Pooyie! 12.21.2009


National media took notice recently after U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised Louisiana’s school-accountability system as “real change, based upon the real outcomes of children.” The remarks prompted Washington Post reporter Nick Anderson and National Public Radio’s Larry Abramson to pack their bags for Lafayette to find out for themselves. Anderson’s article takes a look at UL’s rigorous teacher education program and how it has responded to the state’s school-accountability standards, which link test scores with teacher preparation. “A lot of people are talking about doing it,” said Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University, in the Anderson article, “but Louisiana got there first. It’s the model. I think you’re going to see a lot more of it over the next several years.”


We can’t help the sneaking suspicion that the Louisiana School Boards Association is letting its dislike for state Superintendent Paul Pastorek cloud its judgment. The LSBA last week urged parish school systems statewide to say “no thanks” to federal Race to the Top grant funding, arguing there could be long-term fiscal consequences in doing so. R2T funds come from federal stimulus dollars — more than $4 billion being handed out on a competitive basis — and are designed to help school systems innovate. Coincidentally or not, Pastorek, whose resignation the LSBA called for last summer after his school-board reform agenda failed in the legislative session, has come out strongly in favor of R2T. As of now, the Lafayette Parish School System is pursuing the funding.


We get plenty of off-the-wall and off-the-cuff remarks in the comment section at theind.com. A recent comment on the INDsider blog about UL being recognized by national media (see C’est Bon above) confuses The Washington Times with The Washington Post (tantamount to confusing Fox News with MSNBC), mistakes plurals for possessives, and even somehow conflates public education with communism. Enjoy: “hmmm...That doesn’t read well. Since, most if not all teacher’s are of the liberal mind. The Washington Times is a major liberal rag and NPR being a government liberal mouth piece . I recon this mean’s there will more children being brainwashed into the liberal mindset and taught how access government programs for their survival ..In my opinion, having these socialist(communistic) organization’s recognizing UL efforts is nothing to be bragging about... Not good”