayette for ten years and was with friends and visited his grave.

You come from “good stock” as my grandmother would say. :)

itsspideyman on March 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM

least=leased :(

itsspideyman on March 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM

How can they be lousy if they have good teachers?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Wanderlust on March 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM

What Wanderlust said. A school that is overall “bad” can still have some good teachers. Their efforts just get overwhelmed or squashed by the bad teachers and incompetent administrators – and unions.
And overall, I think it would be a good thing to take the good teachers out of the bad schools and let the bad schools die/close.
That’s the result of competition – those who can’t compete go out of business – as they should.

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 10:14 AM

“Low income parents” usually refers to single mothers who work multiple jobs to make ends meet. Could we characterize this as a “war on women”?

djaymick on March 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

We need Jindal as Sec of Ed!

texasgoat on March 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Comment pages: 1 2