This week the Department of Education issued its report card on the quality of our schools and it shows we've got a lot of work to do to make sure that all our students are getting a great education.
We've made some progress. Had this grading system been in place in 2007, approximately 55% of schools would have earned D's and F's. Today that number stands at 44% -- a 20% decline.
Unfortunately, that means 44% of our schools are failing. This is unacceptable and puts the need for reform in stark relief.
Now is not the time for excuses. Excuses won't cut it. Kids only grow up once.
We can no longer try the same old tired techniques and expecting different results. We need more innovation, more reform, and more improvement -- and we need it now.
In our next legislation session we will introduce an aggressive package of reforms that will confront our educational challenges head on and put the special interests which have tried to slow down comprehensive reform on notice that we will no longer tolerate failure.
Kids trapped in failing schools need more choices. Schools must be held accountable for their failure to educate our children to even basic grade level standards. And we must reward excellence -- in teachers and schools by expanding our value added program.
Make no mistake, education reform is on the ballot this year. If I'm fortunate enough to serve the people of Louisiana for the next four years, improving our schools will be my first order of business.
But, I can't do it alone. I need men and women committed to wholesale and transformative change in our education system. There are candidates on the ballot this year for the BESE Board and the State Legislature that want to work with us to better our schools. They need your support.
That's why this election is so important. Our kids deserve a quality education. Failure is not an option. It's time to shake things up. It's time for reform.
Governor Bobby Jindal