Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at
Education has been undergoing quite the revolution in the last several years. Admittedly, in Louisiana, we’ve not been the most consistent at revamping our educational structure. As a teacher and a political commentator, all this talk of standards and Common Core and Bobby Jindal this and David Vitter that… well, it gets a little cumbersome.
The Common Core debate is so incredibly nuanced that, at times, we lose sight of what it actually is, does, and could do. This is because of various power structures, largely bipartisan I might add, that are committed to representing interests over people.
In Natchitoches and the surrounding parishes, we have a chance to try and elect someone to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who isn’t a rabid supporter or a rabid opposer of Common Core State Standards (or whatever they will be called when the state is done rewriting them). There is an election coming up in which we have a chance to get a more active, thoughtful, and ultimately practical BESE group to get to work on revamping the education system in the state.
One member of the Natchitoches community is running for the BESE District 4 seat, and he is someone I know has the best interests of the education system at heart. Tony Davis, the President and CEO of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, qualified for the race last week.
If you don’t know, under Davis’ guidance, the Chamber has done a lot to increase educational opportunities in Natchitoches Parish. He secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to fund various STEM-related programs in the area, and has put into place a very pro-education mentality in the community.
Education reform is, of course, not something that just happens in a few years. But it’s time that we as a state went beyond the talking points of Common Core and actually began working on solutions. Tony Davis is the kind of man who can have that conversation, and he is the kind of man that would make sure students, their parents, and the education system all benefit when a solid plan is implemented properly.
It is paramount that the Natchitoches community supports Tony Davis for BESE 4 this year.