Bobby Jindal, the Seabaugh Solution and MFP

Bobby Jindal, the Seabaugh Solution and MFP

When I first heard about the “Seabaugh Solution,” a term John White invented to describe a request by legislator Alan Seabaugh to rig the entire teacher evaluation system to favor three teachers that taught at his daughter’s school in Shreveport, something didn’t quite make sense to me. Why would John White risk everything to do something he knew was wrong and probably illegal and unnecessarily complicated?

During the course of his interview with Sentell, White confided “in an off-the-record remark” that the three teachers were ineffective and that Seabaugh was “pushing hard” to fix it

I think John White went to a lot of trouble to set up Alan Seabaugh for the fall on this one. White took the unusual step of openly referring to this “fix” as the “Seabaugh Solution” and even planted evidence for reporters to find.  When he met with reporters about this situation he queried them about it innocently, and set up Seabaugh again. It could be that John White has is completely clueless, but there may be some political intrigue going on here as well.

Apparently, according to the taped conversation between  John White and Alan Seabaugh below,  it seems likely the directions for this scheme came from Governor Jindal’s office in the form of Policy Director Stafford Palmieri, who was Jindal’s Education and Policy advisor prior to that position and is simply referred to as “Stafford” on the tape between Alan Seabaugh and John White.

I suppose it’s possible this is simply a favor called in by the governor to support a fellow conservative legislator.  However this situation could have been handled seamlessly, as DOE has often handled such things in the past.  I asked one of my sources to comment on this situation. I know how these types of “situations” usually work – through manual “adjustments.” These “situations” are often handled in accountability and SPS scores for politically connected individuals. These situations are usually handled quietly, with a manual adjustment to raw scores, and without much fanfare. When done that way they are almost undetectable to anyone on the outside without access to the true “raw” data which DOE never releases.

I’ve never heard of  something like this being discussed and e-mailed about as a”Seabaugh Solution.” That’s almost begging for someone to inquire if they came across that snippet.  However if things ended there I could chock it up to White’s youth and arrogance, but the planting of evidence that was meant to get handed over to reporters?  John White even pushed this carefully crafted narrative by telling advocate reporter Will Sentell that representative Alan Seabaugh was forcing him to change the VAM system,, for the sake of 3 ineffective teachers. This all makes me wonder. . . .was this John White trying secretly to alert us to the undue influence of his boss, Bobby Jindal, and Alan Seabaugh?

Yes, orders came from the governor making him work with Seabaugh to “fix” the problem. Their process was all screwed up. It started as a policy adjustment but Seabaugh didn’t want his name tied to it so they wanted to hide it in the model. I suggested a sound adjustment but because the teachers were so bad they were not helped by my proposed adjustment. I did suggest exactly that, simply adjusting those teachers scores, but that was not acceptable. Apparently the Supt had voiced that there would be a cap put on student predicted scores and we had to do it that way even when we pointed out this was wrong and would negatively impact effective teachers. {emphasis mine}

On May 14, 2013, at 4:31 AM, Crazycrawfish <crazycrawfish@yahoo.com> wrote:

Who the hell put White up to doing this crazy scheme? It seems like he risked an awful lot for something that really shouldn’t have been a big deal for him. Did the Jindal make him do it?

Also, why not just simply tweak those teachers scores with an adjustment and be done with it?

Consider this:

  • If this tape had not come forward, and others had not spoken out, Alan Seabaugh would have been left holding the bag for this.
  • It’s quite obvious John White could have handled this quietly, and this suggestion was even made to him by his own staff and rejected by him.
  • Instead, what happened is John White destroyed the entire VAM system, screwing up the scores for thousands of teachers, just to fix a situation for three.
  • White then went to great pains to refer to this as the “Seabaugh Solution” ensuring Alan Seabaugh and this rigging would be inextricably linked.
  • White then planted evidence with a former DOE staffer named Rayne Martin, to be “found” by Will Sentell with The Advocate.
  • White then feigned ignorance about how this situation transpired, but disclosed more evidence that makes Seabaugh look corrupt to a reporter interviewing him about this exact situation.

Is John White really that inept, was he trying to do the right thing and expose Alan Seabaugh and Bobby Jindal’s meddling, or was this part of a larger plot of the Governor’s to discredit Alan Seabaugh for some reason?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Now showing!  Courtesy of John White's Department of Education
Now showing! Courtesy of John White’s Department of Education

The only thing that is clear is that MFP should be rejected based on this continuing evidence that the formula is based on manipulation and fraud. Did you know that VAM (Value Added) scores are used throughout the MFP formula to distribute funding? This is the same VAM formula that was manipulated for personal and professional gain and has lost all credibility. It won’t be used for teacher evaluations this year, but if the MFP formula is approved as resubmitted by Chas Roemer it will lead to widespread funding inequities and open the state up to countless lawsuits.

I ask the legislature to once again reject the MFP formula resubmitted by Chas Romer and to tell him to restore the previous MFP formula . . . you know, the one without all the controversy, unconstitutional funding mechanisms, and potential fraud.

A. Student Performance

A weight is provided for student performance using the Value Added Model (VAM) and the LAA1 and LAA2 accountability data from the latest available data. The weight is provided under the following circumstances:

i. Category 1 provides a 135% weight times the number of students whose score in English Language Arts (ELA) or Math “exceeded expected achievement” in the Value Added Model or whose LAA1 or LAA2 test results improved one achievement level or more, or

ii. Category 2 provides a 175% weight times the number of students whose performance in English Language Arts or Math “significantly exceeded expected achievement” in the Value Added Model.

DOE run like a snow cone stand, but Course Choice fraudulent enrollments looking like a major scandal

I told White where I got my latest “secret” documents. From Lefty. I guess he didn’t believe me, but it’s true. 🙂

Louisiana Voice

Could it possibly get any worse for Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White?

For that matter, could the State of Louisiana possibly do any worse than John White as education superintendent?

Good questions both. The answers are, in order:

That remains to be seen, and

Probably not.

There are so many things going on with the Department of Education (DOE), not the least of which is the breaking story of what appears to be the fraudulent enrollment of more than 1,100 students in two north Louisiana parishes in Course Choice classes without their knowledge and the close association of the chairman of the course choice provider company to former President George W. Bush and recent Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Folks, this is a huge story.

More about that later, but first a few others:

• Voucher funding knocked down by the courts;

• Confidential files on teachers evaluations leaked…

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Course Choice provider who enrolled 1100 students without their knowledge tied to Bush, Romney, Tex. dropout scandal

I wonder if White realizes we have TFA contacts too? He keeps holding “secret” meetings with them thinking that protects him. Silly rabbit, cliques are for kids.

Louisiana Voice

More than 1100 students in the parishes of Caddo and Webster have signed up for course choice programs with a provider whose chairman with close ties to former President George W. Bush and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

An outfit named FastPath Learning of Austin, Texas, has somehow managed to obtain student information to sign up the students without the knowledge of the student or of their parents.

If true, that’s fraud, pure and simple—and a blatant violation of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

And the chairman of the board for FastPath? None other than Dr. Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush’s first term and a member of Mitt Romney’s Education Policy Advisory Group during last year’s presidential campaign.

Paige, it should be noted, also once served as superintendent of Houston’s schools and during his tenure there, he became mired…

View original post 1,067 more words