One jilted politician went out with a flourish, reminding those who wish to rebuild Louisiana’s elementary and secondary education that the disease that has kept it back can be difficult to eradicate, and its effects may linger.
The rump Orleans Parish School Board, unlike all other districts in the state that have their elections in off-presidential election years, have its conducted during presidential election years. One casualty was outgoing president Thomas Robichaux, in a landslide. It had partly to do with race, since the district he had won in the post-Hurricane Katrina aftermath political chaos was majority black and he is white who faced black opponents, but was exacerbated by the board’s decision earlier this year to raise taxes, which was opposed largely by black residents.
So, Robichaux decided to manufacture an issue out of nothing as a parting gift. No stranger to giving the citizenry a Bronx salute, on the issue of ethics, he gave it another when he spearheaded a move to for the half-dozen schools the district still controls to prohibit the teaching of “creationism” or “intelligent design” in science classes or to allow teachers to use textbooks that in the Board’s opinion did that.