Ed Reform Part I: Blame the teachers

Ever since the Reagan administration sold the public on the idea that the education system was failing our students, there has been countless misguided attempts to identify the source of a problem that doesn’t exist. Under the 2nd Bush administration, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) attempted to redirect financial resources at the subgroups of the student population in an effort to “close the gap.” The effect of these efforts have been measured by a multitude of standardized assessments. After more than ten years, these efforts proved ineffective. The gap not only wasn’t closed, but became larger. Under the 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 …

Small Victories for Education

The 2016 regular session has just a little more than a week left, but for the most part, the bills addressing education concerns are done. Looking back at the 2016 Regular Session, it is pretty clear that the gap between party lines is much larger than in years past. Though newly elected governor, John Bel Edwards, did manage to get a few of the bills on his agenda passed, it was still a very difficult year, for him. With bills addressing vouchers, charter schools, academic standards and teacher evaluations, the governor’s education package suffered many blows from the beginning. Nearly Read More …

Update on New Teacher Evaluation and other happenings

May 3rd, 4th and 5th were probably the most frustrating, disappointing and exciting days that I’ve spent in the legislature. Tuesday, May 3rd, the House Education Committee heard a bill submitted by committee chairperson, Nancy Landry. This bill would allow a school district to reduce a teacher’s salary under certain circumstances. Landry submitted the bill at the request of Lafayette Parish School Board member, Justin Centanni. Lafayette parish, at one time, had an alternative charter school for older students that ran on a 12 month calendar. LPSB provided the teachers and increased their pay accordingly for the extra months worked. 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 …

Opt-Out 2016: Parents, Know Your Rights

It is Springtime in Louisiana, and for teachers, students and parents, that is an indicator that statewide assessment are just around the corner. As many of you know, last year’s assessments were marred by a growing number of parents protesting against the chosen assessment known as PARCC. This movement wasn’t, and still isn’t, limited to Louisiana. The resistance to statewide assessment has grown exponentially across the country, largely driven by opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the two primary assessment instruments developed by Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Experts Read More …

JBE: Broken promises; or not?

Like most of the folks in Louisiana who have fought against Common Core and various forms of education reforms, I have watched and followed newly elected Governor, John Bel Edwards, very closely. Why? Because for 8 years in the legislature he fought against the same reforms that we were fighting, and throughout his campaign, he repeatedly stated the changes he would make, if elected. Here we sit, three weeks into his role as governor, and we’ve not seen any definitive statements, or heard even an inkling of reassurance that he is going to keep his commitment. Now, there has been Read More …

Act 1: Damage Done

While the content of this blog appears to be directed at teachers, it is just as important to parents of children in public school. The intent is to illustrate an incorrect and invalid method of labeling teachers as “ineffective,” which, in turn, incorrectly and invalidly assesses your child. The History In the 2012 regular session, Louisiana legislators passed House Bill 974 which, when enacted, became Act 1. Many people refer to the passing of this bill as the beginning of the destruction of the teaching profession. The bill was a direct response to meeting the requirements to qualify for President Obama’s Read More …

Welcome to Educate Louisiana!

I’d like to introduce you to my new blog for education stakeholders. I will be providing information for students, teachers, administrators, district personnel and the business community about future legislation, changes in education and advocacy. I may also publish opinion pieces about an issue, and will indicate that it is such in the tagging. I also look forward to publishing guest blogs, as well. Please share this blog with all of your friends and family. You can follow it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using the subscription form and social media buttons in the right hand column. I will Read More …