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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

     03/18 - Making Schools Safe

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion?
The school shooting in Broward County Florida that took the lives of 17 people has reignited the debate over how to make our schools safe. Energized students nationwide are calling for restricted access to certain guns. Congress is considering broader background checks and age limits on gun purchases. President Donald Trump is most enthusiastic about training school staff members to carry concealed weapons.

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion? How would gun control proposals affect the 45% of Louisianans who own guns? What mental health services are available to prevent teenagers from acting out violently? What increased security measures should schools take and how much will they cost? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Making Schools Safe” airing Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and WLAE in New Orleans. (Taping Tuesday, March 27.)
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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Recent Topics

     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state? Take the survey!

     01/18 - Early Education Matters

Should early childhood education be a priority?

     12/17 - Healthy New Year! (Encore)

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

     10/17 - HIV/AIDS in Louisiana

How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?
»»» View all Topics!
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