Sometimes while it is in session, our Legislature reminds me of a pleasant day at the zoo. There is always something going on.
Unfortunately such a light-hearted viewpoint does not apply to the ridiculous idea of House Bill 646 being sponsored by Rep. Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge. I don’t know where Smith has been in regards to education in Louisiana for, say, the last 30 years, but it must not have been from a very good vantage point.
As a former educator of 27 years, I, along with every teacher who has nobly pursued efforts to educate students, can tell you that the No. 1 problem in our public schools is not funding. It’s not shortage of materials. It’s not class size nor (sorry Gov. Jindal and Superintendent White) even teacher competence.
It’s discipline. By that I mean discipline in the sense of teachers and principals being allowed to implement effective policies that will weed out habitually unruly students so that those students wanting to learn can receive undisturbed instruction. Yet, here we have Smith doing her best to protect the consistent troublemakers in the classroom with such a misguided proposal as HB646 that will, once again, in time place more burden on teachers and hamstring administrators from invoking the one thing most missing in today’s classrooms — control.
The bill is wrought with terms such as “flexibility in design” and “in-school intervention” so that these discipline problems can remain “fully engaged.” What garbage! These terms are easily recognized buzzwords that will result in yet another layer of allowing problem students to know they will be given one undeserved chance after another to return to classrooms they so enjoy disrupting again and again. Hopefully our Legislature in its wisdom (if it has any) will send HB646 to a quick death.
It’s a shame that while Gov. Bobby Jindal and Secretary John White continue their witch hunt to chase teachers from classrooms, we have in the Legislature Rep. Smith trying to pass legislation that will again destroy any teacher’s desire to want to be in a classroom. Teachers of this state, I feel for you.
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