Diane Ravitch on the Jindal Reform Proposal
What was the reform proposal put forward by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal? Jindal has proposed (according to the National Review, a conservative publication) that there should be a huge expansion of the "voucher program" (Brennan, 2012). Voucher programs pay tuition for students attending private schools which of course take students away from public schools. In Louisiana there are about 400,000 students (about "half of Louisiana's public-school population") eligible for vouchers because their schools receive bad grades (C, D, or F) from the state. Also, Jindal proposed that there be "greater accountability" for teachers, Brennan writes; what he is actually saying is that the present teacher salary system would be dumped and a "more merit-and-accountability system" would be installed in its place (Brennan, p. 2).
Moreover, teacher tenure will be "reformed" so that principals and superintendents will have additional decision-making "discretion"; in other words, power will be taken from unions and given to bureaucrats within the state educational system, and tenure for teachers will be based on a new strategy that is, teachers will have earn "highly effective ratings" five out of six years to achieve tenure (Brennan, p. 2).
Jindal's Reform Package Issues and Criticisms
Andrew Vanacore writes in the Times-Picayune that some teachers do not accept the Jindal plan to change tenure, in part because teachers