As Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek rides off into the sunset, opinionistas like the Times-Picayune's editorial writers are trying to beatify him on a faster track than Pope John Paul II.
Friday's editorial gushed that Pastorek's "legacy will reverberate for years to come."
That may be so, but in ways unintended by the Picayune's uptown Brahmans.
Pastorek was not only divisive and unwilling to compromise, which the Picayune counts as good things, but he presided over a department that acquiesced in an ongoing plot to privatize, charterize and voucherize public education in Louisiana to a unprecedented extent.
Again, there are some who count those as good things. Good for the big buck administrators making six-figure salaries, and good for the consultants who now suckle at the public breast, and good for the right-wing politicians planning political futures built on the wreckage of public education in our state.
For the children, parents, teachers and school employees who want a decent public education system, not so much.
To find out why, check out researcher Charles Hatfield's response to the Picayune editorial here.
Hatfield and the organization he represents, Research on Reforms, has consistently debunked claims by Pastorek and the Jindal administration touting the alleged success of the State Recovery School District in New Orleans.
Peruse the Research on Reforms Web site, and you'll find convincing evidence that the Jindal/Pastorek agenda was "to deceive the public in order to promote the market‐driven goals of the new public education entrepreneurs and to increase the number of failing schools turned over to privately run 'public schools' in Louisiana. This is really what the state is doing."
As Hatfield concludes, "it is unfortunate that The Times‐Picayune continues to be extremely myopic and biased with respect to its one‐sided reporting on the success of the current reform initiatives of the former state superintendent, Paul Pastorek. Instead, it continues its simplistic reporting of this extremely complex issue and continues to pander to the misinformation and propaganda generated by the proponents of this market driven approach to public education, even though no quantitative or qualitative evaluations exist after five years to justify the continued existence of the RSD."