The time has long past to give control of our classrooms back to our teachers and to give the control of schools back to our principals. School systems should be under the control of local school boards who are then accountable to the voters.
Overregulation of schools by state agencies has brought the progress of both public and private schools to a grinding halt. Schools are handicapped from the start, and they desperately need the flexibility and autonomy to make the decisions at a local level that are best for themselves and their communities.
Behavioral problems also plague the schools and make it extremely difficult for good teachers to succeed. I will work to create classroom environments where the misbehavior of a few is not allowed to destroy the education of the rest. For this favorable learning environment to happen, clear-cut and consistent consequences for unacceptable behavior must be established. Effective discipline must deter disruptive behavior. If we are not serious, the students will know. Now is the time for action, not just words. Our teachers deserve no less.
In addition, we must acknowledge that not all students are college-bound; vocational training should be introduced and offered as a legitimate and honorable career path.
I will work to reduce the overwhelming and burdensome paperwork teachers must maintain as they struggle to focus on teaching effectively. I will work to eliminate inefficiency and overlapping of jobs. I will consider any reasonable innovations designed to cut waste and improve academic outcomes. We should reward good teachers, eliminate poor ones, and grant principals the authority to make these decisions.
Sadly, we are paying for our failure in education through rising delinquency, crime, and despair. Where there is no hope, there is no future. I will attack the real problems in education, and not just insist on more money. Louisiana children deserve no less.
Our approach to education must be restructured from the classroom up. Our most precious asset is our children, and we are failing them. They are not being prepared to meet the challenges of a competitive job market. They are not ready to enter the workforce or to realize their dreams of a secure future. This grave situation must change.