Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Swilling with the swells, Pastorek dismisses social disadvantages

According to the Louisiana School Boards Association, State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek visited with Baton Rouge's upper crust at the tony City Club where, as part of the club's Distinguished Speaker Series, he derided the view that poverty plays a big role in the "failure" of public education.

His view probably played well with the martini-and-Cuban-cigar set, but is at odds with LFT's contention that schools are a reflection of their community. Early intervention, health care, jobs programs and parenting assistance should all be parts of the equation to lift entire communities out of the poverty that plagues Louisiana outside of the City Club's high brick walls.

As Pastorek's chosen expert on education reform, England's Sir Michael barber, puts it in the same article, "...rather than overcoming the social differences children bring with them when they start school, the US system – like ours in the UK – tends to reinforce them."

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