Mary Landrieu

No-duh. No, like really, that was Sen. Mary Landrieu’s response to a state district judge’s ruling against Gov. Bobby Jindal’s statewide voucher program. Okay, so maybe she didn’t exactly say “no-duh.” Actually, her comment was this:

“It is no surprise that State District Judge Tim Kelley today ruled the unnecessarily aggressive and overreaching statewide voucher program unconstitutional. A strategic use of state-funded vouchers could be appropriate, but this diversion of public education dollars was a step too far and diminishes resources for meaningful reform efforts already underway at the local level. Judge Kelley was correct in setting appropriate limits.”

Can’t help but find it odd that Sen. Landrieu, who has been such a huge proponent of the miscalculated and overvalued education reform movement that has engulfed our city and is spreading across the state essentially said she wasn’t shocked when a judge ruled that a statewide voucher program was unconstitutional.

If she wasn’t surprised, if she knew it all along, why not speak up and speak out earlier. Why not use her clout and influence to stop it from happening in the first place. Or could it be that she only was surprised because somebody in this state finally had the nerve to say “wait a minute” and dared to stop this train wreck of so-called education reform in Louisiana that has manifested itself with the proliferation of charter schools in New Orleans topped off by the expansion of the voucher program that uses public money to pay private school tuition.

Well, maybe, just maybe, the Senator might pause the next time she holds New Orleans up as some sort of national model in education reform. Maybe she will slow her roll the next time she decides to recruit so-called education reform architects to our city like Paul Vallas who only stayed a short while before following the next disaster. Or maybe she will wait until this system of privatized, selective charter schools have failed every one of our children and left them without any hope for the future before she decides that she isn’t surprised that the wholesale chartering of public education was a “step too far”.

The New Orleans Tribune

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