CUNNINGHAM: It Ain’t The Test, Jay

“I’ve been told I’m on the LABI hit list,” said state Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, who scored an F but hasn’t drawn an opponent yet for the fall elections. “If everybody flunks the test, there’s something wrong with the test.”

That quote comes from Jay Morris in an incredibly quotable piece in the Shreveport Times talking about the fact that he scored so low on the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry Score Card. 25%, actually. He voted correctly one out of eight times on the AFP-scored LouisianaScorecard.com (that’s 12.5% if it were graded). Morris is convinced the test is bad or broken since so many people scored so badly.

See, when it comes to tests, it’s usually not the test’s fault if something goes awry in the results. Usually, it’s the instructor’s fault for creating a test that’s too hard or for not giving the class the instruction necessary to pass the test. The latter is the case when it comes to the legislature, and there are multiple instructors to blame: us.

It’s our job to instruct the legislators of the state in what we want them to do. We do this every four years in an election. These legislators, however, often see no remediation when they screw up – they’re allowed to pass the class even if they fail every test. When we let them pass the class, we are making them think what they did was okay, and they keep doing it.

So, when Jay Morris says the test is wrong, it causes us to shake our heads in bewilderment because there is no way a guy who is supposed to be Republican would vote the way he did in the legislative session. But, as we see in some of our school districts, there are instances of students who are passing who, perhaps, should not be. He isn’t being made to pay a penalty for his mistakes like you and I would if we got a failing grade in school or in our jobs. But Jay’s instructor/supervisor isn’t doing their job of holding him accountable.

The Times’ story hints that LABI may be working to endorse some opponents to those who failed the test. That’s a good first step, but a lot more voter awareness and participation is going to be vital to retain Morris come the next time class is in session.

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