October 26, 2011
Gov. Bobby Jindal earned plenty of political capital with his commanding reelection victory Saturday. Now the governor is vowing to use some of it to focus on education reform during the first year of his second term.
The governor promised to release details of his education agenda in the future, and Louisianians need to be able to consider the specifics of Gov. Jindal’s plans. But he said his main areas of concern will include giving parents more choices in where their children can attend school, giving them more information about schools to help them make decisions and expanding teacher evaluations to reward educators who improve student achievement.
Those are three important areas of reform, and the governor is right to highlight them.
The educational transformation in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina has greatly expanded parents’ choices and improved student performance. But that work has only begun, and it’s important that it continues here and in other parts of the state where children have not been served well.
As the governor noted, “We have made great progress as a state; we have a lot of more work to do.”
The governor is also signaling that he plans to be more involved in pushing for his legislative agenda next year — and that’s needed as well. Too often during his first term, Gov. Jindal seemed to not give sufficient priority to the legislative process. That limited what he was able to accomplish.
The governor will need to remain engaged to expand education reforms, as he’s sure to find some opposition. But most Louisiana parents want and deserve a better education for their children — and that’s what the governor must pursue.