St James parish is proudly displaying that the Science and Math Academy is part of both Lutcher and St James High Schools

St James parish is proudly displaying that the Science and Math Academy is part of both Lutcher and St James High Schools

St James parish is proudly displaying that the Science and Math Academy is part of both Lutcher and St James High Schools.  That’s very generous of them, especially considering they are about 20+ miles apart on opposite sides of the Mississippi. Here is the address of their shared non-school.3125 Valcour Aime Street  = Science and Math Academy


This is not a school. That would mean it would need a sitecode and its own accountability score. It is actually St James High and Lutcher High.


But don’t just take my word for it, this information is freely available, in scrolling banner form, from their own website.



So where are Lutcher and St James High do you ask?


1581 Wildcat Street, St James, LA = St James High

Only around 7- 8 miles away for this one

And this is what St James High looks like.

It’s seen better days, at least from this perspective. Lots os outdoor activities and space though.


And where is Lutcher High do you ask?  This one is my favorite to-date.

1910 West Main Street, Lutcher

St James Math and Science and Lutcher High School – 15 miles and 30 mins away across the Mississippi river.

And here is a closer look at Lutcher High school.

Quite a commute to class, there.

That seems like an interesting situation to look into since that site doesn’t exist on its own.


But does exist on their website.


But you know what else I found interesting?  The Career and Technology Center is not listed, but from the website appears to have its own set of students.  And Romeville elementary has disappeared for this year.  St James still has the old website for Romeville  hanging around, but not directly navigable to, and it has a mention of a meeting to discuss the closing of the school and nothing posted for this school year.  I guess we know how that meeting turned out.

This is what “accountability” has done to our state.  Closing of community schools rather than let the state take them over and put horribly disorganized charter operators/profiteers, or hiding of new school buildings so as the spread the scores around.  From what I’ve seen of the these voucher and charter school operators, and the lack of transparency and accountability for those folks, I can’t say I blame them.

My understanding is LDOE knows full well about the existence of these schools (who do you think tipped me off in the first place?) but they are allowing some parishes to do this, and others like Jefferson, EBR and Caddo are being told no.  Those are bigger markets, with more money for charter operators, so I can see why those would be bigger prizes.  LDOE is keeping all the smaller districts quiet by tacitly allowing these schools to operate and avoid most of the sanctions for accountability that then plan to impose on larger districts.  I wish the smaller districts would simply join forces with the larger ones and tell LDOE to shove it, and to tell their local legislators to get some balls and tell Jindal to shove it too.

You smaller guys may have evaded the sanctions for now, but believe me, the time will come when John White and LDOE will yank that rug out from under you, and discredit you in the process.  It would be better to stand united and face them now, than to allow them to divide and conquer you one by one.  Feel free to use my posts as proof that LDOE knows full well what you are doing and is allowing you to do so, in exchange for your silence and cooperation.  Just make sure you do everything they say, as quickly as you can, and never step out of line – or they will punish you.  You’ll be able to live like this for a few more years – perhaps.  When the charters run out of targets and fuel in the cities, rest assured they will come for you, your children and your tax dollars.  But by then, it will be too late to speak up.





I found a nine mile long school! Can you believe it?

I found a nine mile long school!  Can you believe it?
I topped my last record. I just found out White Castle and MSA West are the same school! No wonder MSA West doesn’t have its own sitecode.

Here is a school approximately 9 miles wide.  To get a sense of perspective, that little stream above it is the Mississippi river.  It must be hell getting to class with just 5 minutes before bells.

MSA West  57955 St Louis Rd, Plaquemine, LA 70764

Google needs to update its maps. This school has been operating at this facility for the past several years.


Dear Parents & Guardians of MSA Students:

Wow! What a wonderful start we have had this school year! With 1,352 students actively engaged in a quality learning atmosphere, we are once again headed toward phenomenal academic benchmarks. Many times I have used the phrase “MSA will become a shining city upon a hill,” and this mantra has truly come to pass.

If only we knew about this shining city on a hill except in rumors and legend?


White Castle 32695 Graham Street, White Castle, LA

I know i promised a school a day, but even crazycrawfish get tired now and again.  Tomorrow i pick on a new parish.





East Iberville and MSA East are actually the same school – probably connected by an underground metro system. My bad.

East Iberville and MSA East are actually the same school – probably connected by an underground metro system. My bad.
Found the real Iberville High by roaming. Darn Google. Still would be a 3 +mile undergound metro.

A little birdy just told me they asked Iberville about their shadow schools issue, and they were old MSA East is the same school as Iberville East (Elementary and High.)  I guess I’ve just never been to a school more than 4 miles long.  I suppose there could be more underground than is obvious to satellite photos.  If Iberville has a vast underground school complex, I may owe them an apology.

1825 Hwy 30    ●    St. Gabriel, LA 70776  (MSA East)

That is a really nice, new looking school. I bet it would be nice to go there.

3285 Hwy 75, St Gabriel, LA (Iberville East)  (Google maps points to a chemical plant, but i found the real place by pretending I was a plane doing a flyover.)

Nice School, that is definitely a different school, wouldn’t you say?

I suppose its possible they closed that other site, or they have the wrong address, and have had that wrong address for a few years.  It’s not like they update their website every day?

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence! Maybe they forgot to update the address banner?

Hm.  Well, not only do they got chocolate orders due on October 8th they have today’s date, 9/27/2012, on top of this school’s home page.  Well, surely they don’t anything else that would indicate these are two different sites?  Hmm, why would they have a school improvement plan for a brand new site?  I wonder what that could be?

Uhm. Well, that was updated Waaaaaaaaay back in July. That’s like a couple months ago. Maybe martians vaporized the school, or maybe that chemical plant next door covered the school in so much ash no one could find it anymore?

I’ve found a number of new Shadow Schools, and some others I suspect, since last I posted.  I think I will post a school a day until someone decides to do something.  That could take a while, if not forever, but I have a feeling there could be hundreds so I should have plenty of material for a while.  (And I won’t be so picky with my defintion, but these first ones are pretty pathetically obvious.)

This isn’t even my job, folks.  I don’t get paid for this and I have no training for investigative journalism, (which is probably why I posted a chemical plant first :)  ) nor am I paid or appointed to look after the children of this state.   I’d really like some help here, but I understand if no one want’s to give me a hand.  Maybe you believe inequality is a good thing and we need to return to segregation.

I suppose as long as people lie to you, and you don’t look too closely, you can pretend it’s not happening and then it can be someone else’s problem.

Is Louisiana worth fighting for?

Is Louisiana worth fighting for?


This is where Louisiana is going.

I suppose I should just accept it. My kids will probably do fine. My wife and I are both college educated with professional careers and while not in the 1% we’re not in the 47% either. I was concerned about everyone else’s kids and the future of my state but I can’t be concerned all by myself and make a difference.

Does anyone else care?

Is Louisiana worth fighting for?


Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In a brilliant column, Bill White of the Lehigh Valley News compares Governor Tom Corbett’s education policies to carpet-bombing of Vietnam. The goal nearly half a century ago was to “bomb Vietnam back into the stone age.” White says that Corbett is doing the same with public education with his program of budget cuts, charter schools, and voucher proposals, which have thus far produced layoffs, program cuts, falling test scores, and soaring class sizes.

It seems that the Governor’s goal is to drive parents out of public education and into charters or to demand vouchers to escape the mess the Governor is creating.

Charter advocates always say that charters are truly accountable because if they fail, they are closed. That is not the case in Pennsylvania. Once charters are opened, it is expensive and difficult to close them:

The state law is a nightmare. To revoke the charter of a…

View original 123 more words

Romney, the Secret Democrat.

Romney, the Secret Democrat.


Great editorial. There is very little I can add, except this picture representation.  Could Romney be a secret Democrat?

Originally posted on

As often as not, parties nominate candidates for president that pretty much all their own partisans acknowledge are less than inspiring. Democrats were so excited about Barack Obama in 2008 partly because their previous two nominees, John Kerry and Al Gore, rode to the nomination on a stirring sentiment of “Well, OK, I guess.” The same happened to Republicans, who adored the easygoing George W. Bush after the grim candidacies of Bob Dole and Bush’s father. And now that Mitt Romney has suffered through an awful few weeks—a mediocre convention, an embarrassing response to the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, then the release of the “47 percent” video in which Romney accused almost half of America of refusing to “take responsibility for their own lives”—the knives have come out.

First it was a widely shared Politico story full of intramural Romney campaign sniping, most directed at chief strategist Stuart Stevens…

View original 990 more words

Louisiana Managing Expectations and Manipulating the Public – for example: “T” isn’t for Terrible Schools, it’s for Turnaround Schools!

Louisiana Managing Expectations and Manipulating the Public –  for example: “T” isn’t for Terrible Schools, it’s for Turnaround Schools!

The Louisiana Department of Education is getting ever more desperate to manipulate the public into believing their voucher program and charter schools are a success.  Just last week LDOE hired a PR consultant that worked on Jeb Bush’s propaganda campaign in Florida to sell their public on what a great deal charter and voucher schools are.  This contractor named, Deirdre Finn, is working under a 4 month contract for 12,000 dollars a month, which can be extended up to 3 years.  This comes staggering 48,000 dollars for 4 months of part-time work (she’s working for Florida as well as Louisiana now) but because only 4 months has been mutually agreed upon, her contract technically falls below the 50,000 threshold for getting contracts approved by BESE. ( If this new gambit works, expect to see 1 week contracts for 49,900 dollars in the near future.  Many of the Teach For America appointees come in at 99,500 to get around the legislative approval process for salaries over 100,000 so this type of salary subterfuge is already a well established pattern for LDOE.)

You may be wondering why the LDOE needs a 432,000 dollar contract to manage expectations for their failing charter and voucher fiasco, (and an unprecedented BESE propagandist is also in the imminent offing) but there is much more going on beyond the DVD schools in Ruston, the felons running unapproved schools, the sketchy Bob Jones curriculum granted free rein by the anti-Educator, John White.  Well the reason is, most of the students enrolled in the New Orleans pilot SSEE program have been doing horribly – even worse than their peers at the horrible schools they left behind.

John White, no stranger to muddying up a narrative or three, is already on the case!  I’ve had numerous confirmations that there are active discussion underway to rig the test scores for these SSEE students so they look much better than they are.  My favorite, of all the horrible ideas, is that of giving these students our LAA2 exam, which is reserved for only our most severely mentally disabled students.  That idea made me wonder if John White and his cronies should have been given the same test before they were hired.  I can’t imagine the person coming up with this idea scoring in the top percentile of intelligence – or ethics for that matter.  Perhaps the intelligence slam was too harsh, of the two exams we give to disabled children, they did jump over the mild moderate test go directly for the one given to the severe profound students.

I thought this was a joke, the first few times and people I heard this from, but it’s really not funny.  I suppose students, attending the non-public schools willing to take students, didn’t fare so well against their peers in the public arena.  However when you compare them against 18 year old students that can’t tie their own shoes, or recite their alphabet, the non-public students make out okay and can even score in the upper percentiles!  Now if we can only figure out a way to give all our students the LAA2 test we can begin to show some real improvement from all of the reforms John White has put in place.  Actually, I’m sure they’re working on a plan for that now.

Even though Louisiana just got our ESEA waiver for NCLB we have already started ignoring what we promised, and are actively trying to circumvent it.  One of the ways we are doing this is with the creation of “Turnaround” Schools.  Instead of just giving schools a score of A-F we will be giving some schools a “T” in a number of different circumstances.  For the first 2 years a school is taken over they will receive a “T” instead of a letter grade and their actual performance will be masked and known only to LDOE.  Schools in “T” status are expected to be immune to any other sanctions or public transparency.  The Feds were informed of this, along with hundreds of other circumventions, but under Arne Duncan rule:

  • all takeovers are good
  • all vouchers are good
  • all charters are good – by definition.

This has caused a mass exodus of LDOE folks with personal ethics, pride in their job, or a desire not to be around when the Reform hits the fan.

2.) T’s for Takeover

a. State policy now says

§1105. Turnaround Schools

A. If a turnaround operator takes over an entire school that was labeled “F” in the previous school year, including all previous grade levels and all former students of the “F” school, then the school’s grade shall be reported as “T” for the first two years of operation..” I have not located mention of letter grade T in the federal waiver.

§1601. Entry into Academically Unacceptable School Status

1. BESE may, during times of transition in the accountability system, waive schools meeting certain conditions from receiving the

AUS label and/or from implementing certain remedies and sanctions.

I am concerned about the impact of T. There is no indication as to what sanctions will be implemented or which list, if any, a school with letter grade T ends up on. An additional concern is that schools will switch operators culminating in a cycle of “takeover” and continuous letter grade Ts, ultimately leaving many of these school unaccountable for significant periods of time.

For example: the attached excel spreadsheet indicates a sample of schools that for 2011 were in the recovery school district and earned a letter grade of F. For 2012, regardless of the data these schools, per new policy, would get letter grade T. In our policy there is no definition of responsibilities for schools with a T, however, an internal email indicates that these schools are to be exempt from all sanctions and lists as long as they remain a T.

The sooner we get rid of  John White and his TFA scum,  the sooner we can really start to help our children.  This travesty doesn’t end here however.  The entire RSD is evading accountability by a variety of measures including the “T”s.  Take a look!

4.) Title 1

a.) Though a bit unrelated, I’ve posed this question to people in LDOE before with no response so I find it, as a matter of conscience, that I s imply relay the information to USDOE. I don’t know how big of a deal this is but for all accountability reporting, all Type 5 charters are part of the Recovery School District, however on all title 1 reports their data is exempt from public disclosure because they are labeled as a district that enrolls less than 1000 students; that label is simply untrue. Even if that is not the case for reporting TITLE I that RSD charters be consider part of the RSD district, there are several Type 5 charter operators that have multiple schools and well exceed the 1000 student cap that are identified as enrolling less than 1000 in the district (ie: 395 Algiers Charter Association). These schools, unlike any other public school, are being reported in Title 1 with a reporting Site that seems to separate them into different LEAS, however, they are all considered as 1 LEA for accountability. As I said, this may not be an issue but several public schools have asked/complained about this issue and I feel I should just pass it along to USDOE.

It really saddens me that so many of my decent and honorable colleagues are being chased out by the charlatans now running LDOE, but what should make you sad and angry is that our children are being used and discarded for profit and political aspirations.  Jindal and John White don’t care about you or your children.  They will be gone for greener pastures in a few years, and all we will be left with will be the smelly by-products of their gluttonous over-grazing – a lot of uneducated children and a savagely depleted educator pool.

You can be sure they will blame it on whomever else comes along to hold the bag, but really, no matter who we elect, ultimately the biggest bag holder will be you and me.

Don't Get anymore on you, Louisiana!
Don’t get anymore on you, Louisiana!

For more entertaining reading try some of these fine posts:

Virtual Schools that are instructed to keep students enrolled even if they never log on.

Persistently Dangerous Definition that is designed to never be met.

A way to circumvent accountability where school districts stop reporting new schools that they open and send those students data wherever it would make their declared schools look good.

A description of “shadow schools” and how Louisiana is allowing smaller districts to use these to boost their scores and evade takeover and sanctions

Just How Many Murders Does it Take in Louisiana to Be Classified a “Persistently Dangerous School?”

Just How Many Murders Does it Take in Louisiana to Be Classified a “Persistently Dangerous School?”

This is actually a trick question.  According to the Unsafe Schools section 343 of Bulletin  741, a school can have 100% of its student body expelled for  murdering each other and the school will not be classified as dangerous, let alone persistently dangerous.

§343.      Unsafe Schools

[. . .

B.    Students attending a school that has been identified as a persistently dangerous school shall be afforded the opportunity to transfer to different school.

1.     Students attending an elementary, middle, or high school that has been identified as persistently dangerous shall be given the option to transfer to a public school within the school district in which the student’s current school is located, which offers instruction at the students’ grade level and which is not persistently dangerous, if there is such a school within that school district.

2.     A student who is enrolled in an alternative school or a special school which has been identified as persistently dangerous shall be given the option to transfer to another such public school within the school district in which the student’s school is located, which offers instruction at the student’s grade-level, for which the student meets the admission requirements and which is not persistently dangerous, if there is such a school within that school district.

. . .

5.     Schools must meet two of the following criteria for two consecutive school years to be identified as persistently dangerous. For purposes of these criteria, enrolled student body means the year-end cumulative student enrollment count, and firearm means a firearm as defined by the federal Gun-Free Schools Act.

a.     One percent or more of the enrolled student body is expelled for possession of a firearm on school property, on a school bus, or for actual possession of a firearm at a school-sponsored event.

b.     Four percent or more of the enrolled student body has been expelled for a crime of violence as defined by R.S. 14:2 occurring on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event.

c.     Six percent or more of the enrolled student body has been expelled pursuant to R.S. 17:416 for the following types of misconduct in the aggregate occurring on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event:

i.       immoral or vicious practices;

ii.       conduct or habits injurious to associates;

iii.       possession of or use of any controlled dangerous substance, in any form, governed by the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law;

iv.       possession of or use of any alcoholic beverage;

v.       cutting, defacing or injuring any part of a school building, any property belonging to the buildings or any school buses owned by, contracted to or jointly owned by any city or parish school board;

vi.       possession of knives or other implements which can be used as weapons, the careless use of which might inflict harm or injury;

vii.       throwing missiles liable to injure others; or

viii.       instigating or participating in fights.

6.     An LEA with one or more schools meeting two of these three criteria during one school year shall identify the problem, submit a corrective action plan to the DOE for approval and implement the corrective action. A school system should generally develop a corrective action plan within 20 school days from the time it is notified of the need for the corrective action plan.

. . .]

This definition was adopted so LDOE would not have to monitor or address dangerous or persistently dangerous schools and so no schools would be able to afford students a chance to transfer to another school because no schools could be classified this way!  The potential for this occurring was already noted by this web resource, National School Safety and Security Services.  This is exactly what happened in Louisiana.  When it was discovered that our definition actually flagged a few schools as dangerous it was tweaked, and by the looks of the latest definition. tweaked again.  (We had a few schools than failed one of the two measures the last year I performed this calculation.  FYI, I was the one at LDOE solely responsible for creating this report before I left.)

Potential ways in which NCLB’s “Persistently Dangerous School” component could create less safe schools: (From NSS&SS)

  1. States create unattainable definition
  2. States create unrealistic definition
  3. Eventual legal challenge to differing definitions across various states
  4. Underreporting/non-reporting of school crime
  5. Schools unable to demonstrate documented need for safety funding due to underreporting
  6. Transfer of funds from safety to academics within districts to meet academic standards of NCLB
  7. “Tunnel vision” focus on academics takes priority focus and funding away from safety
  8. Increased crime, violence, discipline problems, and liability

For starters . . because murders (and rapes and other horrible things) have to apply to 4% of the student population to fail one of the criteria, and according to this changed definition they do not get counted in the other two criteria, every single person in a school could be a murderer (assuming that was possible, I suppose if they murdered non-students?) and not fail either of the other two criteria. . . . presuming they didn’t use a gun or knife.  However because the current system only accepts one primary reason code for a disciplinary action, murder would trump any other reason code. . . you would think.  I think it’s also worth noting that for a school to meeting the 4% criteria (which is just one of the two) a school of 800 students would have to have 32 or more students expelled two consecutive years for committing murders.  I’m not sure any school on earth (except maybe a gladiator school in ancient Sparta) would ever come close to that number. . .  and that’s just one of the 2 criteria Louisiana has self-defined for identifying a “persistently dangerous” school.  Neat huh?  I’m sure I feel safer knowing this. . .  but I don’t think I’ll share this with my kids. . . just make sure they pack their body armor.

Thanks for Reforming our definitions, John White!