How will the GOP replace ObamaCare?

I know this blog is a little out of the ordinary for an “education” blog, but it is really just an opportunity to think out loud about what I think is a misunderstood topic. While I do support universal healthcare, preferably in the form of a “single-payer,” I’m a realist and know it will never happen. This is not intended to be a platform for supporting ObamaCare, nor condemning it. I know many people who now have coverage that they couldn’t get, before. I also know people who have been priced out of insurance and have opted to pay the Read More …

Appeals Court protects MFP against Type 2 Charters

Today, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) in its bid to protect the MFP formula from Type 2 Charter Schools. Click here to read the decision. According to Louisiana Charter School Law, a non-profit that has formed with the intention of securing a charter to open a school must apply for a Type 1 charter with the local school board. If the local school board denies the application, the charter seeker can then apply to BESE for a Type 2 Charter. If BESE approves, the charter school falls under the Read More …

Petition to Gov. John Bel Edwards

Charter school expansion in Louisiana has gone unchecked for too long. The Louisiana Legislature prescribed the chartering process in statute; however for the most part, it has been overlooked and disregarded by the charter approving authority. The purpose of this petition is to urge Gov. John Bel Edwards to halt the approval and renewal of charter schools that do not meet the criteria set forth in statute via Executive Order. Please take a moment to sign the petition and share it with your family and friends. Click Here to Read the Petition. Scroll down to sign. ATTENTION: If you are Read More …

Education Reform and the Resolute Desk

As another year comes to an end, I’ve spent my time off from school reflecting on 2016, examining my successes and failures, and developing a strategy to overcome the failures in the new year. I successfully completed a personal challenge to learn 52 new songs in 2016 to add to my setlist because although education policy keeps me pretty busy, I do still perform regularly. I successfully established a media outlet to inform stakeholders about the issues regarding education, and I had the pleasure of participating in the effort to improve teacher evaluations which was a step in the right 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 …

A+PEL: Let’s talk about adult agendas!

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 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 …

Who is really putting the children first?

For many years, the quote you see on the left has been burned into my mind. Every time I participate in a conversation about our state’s accountability system, it dominates my thoughts. Today, I attended the third meeting of the Governor’s ESSA Advisory Council. The council has been working in subgroups related to Standards, Assessments, Accountability, Teacher Preparation and Evaluation, Early Childhood and Finance. During the accountability presentation, and again during the evaluation presentation, a spirited conversation took place regarding the invalidity of the current accountability system and ways to improve it that would make the resulting data more meaningful. Read More …

LA Key Academy: Divine Intervention?

Whether you are an active participant in the fight to save public education, or a casual observer, you are probably aware that since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Louisiana school accountability system has been under scrutiny. On Tuesday, December 6th, BESE held meetings to consider renewal or revocation of poor performing charter schools. The policy regarding charter school performance is really quite simple. Schools that don’t meet the State’s expectation of growth, during the course of their charter, are extended a probationary period to demonstrate that they can, in fact, improve performance. There were many schools 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 …