Louisiana Believes: Exclusion is the Best Policy
Do you remember your earliest years in school and receiving your first invitation from a classmate to attend their birthday party? What about the first time you discovered that a classmate had a birthday party and invited your classmates but didn’t invite you? It is generally the first experience that children have with exclusion. The older you get, the more you begin to recognize that the once collective group of your youth begins to splinter off into smaller groups with different levels of exclusivity, and some, inevitably become rivals. This is the exact scenario we see playing out in Louisiana’s education system.
For years now, public education and public educators, have endured the attacks of the education reformers who have formed their highly exclusive groups that dedicate their resources toward making villains out of teachers, labeling schools as failing and weakening the powers of democratically elected school boards. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, there is hope that the systematic exclusion can be a thing of the past, and locally designed accountability plans would be the first step toward improving our educational outcomes. It provides the opportunity for ALL stakeholders to participate in the development of an accountability plan; because, after all, people will support what they feel they had a part in creating. Based on what has transpired over the last few weeks, and the information I have been provided, Louisiana believes that exclusion is the best policy.
You may remember that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) held a special board meeting to approve the submission of Louisiana’s ESSA plan. After much push back from the Governor, school boards, superintendents, teachers and parents, BESE endured a 7+ hour meeting of testimony; all the while knowing the outcome because it had been determined before the meeting even started. If you’d like to read the full story, Click Here.
At the conclusion of this special meeting, a motion was made by BESE Vice President, Holly Boffy, instructing Supt. John White to meet with stakeholders to address a number of concerns which were listed on the motion. They also instructed him not to submit the plan prior to April 14th; despite USDOE allowing provisional submissions until May 4th.
Since I communicate regularly with the heads of the various organizations, I was Louisiana Believes: Exclusion is the Best Policy – Educate Louisiana: