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 …

All Appointments Must Come To An End.

Sign the petition In January 2012, Chas Roemer offered a contract for employment as superintendent of education to John White, on behalf of BESE. The contract included a $275,000 salary, and a provision allowing White to continue to serve in that capacity, even after the contract terminates on January 11th, 2016, until the succeeding BESE appoints someone to fill the position. As is the case in all appointments, the law states that the term of an appointment ends with the term of the person, or official, making the appointment. In this case, BESE. Per Revised Statute 1:10, unless clearly indicated, Read More …

History Continued: Super-Intended

In reading through the official transcripts of the Constitutional Convention, the debates surrounding education were pretty intense. The legislative body moved back and forth over the decision of whether to make the superintendent elective, or appointive. As a related debate, setting forth minimum requirements for a superintendent bubbled to the top of discussions, over and over, again. Those in support of an elected superintendent believed that the public would determine the qualifications for the office by electing the best choice. Those in favor of an appointed superintendent felt strongly that the position should have established requirements to prevent the position Read More …

The Tumultuous History of the Superintendent of Education

In 1973, the Louisiana Legislature initiated what would be the 11th revision of the State Constitution. Under the leadership of 1st term governor, Edwin Edwards, they set forth with the goal of cleaning up and reducing the size of the State Constitution that had been amended hundreds of times since the last revision in 1954. The result was a document roughly 1/4 the size of the previous document. During the deliberations, the delegates had heated discussions about the content of the articles of the constitution, and it comes as no surprise that Article 8: Education was the most controversial. The Read More …

Louisiana Believes: Exclusion is the Best Policy

Do you remember your earliest years in school and receiving your first invitation from a classmate to attend their birthday party? What about the first time you discovered that a classmate had a birthday party and invited your classmates but didn’t invite you? It is generally the first experience that children have with exclusion. The older you get, the more you begin to recognize that the once collective group of your youth begins to splinter off into smaller groups with different levels of exclusivity, and some, inevitably become rivals. This is the exact scenario we see playing out in Louisiana’s Read More …

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 …

Superintendent’s Contract: Sects, Lies and Videotape.

When John Bel Edwards won the gubernatorial runoff election in November 2015, teachers and parents across the state of Louisiana sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the exit of State Superintendent of Education, John White. Edwards, after all, was very vocal about his desire to see White replaced by a “Louisiana educator.” Here we are 15 months after Edwards took office and White’s contract expired. Alas, White is still here. Shortly after the November election, Mercedes Schneider wrote in her blog, John White’s Contract, about the anticipation of what was to come. She talks about the Read More …

Reading Recovery: There is Value in Research.

When the education reforms hit Louisiana hard in 2010 and 2011, I was a veteran teacher in my 10th year of teaching. ¬†Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked in management for a major retailer for nearly 15 years. During that time, I developed the understanding that changes will always come down from the top, and if you expect to remain employed and successful, you go with the flow. Usually, things eventually swing back the other way. When I began to feel the effects of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s reforms in my classroom, I made the conscious decision to take the Read More …

What REALLY happened at the BESE Special Meeting?

By now, most of you have awaken to the news that Gov. John Bel Edwards’ effort to derail Louisiana’s education progress was blocked by BESE. As is usually the case, the media has shown its loyalty to the education reform movement and either failed to notice that Wednesday’s special meeting continued after the highly publicized vote, or they chose not to report on it. Either way, they have failed to deliver the true outcome of the meeting and what lies beneath the picture perfect ending painted by BESE. It is clear that only a small privileged number of BESE members Read More …

CPSB’s Change Order Chaos

A few hours ago, I got off the phone with a Calcasieu Parish Police Juror who said he saw something on KPLC.com about the Police Jury committing $50,000 to help defray some unexpected expenses for a project at Prien Lake Elementary. The project¬†will help to alleviate some of the traffic problems. I explained to him that there were some issues with the language of the original bid involving tree removals and dirt work, and a change order was submitted for the increased work. I told him that the Police Juror, Dennis Scott, had spoken to the school board and gave Read More …