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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Lee Barrios
Public Education Activist

Lee Barrios was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as an “Air Force brat” who lived in numerous states and Europe. She worked in the private sector for 25 years, raised three children, and then returned to school to become a teacher at the age of 45. Ms. Barrios has an undergraduate degree in English and Journalism Education and received a M.Ed., in Secondary Education. She attained National Board Certification in 2003 and was Louisiana PTA State Educator of Distinction 2004/05.

Ms. Barrios’ degree in English and Journalism Education qualified her for a part time position as “stringer” for The Advocate, the only daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has since free-lanced and writes her own blog at http://www.geauxteacher.net.

Since retiring in 2010, Ms. Barrios has worked as a full-time advocate and public education activist both locally and nationally. She was invited to work with a group of local school board members and educators in 2010 to investigate the growing “reform” movement in our state. That work grew into the formal organization of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education of which she is a founding member serving with union leaders, school board members, district superintendents, researchers, educators and community leaders.

Ms. Barrios has done extensive public speaking as an advocate for public education and ran for the Louisiana State Board for Elementary & Secondary Education “BESE” in 2011. Her work includes lobbying, organizing events, public speaking, writing, testifying at public meetings, and traveling extensively to assist individuals and organizations. She became involved with Save Our Schools in 2011 and attended the first national convention and march in Washington. Ms. Barrios was invited to join the current SOS Steering Committee early in 2012. She assisted in organizing The Peoples Convention in Washington that same year.

Ms. Barrios is opposed to the Common Core State Standards primarily because “they are inextricably attached to a high stakes standardized test which requires adherence to a standardized curriculum.” It’s Ms. Barrios’ belief that the standardization of curriculum over time not only impedes the development of divergent thinking, which is essential to the creative process, but also promulgates the deterioration of the naturally occurring divergent thinking capability that every pre-schooler possesses. To put it simply, Ms. Barrios says, “We are forcing children to learn one answer to a question rather than encouraging them to devise and examine many solutions to problems.”

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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