Louisiana Believes: Exclusion is the Best Policy

Do you remember your earliest years in school and receiving your first invitation from a classmate to attend their birthday party? What about the first time you discovered that a classmate had a birthday party and invited your classmates but didn’t invite you? It is generally the first experience that children have with exclusion. The older you get, the more you begin to recognize that the once collective group of your youth begins to splinter off into smaller groups with different levels of exclusivity, and some, inevitably become rivals. This is the exact scenario we see playing out in Louisiana’s Read More …

No Confirmation for John White

In life, we often pray for opportunity to come our way. Just as I have, I am certain that some of you have faced an opportunity that you didn’t take only to regret it later. This is an opportunity that the people of Louisiana cannot afford to miss. It has been confirmed that whether BESE addresses the appointment of a superintendent of education, or continues to neglect their responsibility and duty as an elected body, John White will be summoned to face a Senate confirmation. This process will begin in the Senate Governmental Affairs committee. If five members of the Read More …

Superintendent’s Contract: Sects, Lies and Videotape.

When John Bel Edwards won the gubernatorial runoff election in November 2015, teachers and parents across the state of Louisiana sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the exit of State Superintendent of Education, John White. Edwards, after all, was very vocal about his desire to see White replaced by a “Louisiana educator.” Here we are 15 months after Edwards took office and White’s contract expired. Alas, White is still here. Shortly after the November election, Mercedes Schneider wrote in her blog, John White’s Contract, about the anticipation of what was to come. She talks about the Read More …

Reading Recovery: There is Value in Research.

When the education reforms hit Louisiana hard in 2010 and 2011, I was a veteran teacher in my 10th year of teaching.  Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked in management for a major retailer for nearly 15 years. During that time, I developed the understanding that changes will always come down from the top, and if you expect to remain employed and successful, you go with the flow. Usually, things eventually swing back the other way. When I began to feel the effects of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s reforms in my classroom, I made the conscious decision to take the Read More …

What REALLY happened at the BESE Special Meeting?

By now, most of you have awaken to the news that Gov. John Bel Edwards’ effort to derail Louisiana’s education progress was blocked by BESE. As is usually the case, the media has shown its loyalty to the education reform movement and either failed to notice that Wednesday’s special meeting continued after the highly publicized vote, or they chose not to report on it. Either way, they have failed to deliver the true outcome of the meeting and what lies beneath the picture perfect ending painted by BESE. It is clear that only a small privileged number of BESE members Read More …

CPSB’s Change Order Chaos

A few hours ago, I got off the phone with a Calcasieu Parish Police Juror who said he saw something on KPLC.com about the Police Jury committing $50,000 to help defray some unexpected expenses for a project at Prien Lake Elementary. The project will help to alleviate some of the traffic problems. I explained to him that there were some issues with the language of the original bid involving tree removals and dirt work, and a change order was submitted for the increased work. I told him that the Police Juror, Dennis Scott, had spoken to the school board and gave Read More …

Don’t fall for the White lies.

Parents across the nation have let it be known that they do not want their children subjected to standardized test.  In 2015, Louisiana parents initiated a statewide opt-out movement. With just weeks to go before testing, and under immense pressure from districts, Supt. John White agreed not to penalize schools with large opt-outs. Schools with 10% or more students opting out would receive the same score they received the previous year. Of course, schools with up to 10% were penalized, although technically the law didn’t allow penalties until 5%, but that’s another story. The most notable districts with opt-outs were Read More …

Slow your roll, Mr. White.

State education agencies across the nation have been preparing their waiver plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in December 2015. A draft ESSA plan has been submitted to the governor for review, and Superintendent John White is pressing forward with intent to submit the plan to U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) in April. USDOE had originally issued a timeline of implementation with April as the deadline submission. That date was later extended to September. There has been much resistance to an April submission from the Accountability Commission, Superintendent’s Advisory, Louisiana Principal’s Association, Louisiana School Board Association, Louisiana Read More …

Off Contract And At Will

There’s an old saying that people use when they want to tell someone to do what they are tasked to do, or move on so someone else can. Maybe someone could help me remember? It might be of interest to the people of Louisiana that Superintendent of Education, John White, is now on his 14th month of working month to month (off contract) per the terms of his contract which expired January 11th, 2016. For a better understanding of what this means, I’ve included an excerpt from Revised Statute 17:21, down below. This statute addresses the Superintendent of Education. (Click here to Read More …

How does it feel Rep. Amedee?

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved the new Louisiana Student Standards for Science with a 9-0 vote. A committee was established to review and establish the new standards. My guess is that the members of the review committee were carefully selected to guarantee a predetermined recommendation, and the sole dissenter was an unexpected anomaly. Since the beginning of the process, there has been much controversy surrounding public approval over the selection of the standards; mostly surrounding the presentation of the Theory of Evolution, Global Warming and the absence of any alternative theories. Read More …