They say that it took arch-conservative communist baiter Richard Nixon to finally breech the wall that had separated the United States from China since Mao Zedong’s revolution. Will it now require one of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s most loyal allies to bring down the travesty that is the governor’s teacher evaluation scheme?
That conclusion can be drawn from this article by Advocate reporter Will Sentell, in which Shreveport Republican Representative Alan Seabaugh calls the new teacher evaluation program “nothing short of ridiculous.”
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers has been calling the governor’s plan ridiculous, and worse, since it was first enacted two years ago. But the stakes climbed exponentially this year, when Jindal’s Act 1 tied employment decisions ranging from salary to tenure to termination to the evaluation scheme.
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers vigorously opposed Act 1 when it was rammed through the legislature. Lawmakers like Seabaugh scoffed at our concerns. The governor and his amen chorus called us “agents of the status quo” and worse.
When LFT stood alone and filed a lawsuit to halt the evaluation system, we were called goons. The once-respected Council for a Better Louisiana called our lawsuit “unfortunate” and said that we are “more interested in taking care of adult issues at the educational expense of students.”
Superintendent of Education John White whined that “the LFT keeps dragging us back to politics and courtrooms.”
But with the law going into effect and its noxious results blooming, the worm is turning.
Around the state, educators are learning that Jindal’s scheme is aimed not at improving education, but at shoehorning teachers into arbitrary categories. His ultimate goal seems to be destroying trust in public education so that the billions spent on our schools can be diverted into the pockets of education entrepreneurs.
In a recent editorial, the Lake Charles American Press termed Jindal’s evaluation scheme unfair and immoral after learning that some of the best teachers in some of the state’s best schools have been labeled “ineffective.”
And now the scales have fallen from Rep. Seabaugh’s eyes. It seems that the top-rated elementary school in the state is in his district, and teachers in that school have been victimized by Jindal’s agenda.
As reporter Sentell writes, “the jobs of some teachers could be in jeopardy because even high-scoring students who show drops from the previous year can result in the teachers being rated as ineffective.”
As Rep. Seabaugh told the reporter, “You literally have the most successful teachers in the state being told that they are highly ineffective.”
Rep. Seabaugh has now written a letter of complaint to education officials around the state. Like Nixon’s visit to China, this could be the start of something big.