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Re: “Gambit's endorsements in the fall 2011 elections

While I am no proponent of high stakes standardized testing used in a flawed school performance score formula to portray our public school system as a failure - it is the current method of measurement. James Garvey has promoted the still failing RSD model and needs to be replaced.

Policies and legislation that created the RSD are due for REFORM. After six years the RSD is still one of the lowest performing districts in the state. Fully 66.9% of all "D" and "F" grades listed in the DOE rank ordering of baseline performance scores were RSD schools. How well is the "reform" model of the RSD working? There are currently 69 schools operated by the RSD. No SPS score, in 2009-2010 was given for 31.4 percent of students in RSD run schools, and 9.2 percent of RSD charters had no SPS score.

Public schools are being sold as another one of Gov. Jindal's privatization schemes to build his own personal political capital and line the pockets of his corporate supporters. Charters claim to be non-profit but the for-profit management companies that run them and many of the out-of-state suppliers and consultants that profit from them are in it as part of a $500 billion U. S. investment opportunity.

The test and drill high stakes standardized testing brought by the No Child Left Behind federal legislation has resulted in a narrowing of the curriculum, ever increasing costs to taxpayers for testing, test grading, test materials and data management with the profits going primarily to businesses that have no vested interest in our children, our communities or our state.

The democratic base for our local communities has been taken away by bussing students across town and, in many cases, to another failing school. Parents can't participate in their children's educational experience and have little influence on the operation of their schools.

Taxpayers and parents have been duped into believing that choice would be transformative. But few children have had the opportunity to be enrolled in the schools of their choice. Charters, which don't have to follow the same rules and regulatoins that every other traditional public school in the state has to follow are breaking laws by expelling students illegally and not providing special education services for all children.

Our schools are being effectively resegregated and the culture of failure that the state has created is demoralizing our teachers and our students.

Public school stakeholders, parents, teachers, principals, bus drivers must realize that the nature of public education in Louisiana is on the line in this year's election. Portraying public schools as failures is Gov. Jindal's way to assumption of dictatorial powers over local schools.

I am the only education professional in the District 1 BESE race. I understand the challenges and solutions to successfully address the needs of our public schools. See more at www.geauxteacher.com and vote for #26 LEE BARRIOS for BESE.

Posted by LeeBarrios on 10/09/2011 at 6:17 PM

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