Deyshia Hargrave is our Mockingjay!

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you don’t know who Deyshia Hargrave is, you might be living under a rock. On Monday, January 8th, Hargrave was in attendance at a Vermilion Parish School Board meeting in Abbeville, LA when she was removed from the meeting and arrested for questioning the reasoning behind giving the superintendent a $38,000 raise when the teachers haven’t had a raise in nearly ten years. She also happens to be a teacher employed by the Vermilion Parish School Board. Shortly after her arrest, I was contacted by teachers from Vermilion, Read More …

Teacher arrested for speaking against supt. contract and raise.

What you see in the featured photo at the top of this blog is a teacher in Vermilion Parish being arrested at a special meeting called by the Vermilion Parish School Board to present, discuss and vote on a contract renewal for Superintendent Jerome Puyau. For just under two years, Supt. Puyau has been employed without a contract. At the time that his contract expired, for whatever reason, the board was unable to reach a consensus on the contents of the contract. The Vermilion Parish School Board is comprised of eight members. For the better part of two years, four Read More …

Work when you’re awake. Sleep when you’re tired.

Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I often joke that the number one cause of divorce is…marriage. At no time has it been more apparent to me than today that the number one cause of death is…life. One cannot experience the torment of divorce without getting married anymore than one can succumb to death without having lived. Toward the end of my second grade year, and well into my third grade year, my father undertook the ambitious task of building a house for our family. With very little carpentry experience, a table saw, and a great Read More …

So you want choice? Choose.

Since 1936, the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) has been a tool used by Louisiana to lure business and industry to set up shop in Louisiana. The idea is that if businesses are free from the liability of property taxes, they can reinvest more capital into growth and expansion. In turn, this creates jobs, and when jobs are created, unemployment goes down and sales tax revenue goes up. At the time that ITEP was implemented, Louisiana was largely agrarian and rural with large industries settling near incorporated areas and creating a booming economy where there was none, before. Over the Read More …

Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt

In my senior year as an undergraduate, I took two sequential semesters of psychology covering both Child Psychology and Adolescent Psychology. They were both pretty challenging as far as elective courses go, but they provided an excellent foundation for the Cognitive Development and Psychology of Learning classes, as a graduate student. In his Eight Stages of Psycho-Social Development, Erik Erikson describes the stages of development that we experience from birth through old age. The second stage, commonly referred to as the “terrible twos,” is titled “Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt.” In this stage, toddlers struggle to declare and define their Read More …

Practicing sleight of hand.

One thing is certain, politics in Louisiana is nothing, if not interesting. One could design a doctorate program around the things that have happened inside the State Capitol. Kevin P. Reilly Sr. was a colorful legislator who was born in Boston, MA and married into the Lamar Advertising business. He served for 14 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives and held the cherished Chair of the Appropriations Committee until he was removed by Speaker of the House, John Alario, for publicly criticizing Gov. Edwin Edwards who later appointed him Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. These days, Read More …

Walking the legal tightrope.

Since it appears that all of the news media has either completely missed it, or has chosen not to report on it, I think it is worth noting that Senator John Milkovich has filed a second lawsuit in East Baton Rouge Parish on behalf of 13 plaintiffs to challenge John White’s authority to maintain the position of superintendent of education. Somehow, the letter of the law on this issue is crystal clear to most citizens of Louisiana, except for those who happen to hold a seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Schools (BESE). John White has a long Read More …

Comparing apples to oranges.

We’re all familiar with the term “accountability,” but do we really understand what it means as it relates to education? If you go back to the 1970s to the origins of the term, you’ll find that it referred to the framework and process of evaluating what produces the desire outcomes and reinforcing it while revising what doesn’t work. Jump forward to the 1990s, and it began to evolve into more of a contractual model where one party holds itself accountable to providing services that will produce a socially acceptable outcome. Here we are in the 2000s, and accountability has taken Read More …

Compromise where you can.

On Wednesday, October 18th, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) considered a number of policy changes related to accountability as it pertains to the Every Student Succeeds Act. Among the policies considered was the manner in which a student’s scaled score contributes points to a school’s performance score. Throughout the process of developing the ESSA plan, there was push back from groups representing various stakeholders such as parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, and school board, as well as the governor’s office. The main complaint being that Supt. White’s ESSA tour amounted to little more than a Q&A session, Read More …

The Value in Crime.

I have mentioned in several blogs that before entering the teaching profession, I worked in retail for nearly fifteen years. I worked in Loss Prevention starting part-time in college, then full-time when I couldn’t afford to continue my graduate studies. I eventually became loss prevention manager, and eventually a department manager. During that time, I witnessed everything from desperate mothers hiding a ham between their legs to feed their family to high profile socialites slipping jewelry in their purse because they suffer from kleptomania. I have seen a career employee ring up false returns to get money to pay their Read More …