Thursday, August 13, 2009

The "L" word is leadership, governor!

Just a few weeks ago, as the legislative session was drawing to a close, a gaggle of former governors staged an intervention. They dragged Gov. Bobby Jindal out of hiding to resolve the furor over higher education funding. Reminding the nation's youngest governor of his primary responsibility, the four said, "Lead, governor. We're prepared to follow."

Now the call is out once again for the governor to exercise some leadership, and once again the question arises as to whether or not Jindal possesses that quality.

This time, it was the Louisiana Federation of Teachers calling on the governor to intervene in a squabble that arose when the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Louisiana School Boards Association called for the head of State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek.

Said LFT President Steve Monaghan, “The last thing our children need at this moment is a bitter feud between the superintendent of education and the organizations that represent teachers and school boards.”

So far, Jindal has refused to answer any questions in person. But he did issue a statement to WAFB-TV reporter David Spunt, who noted "Governor Jindal does not want to get involved."
Here is the video in which Jindal avoids yet another difficult issue.

How long Jindal can stay out of the controversy is another question. Today the Shreveport Times and the Lake Charles American Press both editorially agreed with LFT and called on the governor to demonstrate that he was elected to do more than participate in carefully staged media events.

Wrote The Times: "Clearly it's time for the principal — in this case Gov. Bobby Jindal — to step in and get these parties to a conference...Send out the invitations, Governor."

And columnist Jim Beam of the American Press wrote, "The Louisiana Federation of Teachers has shown some leadership by calling on Jindal to resolve the disputes that are hindering educational advancement...Gov. Jindal may be the only person who can get everyone involved to move past this unfortunate episode."

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