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Monday, February 27, 2017
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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


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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»»» View all Topics!
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