Friday, June 29, 2012

The Advocate questions "chaotic" session

Following last week's meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, The Advocate posted an editorial about the state's "chaotic" approach to public education.

Because of the way Gov. Bobby Jindal steamrolled his radical education agenda through the legislature, The Advocate says, members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are just now finding out what was in it.

It's hard to believe that in toto - surely some of the governor's confidantes on BESE knew exactly which of the little brown lumps in his bills were not chocolate drops.

But let's concede that most BESE members did not know the governor has removed certification as a requirement for teaching in charter schools. Most members of the legislature probably didn't know about it, either.

There is, in fact, a lot about the governor's agenda that most people do not know. It seems to have been one of the governor's goals to make sure his bills were adopted without close scrutiny.

That is the point of a letter that LFT President Steve Monaghan wrote to The Advocate's editor. Many different ideas were crammed into the governor's two main bills, and they were rushed through the legislative process at lightning speed.

"There was no time and little interest to properly debate even one of the issues," Monaghan wrote, "much less the confusing bundle that faced lawmakers. By deliberately loading these bills with multiple objectives, it was guaranteed that none of them would receive the scrutiny or understanding required."

The new certification rule is just one of the very bad ideas that slipped passed a legislature all too willing to do whatever Jindal demanded. Others will be coming to light and hurting our schools and our children for years to come.

That is, unless the lawsuits filed by the LFT and others succeed.

"It is a shame that many of those entrusted with upholding our constitution and the rule of law have yet to realize how shabbily they have treated both," Monaghan wrote.

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