One of the most recent strategies implemented by education reform groups is the push for “student centered” policies and the overuse of the term “adult agendas.” These phrases have spread like wildfire among ed reform groups in regards to the new Every Student Succeeds Act. You can generally find all of the usual participants in Louisiana reposting and retweeting propaganda that includes these phrases. I find the agenda statement to be comical and at odds with the supposed mission of some of these organizations. After all, children don’t have agendas; therefore, all agendas are adult.
Since the earliest days of the disastrous flooding in Baton Rouge, and most of the coastal parishes, the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL) has had their agenda. While I commend them for providing financial assistance to the many people in need, it is disheartening to know that their true agenda is to demonize teacher unions and increase their own membership by instilling a sense of debt and gratitude in teachers. I even went so far as to express to a lifetime A+PEL member, and current employee of Stand for Children, that it was a bit unprofessional to bash the other organizations that were raising money for a good cause while praising to the heavens how good yours is.
Today, A+PEL Executive Director, Keith Courville, decided that it was in the best interest of children to fabricate lies about teachers, principals and unions. Courville turned to ed reform blogger extraordinaire, Peter Cook, to get the story Cooking, and then proceeded to engage the usual culprits to spread the lies. Here is the original story. I want you all to read it.
Recently, the news has been filled with the dangers of fake news, and many articles have been published to raise awareness about fake news and how to spot it. There were a couple of things that stood out.
Courville initially claims that a secretary at Kaplan Elementary threw away the checks when she saw the A+PEL logo on it. Then he claims that Vermilion Parish School Board blocks emails from A+PEL, and these two claims result in the assumption that Vermilion Parish is Anti-A+PEL. Well, yeah. I’m sure they are, and they should be; however, none of Courville’s account of the story is factual. I contacted those involved in Vermilion parish and gathered a few facts which I will share here.
- Vermillion Parish School Board uses a spam filter on its webserver that identifies potential spam. It sends a message to the sender telling them how to remove the block. I, myself, have navigated this system with this very school system. Courville’s email apparently included blind-copy recipients and was rejected.
- I question how Courville came to know the fate of the checks? I learned that the secretary he references had personally delivered the first round of checks to the receiving teachers to make sure they were received.
- The second round of checks was not expected and came in two batches. When the secretary received the second batch, she realized she had accidentally discarded the first batch and immediately contacted A+PEL to explain what she had done and asked what she could do to make sure the deserving teachers received their checks.
- Outside of the rejected email, Courville made no attempt to contact the principal of the school and apparently made no attempt to assure the secretary that it could be worked out.
As you can see, Keith Courville, and A+PEL clearly did not have the welfare of the students in mind. He, in fact, attempted to forward an adult agenda.