Sunday, August 25, 2019

State Senator Reveals the Rotten Core of Education Reform

One Senator on the Senate Education Committee Tells it Like it is
Please take just a few minutes to view this video (May 23, 2019) of Senator John Milkovich pointing out the serious flaws in education reform instituted under Governor Jindal and Superintendent John White. Here are some of the points made by Senator Milkovich.
  • Lobbyists and bureaucrats have taken over public education
  • Louisiana's education ranking among the states has fallen to its lowest level ever in the 9 years since the appointment of State Superintendent John White.
  • The Common Core Standards are a complete failure, and the materials used to teach Common Core are almost totally ineffective and counter productive.
  • Because of Common Core requirements, important classical literature has been replaced with teaching dry instructional texts. Reading proficiency, as a result, is falling.
  • Discipline in our public schools is out of control in many schools, and teachers are often not backed up by administrators or allowed to use effective discipline in their classrooms.
  • Teachers and students are now being overwhelmed with excessive testing.
  • Superintendent John White may be illegally serving in his position.
Not one other Senator on the committee spoke up to address the problems brought up by Senator Milkovich.
The worthless diploma scandal gets worse
This blog has exposed some of the more serious abuses of our educational system, including the removal of almost all standards for student promotion and graduation. In this article The Lens continues its coverage of the worthless diploma scandal in one of the New Orleans charter schools. John White has now approved several diplomas by waiver in that school without the students having to take the courses they were lacking for graduation. See also this earlier report and my posts below on this scandal and the removal of standards for promotion and graduation implemented by John White. This makes a total mockery of standards.

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and out of state billionaires now control education in Louisiana
LABI has been itching to take over education from the educators for many years. This group that was primarily formed to pass anti-union and pro-big business legislation has long believed that the reason our students performed at a lower average level than many other states was because of teacher laziness, incompetence, teacher tenure, and the lack of a merit pay system. LABI felt that all employment decisions on teachers and administrators should be based almost exclusively on student test scores. During the Jindal administration, they finally got all their wishes granted. Tenure and seniority were destroyed, a merit pay system based on student test scores was implemented and to add insult to injury, a non-educator (John White) was given almost complete control of education.

Now, nine years later, the chickens have come home to roost. Louisiana has a growing teacher shortage after the loss of some of our most dedicated teachers, teachers spend a huge part of the school year doing almost nothing but drilling students in test rehearsals, and our test performance on national tests has fallen to its lowest ranking ever! LABI is continuing its efforts to control BESE by electing hand picked candidates to BESE.

But John White was the knight in shining armor who was going to solve all of our educational problems, So he continues to get excellent ratings from the LABI hand picked BESE, even though according to his policies any regular teacher would have been fired for the very result produced under his direction. And not a single legislator makes a comment following Senator Milkovich's important revelations. Who do you think still controls education?

Discipline laws are being ignored and violated in many schools
Twenty years ago I worked with the Senate Education Committee to clarify and strengthen our school discipline laws. The bill defining teacher rights to remove extremely disruptive and/or disrespectful students from the classroom until effective measures were taken to correct the behavior was almost unanimously approved by the entire legislature at that time. That law is still on the books but is often ignored by administrators in their zeal to keep students in school and to avoid taking necessary actions that may upset some parents.

As a result of these violations of state discipline law, many teachers are routinely insulted and sometimes physically abused by a small minority of students. I have heard of numerous cases where teachers have been forced to leave the profession by lack of support on discipline.
Thank you Senator Milkovich for helping to expose these serious problems in our educational system