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Education Reform (1985)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1985-01-18

Duration: 00:26:56

Subjects: Education | Edwards, Edwin W. | TEACHERS | Merit pay | High school dropouts | Louisiana. State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Johnson, Ken Reporter
  • Ekings, Robyn Reporter
  • Shanker, Al Speaker
  • Bueto, Diane Interviewee
  • Landry, Claire Interviewee
  • Budd, Virginia Interviewee
  • Steimel, Ed Interviewee
  • Arceneaux, William Interviewee
  • Jackson, Alphonse Interviewee
  • Edwards, Edwin Speaker
  • Cetron, Marvin Speaker
  • Graham, Bob Speaker
  • Perot, H. Ross Speaker
  • Bares, Allen Interviewee
  • Brinkhaus, Armand Interviewee
  • Miller, Melanie Interviewee
  • Davis, Mona Interviewee
  • Pliner, Emogene Interviewee
  • Epling, Carrel Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” from January 18, 1985, focuses on the need to improve the public education system in Louisiana. Ken Johnson first presents a soundbite from Al Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, discussing the quality of teachers in Louisiana. Robyn Ekings then reports on the major problems facing the state’s public education system, including: poor teacher pay; the lowest high school graduation rate in the country; the 50% of college students who require remedial education in one or more subjects; the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) passing tougher high school graduation requirements; and Louisiana State University (LSU) implementing selective admissions in 1988. She interviews: Diane Bueto, former teacher; Dr. Claire Landry, BESE Board member; Virginia Budd, the president of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE); Ed Steimel, the president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI); Commissioner of Higher Education William Arceneaux; and State Representative Alphonse Jackson. Next, Ken Johnson reports on the Governor’s Conference on Education, a three-day gathering of educators, legislators, and business leaders. His report features highlights from the speeches of Governor Edwin Edwards, Dr. Marvin Cetron, the president of Forecasting International, Florida Governor Bob Graham, and education reform leader H. Ross Perot. Johnson also interviews State Senators Allen Bares and Armand Brinkhaus. Lastly, Ekings reports on the ongoing work on Governor Edwards’ merit pay plan for teachers. She interviews: Melanie Miller, kindergarten teacher; Mona Davis, the chairwoman of the Career Ladder Commission (the group putting together the plan); Emogene Pliner, the vice president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana and a member of the commission; and Carrel Epling, the president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Host: Beth Courtney