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Louisiana Gov. Jindal touts education reform, slams teacher unions at CPAC

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took his push to overhaul his state’s school systems — and his fight with teachers unions — to Washington Saturday, telling a gathering of conservatives activists that unions are holding back his reforms.

Mr. Jindal, while speaking Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, touted his push to expand his state’s private school voucher program, streamline rules for charter school and to make it tougher for teachers at poor achieving schools to receive tenure.

He also lashed out at state’s teachers unions for opposing his plan to significantly link teacher compensation and tenure on teacher performance, saying that Louisiana now “basically pay(s) teachers for how long they’ve been breathing.”

“That’s like asking how the football game went without looking at the final score,” he said “Education reform has got to be about the children, not the adults.”

Louisiana’s teachers unions have pushed back at many of the governor’s past and proposed education forms. In particularly they oppose his proposal to tie teacher evaluations with what they say are misguided student test schools. The unions also say that poor student performance is partially the fault of inadequate funding — a problem they say has worsened because Mr. Jindal has redirected state money to the voucher program.

Mr. Jindal countered that the union’s “top down, elitist, bureaucratic-centered thinking” is hurting his state’s students.

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