Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Please sign up to be a defender of public education!

Diane Ravitch honored our blog today along with several other Louisiana blogs and individuals who are true supporters of public education in Louisiana. She recommended our Defenders of Public Education data base. I want to take this opportunity to ask each of my readers who are voters in Louisiana to sign up for this group. Here are the details you need to know:
  • The Defenders of Public Education is a Louisiana group of public education volunteers; teachers, administrators and parents set up in a data base organized into sub groups according to their own home legislators. 
  • The Defenders receive timely emails on critical education issues as they are coming up in the legislature so that we may each express our opinions on the issue to our particular legislators.
  • These communications to Defenders are done with consultation with the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education which is composed of the two teacher unions (LAE and LFT) the School Boards Association, parent representatives and several other pro public education groups.
Each of the groups in the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education have their own systems for communicating with their members about critical education issues, and may not always agree precisely on every issue. But there is much more that unites us than separates us. We believe that the very survival of public education in Louisiana is at stake!

I have taken steps to insure that the individuals who volunteer to be "Defenders" have their identities kept confidential if they desire it. In some cases however members may want to form local groups where members communicate with each other so that they can be more effective in lobbying their legislators.

Educators this is serious business! Public education and the teaching profession is under attack in Louisiana more than in any other state. Those of us who have become "Defenders" believe that public education is the only way to improve the future of the large number of our students who are at risk in our society. Our public schools are also demonstrating that even more privileged students are getting an excellent education from our public schools. We believe that vouchers and charters are destructive to public education and we believe the evidence of this is overwhelming. We believe that standardized testing is being over used and improperly used against students and teachers and is benefiting only the greedy testing companies and their allies.

Diane Ravitch has agreed with us that Louisiana is ground zero for the ALEC inspired destruction of public education by so called reformers who have no knowledge of education and who would not last a week in a typical classroom. Yet these "reformers" have appointed themselves to be our  masters. They believe that most teachers are lazy, incompetent  and get paid for just breathing! If you are a professional educator and this attitude does not get your blood boiling and make you want to fight for our profession, then I submit they must be right. But I don't believe it. I think that the overwhelming majority of educators, principals, administrators, and teachers are dedicated to doing their very best for our students and it is wrong to demonize us in the way we have experienced in the last several years.

If you agree with the points made above and you have not yet joined our Defenders of Public Education data base, just send me an email at louisianaeducator@gmail.com and give me the names of your state senator and state representative and your preferred email address.  Our students are counting on us to fight for public education.
Thanks for your dedication to our students,
Mike Deshotels

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