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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

10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m. (Taping Tuesday, October 25)

Our Panelists:

• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

• Guest Host: Patricia Smith / Assistant to Dean of Political Science Dept., Southern University

Learn More!

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Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?

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