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Louisiana education protest
Teachers wait to get into the Louisiana Capitol. (@LAEducators)

Education reform bills that would scapegoat teachers rather than actually improving schooling in Connecticut and Louisiana drew rather different demonstrations this week. In Louisiana, many schools canceled classes as teachers traveled to Baton Rouge to protest Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to expand charter schools, make it easier to fire teachers and implement a voucher privatization program. Hundreds of teachers gathered at the state Capitol to lobby against the bill—but they had trouble getting inside:

State policy and legislative security officials conceded that they restricted access to two of the three Capitol entrances usually open to the public. Only staff and credentialed news media and lobbyists could enter through those doors. That left just one entrance, at the top of the front steps, with the assembled teachers funneled through one metal detector.
A Louisiana House committee approved the charter expansion and voucher program, paving the way to take money out of the public schools and lessen accountability.

Connecticut's Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has an education plan that's bad, but not as bad as Jindal's—corporate education reform superstar Michelle Rhee came to Connecticut to push for its passage, but also told the Hartford Courant that the bill is just "a good first step." Rhee's StudentsFirst organization, which claims 15,000 members in the state, joined with other education reform groups to hold a rally in favor of the bill. By contrast with the hundreds who turned out in Louisiana and despite those 15,000 alleged members, this rally drew 75 people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Jindal... (8+ / 0-) talking lessons from Scott Walker on how to deal with the public.

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - My late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:29:53 AM PDT

  •  So these teachers... (0+ / 0-)

    managed to shut down 4 entire school systems to participate in political lobbying, and they wonder why these governors wish to limit their power?

    •  When would you suggest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Are you able to find legislators in a state house at night or on the weekend? When are these workers supposed to go protest?

      •  Do you have a job? (0+ / 0-)

        Would you and the entire staff at your company be allowed to go picket, lobby and protest; and to shutdown the business for an entire day? You expect to be allowed to do that without repercussions?

        •  I teach (0+ / 0-)

          And as a worker, it is my right to strike and protest against legislative moves that impact my job.  We'd all be at risk of death at work and have no income from which to live if the labor movement didn't take actions like this time and time again.  

    •  The words you are looking for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Mostel26

      are 'democracy' and 'citizenship'. That's what happens when corporate lobbyists push for deeply unpopular, counterproductive policies.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

      by David Kaib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 05:47:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No.. (0+ / 0-)

        The words I was looking for were "having a job" and "responsibility".

        •  Your version of responsibility (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, Mostel26

          apparently means being a subject, not a citizen. Thankfully, Americans rejected that view in 1776.

          Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

          by David Kaib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 05:53:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So the American Revolution (0+ / 0-)

            was about having the freedom to abandon your jobs en masse and to close down your place of work without consequence?

            Why are you not concerned about the lack of education on that day?

            •  Why are you not concerned with the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              lack of public education every other day, if the privatizers get their way? But actually, I think students got an important lesson about public education and democracy - there was plenty of educating going on.

              As to your question - the American Revolution was about not being subjects.  You can tell that because it's what I wrote.

              It strikes me you are very concerned with teachers engaging in an extraordinary act to resist the everyday power of corporate lobbyists to dismantle public education and thereby shift public money into private hands.  I'm a concerned more about the latter.  

              Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

              by David Kaib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 07:12:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  ha ha ha ha ha (0+ / 0-)

              So your advice would have been sit down, shut up, and don't worry about any representation in Parliament?

  •  LA LA Land (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunny skies, Mostel26, Amber6541

    So, the GOP governor wants to privatize public schools. IOW, the rich whites in LA want the taxpayers to pay the education costs for their entitled children.

    This sham has nothing at all to do with public schools versus charter/private schools. After all, once Jindal manages to close these awful public schools, where will all those fired teachers end up? You betcha ... at the new c/p schools that are established. So what exactly will be different for the children? Nothing.

    Who wins when public schools are destroyed? Not the poor, who cannot afford to send their children to c/p schools. Not the middle class, who in a down economy might be forced to save for college rather than spend for middle/high school. The winner is the wealthy, who now can have their children's tuition costs borne by the general population, preserving their cash flow.

    It will be comical to read about how all those horrible, incompetent teachers now ruining public schools are doing so well at the c/p schools. Maybe the GOP will commission easier state exams for those new c/p schools so that it can prove to the public that it was right.

    And once again, the children gain nothing.

  •  This post reminds us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that on education, many Democrats are part of the problem. Rhee lead a urban school district where Republicans are almost nonexistent.  Malloy is a Democratic governor is a very blue state.  When both parties are pushing bad policy, electoral politics is not the solution.  We have to find a way to ensure that those who claim to represent us do so.  

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

    by David Kaib on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 05:50:40 AM PDT

  •  Jindal has a partner with this administration, (0+ / 0-)

    Louisiana wins Race to the Top education grant

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