Jindal on education: "Action needed now"

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor Jindal says he believes education reform is a "moral" imperative. But not everyone is on board with his aggressive plan.

Governor Jindal says student achievement begins with making sure there are good teachers in every classroom.  But that means some could lose their jobs if they don't make the grade in the governor's book.

The governor's plan for education reform aims to keep teachers on their toes by rewarding those who show they can help Louisiana's state of education and removing those who have not shown improvement. That means some teachers will be put on probation or lose their jobs based on how the state evaluates them. Some teachers are concerned they will be graded on how the school performs, rather than on their individual techniques in the classroom.

Jindal has acknowledged that poverty is a key factor in student performance. He wants to give children who come from low income households more options, including taking them out of failing schools.

The governor wants to implement a "scholarship program" which would include giving students in failing public schools a voucher to attend a private school. Their parents would fill out an application for the school of their choice. The State Department of Education would review the application, see if the student qualifies, then contact the school and see if there is space available. Some members of the public school system have spoken against it, stating the public school system will lose money with each child who leaves, which could domino into a loss in resources for schools that need it most.

Also under Jindal's plan, if a school fails for three years, parents can ask a recovery school district charter to take over.

44 percent of Louisiana's public schools were marked with a grade of a "D" or "F" last year.

Jindal responded to the teacher's objections saying, "Action is needed now."

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