An editorial writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote a scathing critique of Governor Bobby Jindal’s reform legislation: the haste with which it was adopted, the lack of forethought, the approval of schools to receive voucher students even though they had no facilities, the diversion of public money to private schools, the lack of accountability for private schools getting public money, and Jindal’s refusal to allow tax breaks for those who make donations to public schools (tax breaks only for contributions to private schools). The editorial expressed appreciation for the fact that legislators were starting to ask tough questions, but concluded it would have been better had they asked tough questionsbefore they voted approval for the legislation, rather than afterwards.
Not brooking any dissent, the Governor’s communication director responded with an email. His defense to every question raised: Look how terrible the academic performance of students in public schools is. Look how many received a D or an F last year (44 percent). Look how terrible the American education system is. Look how many nations got higher test scores than the U.S. in the latest international test. Companies that move to Louisiana can’t find skilled workers. Children get only one chance. We can’t wait.
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