Writer says elected officials responsible for State’s public education being at bottom

This letter published in the Feb. 17, 2022, print edition. Send your letters to the editor to jgray@natchitochestimes.com

Dear Editor,

The La. Department of Education recently released the school performance scores of every school in the state. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently approved an increase in the level of academic achievement that students must attain for a school to be labeled “Good.” Since 2010, our education system has been jolted, year after year, with education reforms in the name of improving educational outcomes and closing the performance gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

Superintendent John White has driven these reforms every step of the way despite objection from parents, teachers, administrators and superintendents. Still, even with new academic standards, a tougher teacher evaluation, a new assessment and now, “higher expectations,” Louisiana remains at the bottom of the barrel in education. Until our elected officials acknowledge that the problem with education does not lay within the four walls of the classroom, nothing will change. In the very near future, we will be overwhelmed with political ads for candidates running for school board, BESE and the Louisiana legislature. We must ask every incumbent and challenger if they intend to allow the harming of our children to continue. We must inform them that their ability to get elected, or re-elected, depends on their answer.

We can no longer allow business and industry to determine the future of our children. Elected officials tend to not want to get involved because it’s too political. They chose to be a politician. Remember, school boards choose superintendents and curriculum. BESE chooses the state superintendent and standards. The legislature makes the laws. If your elected official doesn’t actively resist what is happening to our children, then elect someone who will.

Haney Arsement, L​ake Charles