John White bitch-slaps BESE – telling them they are a mere formality and they should probably just stay home in the future, and make his dinner

With this latest MFP formula change John White reveals just how little he thinks of BESE. I’m writing this post February 28th and this “proposed” resolution is dated for March 7th 2013, (7 days in the future) and already listed as “approved” and posted to BESE’s website. I was told this came as some surprise to some BESE members who had yet to even see this “proposal” that they had already approved 7 days hence.$file/AF_4-1_FY_13_14_Proposed_MFP_Resolution_Mar2013.pdf

While many of us in the know have been pointing out that this is exactly how John White operates, it’s refreshing to see him being so forward with his complete lack of respect for the institution that theoretically provides oversight for his role and office. John White told his BESE members how to evaluate him, after all, it’s only common sense that he simply writes and posts everything they will approve, regardless of the impact his proposals have to students, teachers or Louisiana.

I have to wonder though. How will BESE president, Chas Roemer, spin his time as president of a puppet board as qualifying him for a real office (perhaps the only real office in this state) like Governor? Either Chas is violating state open meetings laws and illegally agreeing to backroom deals or White is, none too subtly, informing Chas that he and his input is irrelevant. Hmm, maybe that does qualify Chas for our Governor?

BESE was already becoming little more than a formality, a bland afterthought and rubberstamp of anything White and Jindal proposed. Do we really need to spend the money supporting a state board of education that doesn’t need to actually meet, discuss, inquire or make independent decisions about anything? If BESE is just a powerless, feeble institution than not even John White and Jindal respect (at least not enough to actually give them a chance to review a document before it is posted as approved by them) why do we keep them around? For a while Jindal and White liked to hide behind BESE decisions related to freezing funding or school performance score changes (that they told BESE they had to make) but it appears Jindal and White have done away with even that formality.

Since our legislators do exactly has they are told by Jindal (or they are removed) the various boards are filled with handpicked Jindal appointees that do whatever he tells them, even if it is unconstitutional (Like siphoning off the constitutionally dedicated rigs to reefs money to plug budget holes Jindal created to benefit his donors) why don’t we simply dispense with all of our boards, along with all of our legislators? That could sure save a lot of cash, and Jindal and his cronies have given up even trying to fool anyone that we live in a democracy. We have a despotic king, not a Governor. We might as well reap some of the benefits of a despotic system of governance and dispense with the formalities . . . you know, like John White has already done by officially marginalizing BESE.

So like, what are you gonna’ do on March 7th, zombie BESE?

I hear White may need some laundry picked up too. . . And Chas, White likes his shirts with extra starch.


Opt out letter.

Start sending those letters.

Louisiana Voice

Pursuant to our publication of Department of Education (DOE) emails which revealed plans for DOE to provide sensitive personal student and teacher information to a computer data bank controlled by a company affiliated with News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one parent has decided to take action.

The parent, who shall remain nameless here, sent an email to State Superintendent of Education John White directing that no information on his children be released by DOE under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Taking our cue from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which drafts model legislation for introduction by state lawmakers, we include his email to White here as a “model letter” for the purpose of prohibiting DOE from providing data to outside vendors.

To send your own message, here is John White’s email address:

My name is (PARENT’S…

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Doe shares too much

Very nice, Tom. My favorite part is that Rupert Murdoch’s folks are “White’s” family and he feels so comfortable with them that he calls a senior VP in his education corporation, “dude.”

Louisiana Voice

Copies of emails released to LouisianaVoice by the Department of Education (DOE) under threat of litigation reveal an agency over which there is little or no oversight, where escalating costs of expensive programs appear to be of no concern to administrators and a department that appears to be flailing about in search of some direction.

The electronic communications also unveil a cozy relationship between DOE, Rupert Murdoch and his company, News Corp., which apparently will be provided personal information on Louisiana public school students for use by a company affiliated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

News Corp. is the parent company of Fox News Network. In 2011, News Corp. was implicated in a major phone hacking scandal in which private telephone records were compromised.

Despite the relationship with a national news organization, the emails also reveal a decision by DOE and Dave “Lefty” Lefkowith, director of the Office…

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Bobby Jindal Believes in Economic Cleansing

Trying to figure out where Bobby Jindal has been coming from has been baffling for both his detractors and even some of his more ardent supporters at times. I think people who dislike his policies tend to lump him in too easily with tea party folks, which is an image he has eagerly, if undeservedly, embraced. Those same supporters have tried to embrace Bobby Jindal and his seemingly incongruous policies, trying to claim him as one of their own as his political star was rising. At one point Jindal was so flush with political capital that the Democrats in Louisiana didn’t even bother to field or endorse any candidate for governor against him. Bobby took full advantage of this collapse of will at home for opposing him to campaign relentlessly for out of state politicians and a tragically flawed presidential candidate (for what seems in retrospect a completely unrealistic chance for getting a VP nod out of the deal), and to ram through a number of constitutionally flawed education and pension reforms.

The power of a Louisiana Governor is virtually unprecedented among the states in the Union. He appointed the head of the Senate and Legislature, and through his appointees he has tossed off any legislators on all committees that even question any of his policies, let alone vote against them. His line item veto power allows him to threaten and cow every legislator and institution, even theoretical public watchdog institutions like LPB (Louisiana Public Broadcasting.) Bobby can and has appointed members to almost every board and commission in the state as well as the heads and senior personnel of almost every state agency. In the wink of an eye he has removed appointees who even blink wrong when testifying under oath about whether his policies will be cost neutral, good for the state and citizens, or the people served by given agencies. He can and has disbanded agencies with reckless abandon and sold them off to private companies and campaign donors, like the Office of Risk Management we are on the hook for 75 million to benefit campaign donors, the Office of Group Benefits, the entire Charity Hospital system, most of the Department of Corrections, most of our mental health hospitals, hospice care, Elderly Affairs, and now much of our public schools systems, which were locally owned and operated are being divvied up and sold off to private companies that give contributions to Jindal and his handpicked BESE (state board of education) members. Jindal alone can and has repeatedly turned down 15 – 40 billion dollars over 10 years in Medicaid funding for 400,000 thousand of our roughly 2.5 million citizens, and has turned down 80 million in federal funding for rural cable service expansion, 60 million in federal Pre-k funding, squandered 400 million dollars on BP sand berms that stopped maybe a 1,000 barrels of the 5 million barrels of oil that poured into the Gulf.

One might think that such a privatization pioneer has reaped untold gains, and set the state on firm financial footing. One might think that all of these sacrifices, all of these hardships that disproportionately fall on the poorest, oldest, mentally encumbered and least among us are setting us on a course of prosperity. However all that has happened is more people suffering and dying and Jindal’s supporters and contributors are getting richer and state budget is even more out of balance. One time funding sources have been exhausted, even ones for coastal restoration that are supposed to be constitutionally protected for their allocated purpose. When Jindal finally does leave office, what will he leave in his wake but a desolate wasteland of suffering and even less educated people?

But perhaps he has a bigger strategy at work here than anyone even thought? Jindal’s recent proposal to eliminate income taxes in favor of the most regressive tax structure in the nation with an additional 3 to 4 cent sales tax seems to pit him against the poor and least among us once more. These taxes will fall hardest on those least able to avoid them, those unable to purchase things out of state and those who have to spend most of their income on things to support their family and survive.

When I actually wrote down the list of things Jindal has rejected, many of which would have been yielded economic spending and growth to our economy I began to wonder if maybe something else wasn’t going on? I mean, when you start to add up all those 10s and hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars, it starts to come to some real money for a state that only takes in about 3 billion annually in income taxes. How could Jindal afford to squander and reject such large sums of money that would go to help many of the poor, the sick, the children, and elderly? Then I recalled some of the tactics being used in other Republican states to drive out illegal immigrants such as the self-deportation laws touted in Alabama and Arizona. The idea behind the laws passed in those states was to make life so miserable for illegal immigrants, and even many legal ones, that they would self-deport, or at least go elsewhere and become someone else’s responsibility.

Now for someone that is trying to lower taxes for Louisiana citizens and looking out for all of our citizens, does it make sense to turn down all that funding for infrastructure, education and healthcare? The tax payers of our state will still have to shoulder the bills in higher insurance premiums and higher service costs to account for all the folks having to show up in emergency rooms for treatment, and unable to pay and thats why Jindal has proposed raising our sales taxes to 15%, the higest in the nation.  (Bear in mind, mom and pop shops that might not have made enough money to pay income taxes will have to pay this sales tax on anything they purchase, regardless of how well their business does.  If most of the new jobs come from this sector, does that sound like a recipe for growth to you?)  We will have to pay for more jails to house children who were unable to receive a quality education. We will have to pay in a rapidly shrinking coastline, declining health, and fewer government services. We will all have to pay for Jindal’s presidential aspirations, many of us with not just our money, but with our lives and the lives of our friends, grandparents, neighbors and children. Or I suppose we could all just self-deport? I suppose that is one way to increase the average income of Louisiana citizens, to kick-out, bus-off, imprison and kill off the poor ones. It might even be effective, and that’s all that is important, right?

Defunding MFP

Great work, Lamar. I’d heard speculation on the defunding of MFP to pay for vouchers being floated as a plan too.


Less than three months after Judge Tim Kelley ruled that Louisiana’s school voucher program was unconstitutionally funded and only a month before oral arguments begin in the Louisiana State Supreme Court, Superintendent of Education John White announced that his Department had added nineteen additional schools to the program and was now accepting applications for next year.

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Consider this: Last year, John White and the Department of Education waited until mid-summer before opening up the application process for the controversial program. By green-lighting applications now, Superintendent White is cynically and unabashedly attempting to pressure the Louisiana State Supreme Court, the Louisiana legislature, and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It’s an unnecessarily provocative and preemptive strike, a blatantly political scheme to undermine the autonomy and authority of the Court and establish and expand a class of victims, those students and parents who applied for vouchers that were never legal or…

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Louisiana Believes – SPED students should be reclassified before test time to optimize test scores

Louisiana Believes – SPED students should be reclassified before test time to optimize test scores

Dr. Gary Jones, former Superintendent of Rapides Parish schools and current Assistant Superintendent with the Louisiana Department of Education explains in the letter that follows that districts should carefully consider whether they reclassify their students as disabled but currently classified as able to take the state mandated ACT tests and graduate as suddenly too severely disabled to take state mandated tests and unable to complete graduation requirements. Most true educators would probably agree that placements of SPED students should be made in the best interest of the child and at the sole discretion of the SLBC (School Level Building Committee) trained to make such evaluations and currently in charge of making placement decisions. However a recent e-mail, which also alludes to a conference call from Superintendent White, implies that schools and districts should re-examine all of their students and consider changing their placements from LAA2 tested, to LAA1, untested. It’s easy to understand why this might be a good idea for superintendents and schools to do, but what is less clear is why the State Department of Education would encourage this change, this massive statewide lowering of expectations for disabled students.

I had thought that the idea of the Reform movement and LDOE was raising the bar, raising expectations and children and teachers will strive to meet that higher target?

I thought that was what the “Louisiana Believes” campaign is all about?

This would appear to be a vast philosophical departure from previous guidance given by John White and other reformers – namely to lower expectations for students who are already performing at a very low level. This would appear to be a violation of these students civil rights, encouraging schools and school districts to make placement decisions based on what will be best for a schools performance score, and not what is in the best interest of the students they serve.

From: Gary Jones [mailto:Gary.Jones@LA.GOV]

Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 8:50 AM
To: (redacted)
Subject: ACT testing for LAA1/LAA2 students
Importance: High

Dear Superintendents,

In his conference call today, Superintendent White talked about ACT testing and LAA1 versus LAA2. Superintendents are encouraged to make realistic decisions about who should be taking the ACT. We realize the likelihood that some students who are currently assessed as LAA2 (and thus required to take the ACT) might be better placed as LAA1. In the past, the impression was that among the criteria for students to be eligible for LAA1, students had to be at 3 standard deviations below the mean in both cognitive and adaptive skills. However, that is not the case. They can meet that requirement by scoring 3 standard deviations below the mean in cognitive skills only.

Please note that the deadline for placing students in LAA1 has been extended from January 25th to February 25th. Students who are placed in LAA1 will be tested by mid-March.

The last two newsletters have contained a link to FAQ’s on this issue, but I have included it again below for your use. Please encourage your special education administrators and high school principals to join the webinars that will be hosted on Thursday of this week and Wednesday of next week (will be in newsletter today).

FAQ Link:

Dr. Gary L. Jones

Assistant Superintendent

LA Department of Education


Office: 318.767.3018

Cell: 318.308.2306

Am I wrong thinking this is wrong?

diploma disabled







Coming soon. . .
Coming soon. . .