Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jindal is Not All Powerful

Thousands of educators who attended Education Committee meetings early this legislative session were disheartened by the way the Jindal "Education Reforms" were rammed through the legislature seemingly without regard to the legitimate objections of educators. It seemed like Governor Jindal had complete control of the legislature and that it was hopeless to oppose him.

Now it looks like he has spent much of his political capitol bullying legislators, humiliating professional educators, and pushing an agenda that has more holes than swiss cheese! Not only is his hand picked new Superintendent looking incompetent in his sloppy handling of the new school voucher system, but much of the Governnor's overhaul of the retirement system is headed for possible defeat, and the new MFP that funds vouchers and college courses in violation of the Constitution is in big trouble! Just read the linked stories in the Advocate on the MFP and the retirement legislation to see what I mean.

That's why I say it is not too late for educators to sign up for my Defenders of Public Education data base and get involved a growing movement to stop and reverse these attacks on our public schools! It does not make sense for educators to teach Civics to our students and not be willing to use legitimate political action tactics to defend our students and teachers from these attacks! Just follow the simple instructions in my last two posts and get on board. It is completely free and 100% confidential.

Added 6/4/12: Click on this link to the Alexandria Town Talk for a morale booster for educators!

I have thought long and hard about whether or not to recommend to my readers participation in the Jindal and legislator recall efforts. My unofficial reading of  voter sentiment is that there is tremendous disappointment and anger toward Jindal across a broad spectrum  of Louisiana voters  but especially among educators and state employees. The main argument against the recall effort however, is that it is almost impossible to get one third of the voters to correctly sign such a petition in the time allotted (six months) especially for a state-wide office. Some say that once the recall fails, it seems to vindicate the target of the recall.

I have always believed however that when the cause is right and there is a legitimate remedy to change things, good citizens have a right and obligation to take action. Recall petitions are a perfectly legitimate political tool and were put into law for a good reason. No public official should ever feel that he can go against the will of the people even if he is at the beginning of his last term. The recall process is a great way to keep public officials accountable throughout their term in office.

That's why I am recommending that educators, their friends and families and other displeased voters make every effort to support the recall petitions now circulating against the Governor and several legislators. At the same time, I hope more legislators will be added to the list of recall targets. Don't be intimidated by the Governor's strong arm tactics! Those are the very reasons he should be recalled. Teachers are brave people. They fight seemingly impossible battles to defeat ignorance and produce educated citizens every day in their classrooms. Any effort to right a wrong is worthwhile no matter how great the odds against that effort. Take a look at the latest Diane Ravitch blog on the Jindal strategy.

Please go to the Recall Jindal web site and download a correct version of the petition, read the rules of recall and possibly arrange a training session for petition volunteers. It is extremely critical that correct signatures are gathered using the correct format of petitions.

I have organized and run successful recall petitions before in Louisiana and found that when recall efforts have a good rationale and good solid citizens running them, the voters will respond in a positive manner. Remember when I pointed out that members of the public still have great respect for teachers. It is absolutely true. Teachers have much more support among the voters than politicians. They know your motives are good and they want to support you. So get involved, do you civic duty, give the public a chance to see how dedicated you are to our public schools!


Kathy said...

Before school was out I was able to mention to many teachers the recall effort that was being launched. To my great disappointment, many said yea, Jindal needs to be recalled, but in the next breath, "will I get in trouble for signing a petition?" Needless to say, that question concerns me greatly. Fear is still very much present among the teaching ranks. Sometimes I think teachers forget they are citizens and taxpayers. I so much want to see this turn around and have hoped so for many a year! Perhaps, just perhaps, the disgusting treatment educators have experienced in this session will make them realize they MUST be politically aware and involved to the extent that they are comfortable. Let's hope that goes beyond sitting back and just nodding their head waiting for someone else to do the work. Group work, as teachers know, involves some participation by everyone in the group.

Dale Rogers said...

I am very interested in joining your "Defenders of Public Education" database.

After witnessing what has happened to education in Florida, Louisiana, and my current home state of Michigan, I have decided to run for the Michigan House of Representatives this year.

You are so correct when you write that "It does not make sense for educators to teach Civics to our students and not be willing to use legitimate political action tactics to defend our students and teachers..."

We as educators can longer sit on the sidelines with our heads in the sand.

I believe as educators, we have a limitless potential within, just waiting to be discovered and now more than ever we need to find it.

Thank you Michael for what you do to support public education.

Dale Rogers
Hamburg Township, Michigan

Anonymous said...

I signed the recall petition in May, but Kathy is correct. Educators are concerned about the repercussions.

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