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Sunday, February 26, 2017
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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


     02/17 - 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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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Sunday, February 26, 2017
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