Governor’s Advisory Council Wrap Up

At approximately 1:30 PM, on February 23rd, the Governor’s Advisory Council on ESSA wrapped up the task set forth in the executive order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards. All that is left is a final draft of recommendations that will be assembled and delivered to the governor by his K-12 Advisor, Donald Songy. The final meeting was a bit more lengthy than the previous meetings. At times, it got bogged down in the details of the recommendations; mostly because of the presentation made by Stephen Parker of the National Governor’s Association (NGA). Parker is a Washington DC lobbyist for Read More …

An Open Letter to Senator Bill Cassidy

Honorable Senator Bill Cassidy 520 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510   Dear Senator Cassidy, I am writing to you to express my discontent with your recent votes and actions regarding education. Earlier this month, you voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. You did this even after receiving thousands of phone calls and emails from across the state asking you to oppose her. In addition, during a FaceBook “Town Hall,” you were bombarded with complaints about your support of DeVos. That video has received well over 20,000 views and more than 4500 comments; most of which 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 …

Louisiana Senators Out of Touch

Today, the Senate HELP committee voted to accept President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. It was no surprise the the vote was split straight down partisan lines with 12 Republican Senators voting YES, and 11 Democrat Senators voting NO. In Louisiana, both of the senators we have sent to Washington are Republican. It is true that pretty much anyway you look at it, Louisiana is a Red state, with the exception of a couple of pockets within the state dominated by Democrats. Yes, we did elect a Democratic governor, and the fact of the matter is…it wasn’t Read More …

CSUSA’s Lucrative Financial Arrangements

At the December BESE meeting, the decision was made to revoke the charter for Baton Rouge Charter Academy in  Mid-City (BRCA). The charter school, started by the South Louisiana Charter Foundation, has a management contract with Charter Schools USA (CSUSA). After three years of F ratings in school performance, the school was granted a probation of one year, but failed to improve the rating. In his blog post Take Your Excuses Elsewhere, education reform blogger, Peter Cook, brought to my attention that Jonathan Hage, CEO of CSUSA was in Baton Rouge to appeal to the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Read More …

Making A Case For Choice: Vouchers

Most people would agree that, in general, private schools perform better than public schools, but how do we know this to be true? Private schools are not required to participate in statewide assessments. I suppose you could make the assumption that if a private school isn’t producing high results, parents wouldn’t be inclined to pay enormous tuition for their children to attend. There are exceptions. For example, the high school in which I teach serves just under 2000 students from every socio-economic status known and consistently produces the highest advanced placement results in the state. A local, top notch, private 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 …

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 …