Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jindal, Can You Say Hypocrisy?

Governor Jindal seems to have taken conflicting, and highly questionable stands recently in relation to education. Here are just a few.
  1. Noel Hammatt former president of the School Boards Association pointed out recently that even though Jindal has been pushing "choice" for parents with his substandard voucher program and low performing charters, his administration came out against parental choice in St Helena Parish. This developed when the St Helena School Board wanted to include middle school grades in their school system to give parents a "choice" to leave the F rated RSD run Middle school in St Helena. The argument Jindal's lawyers used in court is that the addition of that "choice" for parents may adversely affect desegregation efforts. Now Hammatt points out, Jindal has bought a 500k media campaign to lambast the US Department of Justice for filing a suit to require the state to provide information about how Jindal's voucher program may affect desegregation agreements in some parishes. Jindal is feigning self righteous anger that the Justice Dept. has even raised the deseg. issue. This smells like major hypocrisy says Hammatt.
  2. One of the few legitimate initiatives of the LDOE has been a move toward encouraging quality pre-school programs for all children. Pilot programs such as LA4 have demonstrated that quality pre-K programs can make a real difference in closing the achievement gap. Yet Jindal has repeatedly refused a multi-million dollar Federal grant that would be a tremendous boost to this effort. Now the non-profit foundation Education's Next Horizon is pushing Jindal and White to accept the money before it is no longer available. I guess Jindal just has a problem taking money from President Obama.
  3. Jindal also refused a major stimulus grant that would have funded high quality high speed Internet service to many rural school systems in North Louisiana. Word was that Jindal refused the grant because he wanted his friends in private business to do the work. Unfortunately adding major cable infrastructure in those rural parishes is not cost effective, so our Louisiana Schools may not get modern infrastructure for a long time to come.
  4. At the same time that Jindal refused the Internet infrastructure grant, John White began a major campaign to force local school systems to boost their infrastructure so that they could administer the new PARCC tests for the Common Core. But now the conservative Tea Party folks are pushing back big time against Common Core which they consider a Federal Government intrusion into the running of our local school systems. No matter that the state government under Jindal has been trying to take over all functions relating to education and turn our education tax dollars over to private entrepreneurs selling everything form course choice to fly by night vouchers and rip off charters. So now Jindal seems to be backing away from the Common Core and leaving his amateur Superintendent out on a limb that may be cut off at any time.
Unchecked, raw political ambition has induced what we once thought to be an honest public servant to adopt hypocritical and illogical positions that may be extremely damaging to the children of his state.


Noel Hammatt said...

Thanks, Michael. As usual, you point out the truth! For anyone wanting to see my blog (and roughly the same Guest Editorial that I sent around the state, to no avail, since I think the papers are afraid to print it...) that Michael draws the quote from go to

Suzanne Stauffer said...

"What we once thought to be an honest public servant?" Surely you jest. I am at a loss to even imagine how you ever arrived at that view.

Jindal has never been anything but a self-serving political opportunist, ready to sacrifice Louisiana's poorest and most vulnerable on the altar of his political ambitions.