I decided to have a sit down with John White and ask him a few questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s mind with all the recent scandals swirling around his DOE. Much to my surprise he agreed to my request. Here is my interview and his responses. I have a feeling many of you don’t believe I really interviewed John White, so I included the responses he made in audio form. Apparently WordPress requires 20 dollars to make this kind of magic possible, so I hope you all appreciate the trouble I go through for you. 🙂
Me: John White, I’ve also heard that you’ve allowed some favored legislators, like Alan Seabaugh from Shreveport, undue influence in the outcome of VAM – a fully data driven system used to evaluate teachers and schools. The outcome of VAM has direct consequences of school and district funding, salary outcomes for teachers and whether teacher gain or lose teacher or even lose their job. Why are you allowing these situations to take place instead of relying on data and system you’ve claimed repeatedly is both accurate and reliable.
White: “Sometimes its just not smart to use the data.”
Me: Wow, that’s quite an admission. Did you try to explain that to BESE or the public before you pushed headlong with this VAM sham. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun. So I assume you will explain that to BESE now and cancel VAM in light of your previous statement.
White: “People have a helluva lot harder time believing me.”
Me: Well, that’s true. But you understand why right? You lie about everything, all the time. I’m not even sure John White is your real name. It sounds like an evil villain’s ironic alias. But let’s move on shall we? It’s been said that you don’t have the proper qualifications for being a State Superintendent of Education. When people visit you, what complaint do you find they make the most about what you are doing?
White: “. . .a little concerned I’m playing ping-pong.”
Me: Uh, well. I imagine that would concern a taxpayer. I was wondering what that noise and cheering was all about when I stopped by, but just assumed you’d finishing closing down another school for poor black children.
White: “Just doing the Governor’s bidding.”
Me: Of course, of course. Jindal has a long track record of hurting the poor, so that’s one of the most honest things you’ve probably ever said actually. What would you like to say to all the people who have believed you before, only to find out time and again that you were lying? You’ve lied about having a contract with inBloom, then about cancelling it. You’ve lied about VAM being fair, or data driven. You’ve lied about destroying the old department of education website in favor of a useless one that makes debunking your claims nigh impossible. You’ve lied about the reasons for layoffs. You’ve lied about the reasons behind the MFP changes that take money away from districts, special education programs and increases charter school payouts. You’ve lied about reorganizing the department of education before getting the reorg approved by the legislature, and even moved people you didn’t like into positions you were planning to eliminate based on the the new reorg. You are laying off people based on a new reorg that hasn’t been approved, giving the reasons for the layoff as their position has been eliminated under the reorg, that in theory hasn’t happened. That is an impressive one actually. You’ve lied about your qualifications for this job, you’ve lied about all the secret agreements you’ve made with vendors, you’ve lied about providing information to BESE after testifying weeks ago you would get it right away, I could go on for pages, but you’ve lied as much I think its possible to lie. So what do you have to say to people who question whether it’s even possible for you to tell the truth?
White: “Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.