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 …

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 …

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 …

A Fair and Equitable Accountability Plan

As you know, the current accountability system has created a number of inequities in our state from the classroom to the state level. In reviewing the presentation provided on the proposed accountability system, I fear that these inequities will not only continue, but also be exacerbated. While there is still a considerable amount of disagreement among the commission in regards to what the final plan should look like. I want to take a moment to offer an alternative model. If you like this model, please don’t hesitate to contact your principals, superintendents, BESE members and Supt. John White. Let’s start 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 …

Relay Graduate School of Deprecation

In his second term as governor, Bobby Jindal drove a spear through the heart of the professional educator. It is clear that what he began, and a few continue, is an attempt to privatize public education by demeaning teachers, unfairly labeling them, and their schools, as failing and creating a false hope that the salvation of education can be found in charter schools staffed with unqualified teachers who are employed “at-will.” As a result, teachers who had reached the age of retirement left in droves; others, just left. Now that the education reformers have created a teacher shortage, they have 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 …