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LA left throws fit over lost education agenda

Controversy over an endorsement of elementary and secondary education options stoked by Louisiana’s political left and its fellow travelers serves as a reminder that they cannot tolerate invitations to open, comprehensive, and fact-based inquiry in the education process, a state of affairs only now being corrected.

Earlier this week, Superintendent of State Education Cade Brumley announced a partnership with the web content producer PragerU. Founded by opinion columnist Dennis Prager, its materials provide primers on issues of the day, and has resources dedicated to educational dissemination from kindergarten to 12th grade. PragerU holds itself out as presenting information as an alternative to leftist paradigms that frequently plague education that completely ignore contrary information questioning their validity, giving students an incomplete picture that serves more to indoctrinate than to educate that PragerU materials seek to overcome.

Mirroring arrangements in several others states, PragerU will make easily accessible to Louisiana educators material congruent with meeting state standards adopted at the beginning of this now-concluding academic year. PragerU was chosen because it has such material. Note that its content doesn’t replace core instructional material, which is determined by local education agencies and not the state, nor is it required for use in state classrooms.


Ignore silly arguments against appointment bills

Some of the silliest, most alarmist, most partisan-driven dog-whistle debate over legislation this session of the Louisiana Legislature has come over a couple of bills determining appointed officials to state boards.

HB 462 by Republican state Sen. Valarie Hodges would give the governor power to appoint chairmen to the boards where he has at least half the appointments. Out of the 483 boards currently extant, when parsing out gubernatorial apportion proportions, appointment by other elected officials, and other statutory constraints, the bill would affect about 30 percent of these.

Political leftists, some special interests, and their water carriers inside and outside the Legislature have gone apoplectic over this, alleging it’s some sinister plot by GOP Gov. Jeff Landry, who supports it, to run roughshod over that part of state government. They appeared most perturbed by the fact that this bill would extend this new authority to the five boards that oversee and manage higher education, characterizing it as “politicization.”


Let LA teachers teach, panel wisely advises

As Louisiana elementary and secondary education has climbed its way slowly from the basement of achievement, another tool presents itself to accelerate this.

Recently, the state’s Department of Education released result from a task force convened on improving teachers’ experiences. The latest data available showed in academic year 2023 15 percent of teachers left their positions, and of those hired three years ago only about three-quarters remain on the job. And academic research reveals that the most prominent reasons teachers leave the profession aren’t those related to issues of compensation, resource availability, relations with administrators, and the like, but with teachers encountering impediments to actual instruction, or what prevents them from devoting their time to teaching.

The panel, convened three months ago by Superintendent Cade Brumley and called Let Teachers Teach, was comprised mainly of ground-level practitioners with the odd politician thrown in. Their recommendations mirrored the research, identifying reforms that would let teachers focus on classroom instruction.


Memorial Day, 2024

This column publishes every Sunday through Thursday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Easter Sunday, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Monday, May 27 being Memorial Day, I invite you to explore this link.