Friday, August 21, 2009

Blessed are the peacemakers

The feud between State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek and some education advocates is ratcheting back, and credit for getting the parties in a room and talking civilly is going to Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Linda Johnson of Plaquemine.

Advocate reporter Will Sentell just published this story about a meeting Wednesday night that included Pastorek, along with representatives of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana School Boards Association, Louisiana Association of Educators, Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, Louisiana PTA and governor Bobby Jindal's deputy chief of staff, Stephen Waguespack.

They met under the aegis of a new organization called One Voice in Public Education, and discussion centered around strategies to secure funds from the federal Race to the Top program.

It was the first meeting of the parties since the LAE and LSBA called for Pastorek to be removed from office several weeks ago. In response, LFT called on Governor Jindal to mediate what LFT President Steve Monaghan termed a "bitter feud between the superintendent of education and the organizations," Monaghan said at the time. "There is a grave danger that the current situation could threaten the progress our schools and our children have made."

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