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Panelist Bio


Michael Deshotels
Defenders of Public Education

Michael Deshotels is a retired educator who taught Physics and Chemistry in East Baton Rouge Parish and Zachary schools. His education career also included 20 years of service with the Louisiana Association of Educators. He served in the positions of Director of Research, Director of Field Services, and finally as Executive Director for the professional association.

He received his undergraduate degree in Science Education and a Masters degree in Education Supervision from Louisiana State University.

Following his retirement from active service, Mr Deshotels became interested in the causes of the high dropout rate of Louisiana students and conducted research, surveying and interviewing principals, guidance counselors and teachers. His research led him to support an initiative aimed at providing more career and technical education to high school students who did not intend to pursue a four year college diploma. His work concluded with the passage of legislation for the career diploma for Louisiana.

He now writes a weekly blog about education issues - http://louisianaeducator.blogspot.com - written from the point of view of education practitioners in Louisiana public schools. He has been critical of the school privatization efforts by the Jindal administration to expand charter schools and add school vouchers programs.

He recently launched the Defenders of Public Education project. The Defenders of Public Education is a growing list of educators and parents who participate in an email service Deshotels provides to keep them informed of education issues before BESE and the Legislature.

He is married to Donna Deshotels, also a professional educator, who served for 12 years on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.

Mike and Donna have three children and twelve grandchildren.

Current Topic


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

How will the lives of those who now have access to health care change?

Special Presentation


12/15 - Election 2015: An Analysis

What strategies did each of the major candidates use during the Governor's race?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


03/16 - Justice on Hold: Louisiana’s Public Defender Shortage

How serious of a problem is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana?

Recent Topics


01/16 - Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana

What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters?


11/15 - Living Below the Line

What is living in poverty like?


10/15 - Funding the Future: Early Childhood Opportunities

How can improving early childhood programs improve the state’s educational outcomes, workforce, and economics?


09/15 - Agenda Louisiana

What issues will candidates face and where do they stand?

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