ROLPH MCCOLLISTER EXPLAINS THE CHANGING LOUISIANA SCHOOL SYSTEM

Rolfe McCollister, CEO and publisher of the Baton Rouge Business Report and campaign treasurer and transition chairman for Governor Jindal explained the recently enacted education law, what the laws entail, and the obstacles that impede the evolutionary changes that these laws implement.

Rolfe explained that our historical tenure based, seniority ruled education system from the sixties has failed.  The old system promoted seniority, rather than performance.  This impeded advancement for hard working teachers and instilled complacency. Furthermore he explained how the old system, condemned kids to the school districts based on zip code, regardless of the quality of the school.  This left many hardworking students in failing schools.

Rolfe explained how the new system creates competition, and thus growth. The new system promotes teachers not based on length of time in the system, but rather based on student performance.  Furthermore, if a teacher’s performance falls and stays below par, after a probationary period, they lose tenure.

Rolfe explains how the new system allows choice in school selection. The new scholarship program allows low income students with good grades in a low performing school to take the money the state pays to educate them, and attend a school of there choosing.  The charter system allows parents to create, maintain, and run schools so long as they meet certain government standards.  These schools can receive governmental funding if public school kids choose to go to the charter schools rather than the public schools. The virtual school system allows students to attend school online.  These changes mean that state dollars follow the student rather than the school, and therefore, if schools do not recruit and retain students, they go away.   As Rolfe stated, for any business or professional team to be successful, competition and performance based promotion are necessary, which is what our schools systems need.

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