Friday, February 17, 2012

LFT leader to League: Listen to educators!

United Teachers of New Orleans President Larry Carter

United Teachers of New Orleans President Larry Carter delivered an important message to the League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge this week: include teachers and school employees when making policy for public education.

The message was a timely one, as lawmakers are preparing to vote on some radical overhauls of public education when the legislative session begins on March 12.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has announced that he will push for changes that could destroy the teacher salary schedule, endanger tenure and due process rights, radically expand vouchers for private and religious schools and impose even more state control over local school districts.

What’s missing in the governor’s agenda, Carter said, is the voice of professional educators.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that educators are the experts in the classroom,” Carter told the League. “The voice of teachers should be at the center of the dialog.”

Carter reminded the audience that “teaching conditions are learning conditions,” and said that in all too many circumstances, schools lack textbooks, learning materials an even properly certified teachers. Teachers should not be blamed for circumstances they cannot control, he said, and ought to be consulted about the best ways to improve our schools.

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