The Louisiana Association of Educators, the state’s largest teacher union, is urging the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to conduct a transparent, statewide search for Louisiana’s next superintendent of education. The group says in a press release it is opposed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s choice to succeed interim Superintendent Ollie Tyler, who recently left the state Department of Education:

The Louisiana Constitution sets forth specific criteria to fulfill when examining prospects for the state’s education superintendent. This only reinforces the importance of applying a thoughtful examination of qualified candidates in order to select the best fit for the leader of Louisiana’s public schools. [LAE President Joyce] Haynes expressed her discontent with BESE moving forward with the governor’s choice of John White, saying the selection would be ignoring a state pool of excellent and experienced education administrators, well-versed in our state’s history and needs.

“To forego a rigorous search and focus on one name is careless. This shows a lack of interest on the part of BESE to provide an equal opportunity for women and minorities who are qualified to compete for the position,” she said. “Surely the paramount importance of selecting the superintendent who will lead the state’s 70 school districts deserves no less than a well-planned process and shared examination.”

At his inauguration at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge on Monday, Jindal reaffirmed his commitment to reforming public education in Louisiana.

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