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 …

The Day The Music Died.

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education in an historic tie breaking vote cast by Vice-President Pence. I refer to this day as “The Day The Music Died,” for reasons that aren’t that obvious, but you will see the connection when I discuss a number of bills that have been filed in Congress. For folks who haven’t figured out what is going on, I will provide a brief history of education reform and where we will likely be headed during the next four to eight years. I also want to emphasize that I Read More …

Barriers to learning for children in poverty.

These days, the average person can spend a minimum amount of time in a classroom and recognize the effects that poverty has on children. Education reformers like to claim that accepting this fact is the same as saying that poor children can’t learn. Of course, poor children can learn. All children can learn and these claims are an injustice to the people who teach children who live in poverty. Ed reform’s unwillingness to accept this is further illustrated in the “teacher prep” programs that are being promoted to fill the teaching positions that have been vacated because of their invalid Read More …

Opt Outs: Kudos to Bossier Parish Superintendent

Public school parent and advocate, Jeremy Langston, has been a member of the coalition to end Common Core, and the education reforms that accompany it, for several years. As always, he keeps an open line of communication with his superintendent, school board members, legislators and other members of the coalition. Just as he did last year, he took the initiative to contact his local superintendent regarding the soon to be upon us, state assessments. He sent the following email. On Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 4:40 PM J. Langston Mr. Smith, Good evening. I hope this email finds you settled Read More …

Choice vs Choose vs Chosen

I find that there are two types of salesmen. Those who are committed to determining the customer’s needs and filling them; and those who determine what you need, then up-sell to something more expensive. These salesmen are committed to filling their own needs, and they do that by steering you to the more profitable item. They seem to offer choices, but they choose for you. It has been said that the education reform agenda is a giant bipartisan effort to destroy public education. I have believed that wholeheartedly until some time around mid-October of this year. I had been participating in Read More …

Selling the Narrative

There was a time when journalists dreamed of publishing an expose’ that would catapult them to the top of the profession. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, anymore, but I believe they are rare. There is a disturbing trend in news media that I believe is the direct result of corporate takeover. There are very few small independent media outlets that are able to report without corporate influence to shape the agenda. To an extent, even the locally owned media is subjected to leverage from corporate advertisers. In recent weeks, there has been much discussion about the Every Student Read More …

ESSA Advisory Blog

There has been much hoopla in the media about Governor Edwards’ ESSA Advisory Council and how some feel as though its intention is to cause havoc in the department of education, and it appears in direct conflict with the ESSA forums being conducted by Supt. John White. The fact remains that ESSA not only guarantees, but requires input from all stakeholders, and that includes the governor. In addition, there are other forums seeking input from stakeholders being conducted by teacher organizations, as well. What I want to do here is encourage each and every person who has a stake in Read More …

Vouchers: Why aren’t private school parents outraged?

There are many things about education reform that public school parents should be angry about; and rightly so. Every aspect of it is designed to destroy the public school system in favor of privatization leaving corporate reformers with the ability to control curriculum  and eradicate the free-thinker from our society. One of the facets of education reform is the highly controversial voucher system. Why is it controversial? Let’s start with the beginning. I touched the surface of it in A Devious Bi-Partisan Effort. In short, white reformers in Prince Edward County, Virginia attempted to skirt the Brown vs Board of Education Read More …

The Almighty LABI

In the last five years of his reign of terror over Louisiana, Bobby Jindal masterfully executed the demonizing of professional educators and the destruction of public school education as we know it. Driven by greed, he convinced legislators to facilitate the privatization of public education through the proliferation of predatory charter schools and by creating an invalid method of evaluating teachers in an effort to give the appearance of a failing system to justify privatization. Sounds like a powerful governor, right? Not really. He had help. Today, the Louisiana legislature is closing on its second special session of the year. Read More …

Hensgens and Geymann score one for the team.

On Wednesday, April 27th, the House and Governmental Affairs committee of the Louisiana Legislature heard HB-473, a bill submitted by Representative Bob Hensgens related to BESE Ethics. The bill has a history in the House. In the 2014 regular session, former representative, Brett Geymann, filed the bill which quickly gained momentum in the House, but when it got to the Senate, it was killed by former governor Bobby  Jindal’s cronies. In the 2015 session, the bill was reintroduced by Geymann’s friend, and ally, Rep. Bob Hensgens. The bill had a strong likelihood of passage, but ultimately became the leverage that Read More …