John White, Louisiana’s new superintendent of education, seems to be leading the way in providing our state the type of educational system that will serve its future. Such a system would be primarily aimed at giving our kids careers that will provide for their families and expand the economy of our state.
This would help assure Louisiana of attracting the type of industries that will provide high level jobs. Education needed to run the economy in the 21st century doesn’t stop at high school. It goes through trade school and college with specialties that adapt to our changing times. But basic education provides the qualities that allow students to benefit from higher education.
White has pointed out that, beginning in 2014-2015, standards will demand students attain deeper critical-thinking skills and greater ability to read complex texts. "These reading, writing and math standards align with 21st century workforce demands: graduates who can read, think and clearly express themselves," he said.
Because of this, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has adopted national "Common Core" standards that will provide it.
White further maintains that the state cannot ask district and school leaders to achieve greatness while tying their hands. Spending for Washington-mandated programs is senseless when our principals and local superintendents know what’s best for their students. The state is requesting flexibility that will allow them to pursue programs most important to our students’ achievements.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is clearly behind White in putting our educational system in this direction. And it looks good for the future of our state and the people who will live here in the future.