Rather than pursue home grown education solutions to improve state schooling, much of Governor Bob McDonnell’s education “reform” proposals have mirrored policies pushed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. As McDonnell appears with Jindal today to promote their plans for school “recovery districts”, it might be useful to review the programs’ outcomes in Louisiana.
- Recent Education Week evaluation ranked Virginia 4th nationally for educational policy and performance. In contrast, Louisiana, whose model McDonnell is following, scored significantly lower and was ranked 23rd overall. [Education Week 2012 State Report Cards]
- The recovery school district model, which McDonnell has labeled “Opportunity Educational Institutions”, remove community decision makers from oversight over local schools while opening the door for for-profit and charter operators to take over with little accountability.
- Research conducted by Kristen Buras of Georgia State University’s Department of Educational Policy Studies found student achievement did not improve in Louisiana’s Recovery School Districts (RSD). [National Education Policy Center]
- A separate legislative audit report found the RSD did not effectively monitor performance of the charter school operators. [National Education Policy Center]
- Louisiana’s RSD was sued because charter school operators were not admitting low-income and special education students. [National Public Radio]
- The Georgia State University study also found lawmakers continually changed the goal posts for failing schools, shunting more schools into the RSD and into the hands of charter school operators. [National Education Policy Center]