Sunday, April 28, 2013

ALEC Educational Policy - "Separate and Wholly Unequal" in Louisiana

The Louisiana Voice has been on top of the evilness of ALEC - since way back when.
Today they published an extra-ordinarily long - yet very information article, on how the "separate and wholly unequal" educational policies of the American Legislative Exchange Council have failed Louisiana.

EDITOR’S NOTE: LouisianaVoice traditionally addresses state political events as they occur. Our posts generally run between 1,000 and 1,500 words in length. Recently, however, attorney Nancy Picard, a Metairie law firm partner, submitted the following 4,000-word essay that examines the complicated, confusing and controversial odyssey of Louisiana public education policy since Hurricane Katrina. We found her research to be so thorough and the topic so timely, that we felt it imperative that we run her essay, despite its length, with only minimal editing.

Guest column: 
A writer recently hailed federal and state education reform as a new civil rights movement. But the word reform, which means “the improvement . . . of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory,” can hardly be applied to the recent changes in educational law. Most of these changes are not for the better. Instead, they create a separate and wholly unequal educational system masquerading as choice, which serves to destabilize and discredit public schools in the name of improvement and to make state funds accessible to a wide range of individuals and corporations with little or no oversight.

Educational service companies are promoted by ideologically driven lobbying organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which gained notoriety for providing the model for Florida’s Stand Your Ground legislation. ALEC has as members some 2000 state legislators and corporate executives. From 2001 through 2010, ALEC companies spent more than $3 million in Louisiana political campaigns, including almost $132,000 to Governor Jindal.

ALEC drafts model bills on topics ranging from privatizing prisons, to toughening voter ID laws, encouraging privately-owned pensions, and opposing environmental regulation. In 2011, the Center for Media and Democracy, released an extensive archive of ALEC‘s model amendments. The model legislation often advances the economic interest of member corporations. For example, the chief executive officer of Data Recognition—a big Louisiana testing contractor—has been a member of ALEC‘s leadership network.

ALEC‘s model education legislation includes privatizing education through vouchers, scholarships, charters, and tax incentives to businesses and individuals that furnish scholarships to private school; increasing public school testing and reporting; increasing access to all facets of education by private entities and corporations; and reducing the influence of democratically-elected local school boards and school districts.

The ALEC model legislation should sound familiar, because it is now Louisiana law.
Read the whole article

  ...  they create a separate and wholly unequal educational system masquerading as choice, which serves to destabilize and discredit public schools

What are ALEC legislators doing to public schools in your state>

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