Watch Kennedy’s comments here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today spoke on the Senate floor about improving education in Louisiana schools.
“Louisiana, like all of our states, is working as hard as we can to improve K through 12, elementary and secondary education. . . . Our problem in America is elementary and secondary education, and it’s frustrating, Mr. President. We've made some improvements but not nearly enough. . . . Now here's our problem today: Some years ago we started grading our schools, Mr. President. We grade our schools in Louisiana, our elementary and secondary schools, for two reasons. First, because we want education quality. Number two, transparency,” said Kennedy.
“But here's the problem: 41 percent of our elementary and middle schools get A's and B's. I think that's probably pretty accurate. We’re going to get that number up, those grades up. But about 41 percent of our elementary and middle schools grade A or B. Seventy percent of our high schools grade A or B. Something's not meshing here. I wish I could say that 70 percent of our high schools were A and B schools, but we all know in Louisiana that they are not,” he continued.
“It's not just money. . . . In Louisiana, we spend about $12,000 per year, per child. Now that's a lot of money in my state, given the standard cost of living. By way of comparison, Florida spends about $10,000,” explained Kennedy.
“Let's work together. Let's look reality in the eye and accept it. Let's understand that we need a new methodology to try to grade our schools. Let's look reality in the eye and accept the fact that our parents deserve to know the quality of school that their kids are attending. And let's come up with a new system that is accurate but that is fair to everybody. And let's stop blaming people and regretting yesterday and start creating tomorrow. Because . . . the future of my state is education. It's not the price of oil. It’s not the unemployment rate. It's not who the senators are. It’s education,” Kennedy concluded.
View Kennedy’s full speech here.