Monday, September 9, 2019

Louisiana Educator: A Guide to BESE Elections, Part I

Louisiana Educator: A Guide to BESE Elections, Part I

A Guide to BESE Elections, Part I

Why BESE is the most critical, yet least understood body affecting public education in Louisiana
The average Louisiana voter does not know what the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education does and most do not even know who represents them on BESE. BESE members historically have been low profile persons who were dedicated to public education. The BESE elections used to attract very low political contributions and were not seen as a stepping stone to higher office. BESE members get no pay for their service and very little news coverage. Thats why in the past, most voters were not very well informed about the huge impact BESE can have on our schools.

But now, almost everyone complains about the very bad decisions being made affecting our children's schools. Almost everyone who has a child in public schools complains about the excessive time spent on standardized testing and test-prep each year. Many parents of school children are alarmed when their children, who once looked forward to attending school, come home crying about the frustrating and incomprehensible material their teachers are forced to teach and test. And recently we learned that our school system has fallen to its lowest level ever in the various rankings of the states on education. We are now tied for last place on the national comparative NAEP test. The Quality Counts rating system which was released last week, covering a wide range of measures rated Louisiana 4th from the bottom of the states, below even Mississippi. These frustrating and damaging changes have happened because our BESE elections have been taken over by a coalition of out-of-state billionaires and the dominant business organization in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) and super wealthy education reformers from out-of-state decided about 14 years ago that with a concerted effort and a huge infusion CONTINUE READING: 
Louisiana Educator: A Guide to BESE Elections, Part I

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