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 …

ESSA: John White Ignores The True Concerns

Those who know me personally know that I had a few setbacks, and this has caused me to fall behind on some of my labors of love. I haven’t followed up on my education reform series, and I intended to wait until all of the ESSA sessions had been held before writing about them; however, the statements made in this article, published by the Advocate, have compelled me to wait no more. State Superintendent of Education, John White, would like for us to believe that the current accountability system is working and meets the new ESSA requirements. In the article 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 …

ESSA: A Lack of State Innovation

On the morning of October 3rd, 2017 the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee, also known as H.E.L.P., held a hearing which they titled The Every Student Succeeds Act: Unleashing State Innovation. Based on the title of the hearing, one might expect to get an earful of innovative ideas from education leaders who have proven their worth by exploring the full potential of ESSA and improving school performance by leaps and bounds. When you learn who the panelists are, you immediately question the purpose of the hearing. Dr. Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education, took over as commissioner in Read More …

Are Teachers Evaluated, Correctly?

In the regular session of 2012, the Louisiana Legislature passed and enacted HB-974, also known as Act 1. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed it into law. The bill made dramatic changes to teacher tenure, evaluation, and compensation, and also limited powers of local school boards while giving superintendents more autonomy. The bill was challenged in court because it encompassed too many statutes. While portions of the bill were stricken, the bill remains in effect. Since being enacted, a couple of amendments have been made. I won’t go into all of the details of the bill. Instead, I’ll simplify the evaluation and Read More …

We Are Not A Small Group Of People

Let’s face it. Politics reside in our classrooms whether we like it, or not. In the Spring of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). If I had to pinpoint when politics entered the classroom, I’d say it was the moment Johnson laid down that pen. Though largely ignored by people who aren’t educators, political influence over the classroom has increased steadily with the passage of each major piece of education legislation, including No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). From the moment John White was appointed Read More …

Louisiana’s Educational Facade

On June 26th, The Advocate published its article, State Plan to Revamp Public Schools Wins Compliments from Two Groups, giving praise to Louisiana’s new ESSA plan which was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on May 3, 2017. The State’s plan has received accolades from national groups for its “ambitious goals” to improve public education in Louisiana. The two groups mentioned in this particular article are the Collaborative for Student Success (CFSS) and Bellwether Education Partners (BEP). I was not at all surprised to see these organizations offering their credibility to support Louisiana’s ESSA plan; nor, was I impressed. These organizations Read More …

Superintendent Vacancy Becomes a Matter of Law

Over the last couple of months, I have been in constant contact with both the governor’s office and the senate in regards to the appointment of Superintendent of Education, John White. There is a general agreement that appointive positions are intended to be temporary extensions of the current administration. It isn’t uncommon for someone to be reappointed by an incoming administration; however, in White’s case, that has not been done. Some of the senate staff attorneys have differing opinions about how and when appointments should terminate. In order to resolve the matter, we have solicited the courts for clarity. On Read More …

Louisiana Reformers Make A Miscalculation. Or Did They?

On Monday, May 8th, I delivered the petition shown below to the office of Senate President, John Alario. The petition, signed by 1045 citizens from every corner of Louisiana, was copied to Governor John Bel Edwards; Senate Education Committee Chairman, Dan Morrish; Senate Government Affairs Chairman, Karen Carter-Peterson; the Senate Counsel; the Advocate and NOLA.com. On Tuesday, May 9th, I went to the State Capital building to meet with LDOE and Rep. Vincent Pierre to discuss a bill that Pierre authored on my behalf. During the course of that day, I spoke with no less than 10 individuals from the Read More …