Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pastorek and Jindal diss nationally certified teachers

State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek reduced his stature by carrying Governor Jindal's water in this article by Advocate reporter Michelle Millhollon.

It was bad enough when the governor announced that he plans to eliminate stipends for nationally board certified teachers from the state budget. But for Pastorek to take it upon himself to denigrate the achievement of those who've earned the honor is simply disgraceful.

The rank hypocrisy of the superintendent's comments in The Advocate is stunning. On Tuesday, he told a state budget panel that certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards "does not mean teachers are effective in the classroom."

But not too long ago, Pastorek wrote on his own Web site that "Educators that are committed to going through the rigorous process of becoming nationally certified also demonstrate a high level of commitment to the profession and to the students they teach. As a result, the academic achievement of our students will continue to increase as the number of NBCTs grows each year."

As of this writing, the quote is still on the Web site. Click quickly, it might be scrubbed soon.

The story gets worse

Even as Jindal and his apologist in the Claiborne building tear down the reputations of teachers who've demonstrated their excellence, they are planning to siphon even more funds away from public education for the benefit of private and religious schools.

Jindal's budget will reportedly include an additional $3 million for vouchers that mainly benefit Catholic schools in New Orleans. When lawmakers questioned the expense, Pastorek responded that “I don’t think we’re shorting the public school system.”

Except, of course, for the stipends that were promised to educators who earned national certification.

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