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Election 2015: BESE District 2 – Orange Jones vs. Washington Who Should Come First: Children or Adults?

Two Democrats are facing off in BESE’s District 2 race: incumbent Kira Orange Jones versus political newcomer Kara Washington.

Orange Jones, who lives in New Orleans, leads Teach For America’s work in the region. Since unseating Louella Givens in 2011, Orange Jones has emerged as a champion of common sense education reform policies on BESE, as well as a strong supporter of both charter schools and early childhood education. She was also named one of the “100 Most Influential People” by Time magazine this year.

District 2 covers parts of Assumption, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes.
District 2 covers parts of Assumption, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes.

Washington, who hails from St. Charles Parish, is an assistant principal in St. Rose. She is part of the anti-reform Flip BESE slate which wants to roll back the progress our public schools have made in recent years. For example, when asked what she thought needed to be done with failing schools at a candidate forum on Tuesday, Washington replied:

“I need my job. I love my job. I went to school for my job. I don’t need anybody from Baton Rouge telling me that I’m ineffective and pushing me out.”

Obviously, Kara Washington wants to take Louisiana’s public schools back to a time when the prerogatives of adults took precedence over the education of children. However, our children should always come first, that’s why voters in District 2 should support Kira Orange Jones on October 24th.

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Written by Peter Cook

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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