Louisiana Political News Wire
EDITORIAL: Take Stand On Education Revamp
The Daily Advertiser (excerpt)
Louisiana Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek sees his plan for overhauling laws governing school boards as a way for the state to reform and modernize education.
Some school board members see it as a direct assault against them, aimed at consolidating power in Baton Rouge. A major conflict appears to be brewing.
It has been obvious for decades that strong measures are needed to improve the quality of education in Louisiana. Good things have been done, but nationwide studies consistently rank our schools at or near the bottom. The 2009 Quality Counts rankings show that Louisiana public school students are 47th in the nation in academic achievement.
One of Pastorek's key thrusts is limiting pay for board members. He reportedly wants to take away salaries - shifting to a per diem pay system. He would also limit board member authority over school superintendents.
The changes he seeks are drastic. He cites "some real challenges with some school boards around the state," listing school boards that micromanage, those with relatives who are in administration and whose contracts are approved by school boards, and people who have been around 30 to 40 years and their experience of what schools should be are far different than what is going on today.
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