State education leader ready for task

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Recently I begin my service to Louisiana as state superintendent of education.

I am deeply humbled, as more than 600,000 children from every corner of the state are counting on my leadership. My vision for education is to provide an excellent educational opportunity for each child in every school. I believe that many share this vision, including the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and our other leaders throughout the State. I intend to work as diligently and thoughtfully as I can to pursue our vision of excellence.

Excellent educational opportunities for all of our children is a tall order for Louisiana. After all, we have made great progress in reforming our educational system by adopting one of the best accountability systems in the country, yet we still have too many schools that are chronically low performing, and we have not been able to dramatically reduce the dropout rate.

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Still, we must pursue excellence. It will not be easy, but we will never achieve excellence unless we pursue it relentlessly. There are powerful best practices and proven research on which we will focus which can overcome even difficult poverty conditions. We need to implement them systemically throughout our state.

Over the next 30 days, I will travel around our state visiting with as many fellow citizens as possible. I will share my vision for education in Louisiana and listen to their hopes as well as the concerns so that we may collectively achieve an excellent educational opportunity for all.

Paul G. Pastorek

State Superintendent of Education