Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wants to cut the red tape keeping
local schools and districts from achieving greater student success with
his new four-year waiver proposal--but he’s attaching one big string.
Under his plan, basically any state law or regulation that does not
concern federal requirements, student safety, accountability, or
graduation rules is on the table. The twist? Failing schools or
districts that a) choose not to apply for a waiver or b) do get a
waiver, but fail to make significant gains in student achievement, will
be taken over by the state. This means they will be added to the
state-run Recovery School District, which currently controls most of New
Orleans’ schools and a handful of others across the state, including
thirty such strugglers that have already been given to RSD; another
twenty-four have agreements with RSD pending achievement improvement.
Sounds like the rumors
that the RSD was here to stay were true. Can’t say we’re disappointed.
In fact, with RSD’s track record, it sounds like a win-win situation for
schools looking to try something new.
“Jindal Proposes Waivers From Education Laws,” The Associated Press, February 5, 2010
“Governor Jindal Announces Red Tape Reduction Act to Empower Educational Leaders to Improve Performance in Schools,” Press Release, Office of the Governor of Louisiana, February 4, 2010