Are Louisiana’s latest SPS score release just another Trick or really the Treat, White claims?

Are Louisiana’s latest SPS score release just another Trick or really the Treat, White claims?

Figure 1 (What White wears when his staffers leave office)

John White has some great news for us! RSD is doing awesome and so are all the charters in New Orleans. I guess its time to convert all our schools to charters folks. He finally proved his methodology works.

Just don’t pay attention to the High School scores from the 2012-2013 release which have almost all dropped one to two letter grades. (If he was responsible for the increase, is he not now responsible for the decrease?)

Last year, While claimed credit for improving 95% of our High Schools by increasing our expectations and rigor and claiming High Schools rose to meet the challenge. Most other mathematicians explained at some length and analysis that the increase was entirely due to a change in the SPS formula being used, and a change to a new test that resulted in 10-15 points of grade inflation, which White subsequently acknowledged about 6 months later during testimony given to the state legislature, but that was long after receiving many accolades and a positive performance review based on the improvement in our schools.

This year the formula changed drastically again. However rather than worry about people discovering the point inflation, John White has been completely upfront with adding up to 10 bonus points to SPS scores.

(from internal LDOE document detailing SPS changes)

Some things to note that this slide doesn’t reveal. Schools can get the maximum bonus points based off of just 100 students, or 100 % of the underperforming population improving a a level from last year. If students improve in multiple categories, like reading and math, then you get .1 points for both categories they moved up in. So 50 kids improving out of 2000 in a school could net 10 bonus points( a whole grade level), even if the rest of the student body declines or tests at the lowest level. In a small school with only 10 students below grade level a school could improve just 5 of them in both categories to get the max 10 points for their entire school.

Bonus points are not the only way a school can manipulate their results. Another factor is grad rate and grad index or high schools. RSD schools and charters have learned that if they exit kids with the right codes they do not factor into the graduate denominator or dropout denominator. Note how John McDonogh was able to improve their grade rate from 34% in 2006 to 90% in 2008 while graduating almost the exact same number of students. If fewer failing students stay at your school, your grad rate goes up, which impacts SPS scores. RSD, Jefferson and several other favored districts are never audited by the LDOE by order of John White. There is no need to erase test scores when you can simply change a single exit code on a single record and the state never audits them, regardless of how ridiculous the data being reported.

(the below is from an internally circulated LDOE document)

From one of my former accountability commenters:

. . .Graduation data. You and Schneider and a few others have been randomly tossing around the term “bogus” for a few days, but that grad data IS bogus. There’s a handful of high schools that is on the “AUDIT FIRST” list, but because most are in the RSD, no one has been audited. So schools in Vermilion, Lafayette, Jennings, Jefferson (for certain) get away with cheating so none of the RSD schools get caught.

Would you like to see what a “successful” non-failing school looks like in New Orleans today?

70% of the kids at this school are not passing their end of course exams they need to pass to graduate. 55% of them score at the lowest possible level. This far surpasses the admittedly low-level of performance of New Orleans schools, pre-RSD. However, this school is considered a “success” based on the new formula devised by White. Success that has been touted by Leslie Jacobs, who devised this strategy originally. Only a little more than half of the students graduate from this school, and that’s not soubt with the assistance of subterfuge.

Most New Orleans schools were classified as failing pre-Katrina, but even then the average for New Orleans was about 55% below grade level, not 70%. 55% is just the students this “non-failing” school has in the lowest category of achievement.

(From Orleans District Composite Reports)

Here is an example of another non-failing school, thanks to John White’s new formula and “bonus” points.

This school has 65% of their student performing below grade level. This is 8 years after Katrina. These kids have never been anywhere but an RSD or charter school in New Orleans. They are considered successful now, because RSD manages them, and because John White and education reformers need a win to continue their privatization. After 8 years, John White cannot afford for this experiment to “fail”. This is what RSD has achieved even after spending 2 to 5 times as much money (after private, state, federal grants and increased funding) on New Orleans students as students in the rest of Louisiana.

You might be getting the impression that the old scale was comparable to the 2004-2005 scale.

This school gets no bonus points, and also sports a 70% below grade level passage rate for tests needed to graduate, and gets a passing grade under both systems. Even though 70% of their students do not pass EOC tests, they have managed to graduate 61% of their students. Or rather, they have managed to report 61 % of their students as graduating. Is this a valid number? No one at LDOE wants to know, because with that rate this school is now successful.

If you are outside of New Orleans you are under less scrutiny so most RSD schools are still F’s, like this one in St Helena that has been in RSD hands long enough that the 70% below grade level performance is entirely their own doing. There are no other middle schools or 5-8 grades in St Helena, therefore no shuffling possible. A 5-8 school doesn’t have a grad rate to falsify, so they can’t gain points by rigging that system.

Last year John White boosted all the High Schools with inflated scores to claim his increased rigor and policies were successful and the press and BESE saluted his efforts. This year most of those schools have fallen back a grade level or two and the press and BESE are silent. This year many elementary schools, and 2/3rds of New Orleans’s schools got boosts from bonus points that lifted them all up a grade level (or sometimes 2) and LDOE and the press have lavished praise on John White and his reforms.

Next year will they drop again and will the press remain silent? Perhaps. I wonder if some RSD Middle schools like RSD in St Helena will be getting some bonus points to improve their SPS score, while only 30% of their children are performing on grade level, like so many schools in New Orleans now “defined” as successful by a new score and bonus point booster shot? It’s hard to know, but what I do know is that what John White delivered to us just before Halloween this year is just another trick, not a treat, and certainly not something that’s good for children.

The Recovery School District (RSD) Optical Illusion

The Recovery School District (RSD) Optical Illusion

More on the absurdity that is the New Orleans miracle. I have another take of my own I’m working on, but this is a great additional analytical piece on the spin and subterfuge being paraded about as success. New Orleans does like its parades to be sure, but this one is nothing to celebrate.

deutsch29

The charter-promoting organization, New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) wants its charters to prosper. Its website proudly advertises a hefty $25 million grant from the Arnold Foundation– as in John Arnold, former Enron trader who made off with $4 million while most employees lost their pensions and who later spun gold in hedge funds to the tune of $3 billion.

In order to sell the charter success image, NSNO offers the public “proof” of “New Orleans Schools Success” in the form of these two graphs:

“Success” in the reformer world is all too often about image and not truth.  As such, these graphs promote a lie.  The bolded information below explains the deception.

It is the Recovery School District (RSD) that is state-run, not Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). OPSB retained the majority of its handful of schools after the post-Katrina state takeover; the criteria for state takeover was any school scoring below the…

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Bobby Jindal is clearly not running for President

Bobby Jindal is clearly not running for President

Recent articles have been cropping up about speculating that Bobby Jindal is running for President of the United States in 2016. Jindal has repeatedly denied these rumors as premature, ridiculous and perhaps insane, and I for once I find myself having to agree with him.

He [Jindal] has been largely mute on his national ambitions since February, when he told Fox & Friends anyone considering a run at that time should “get their head examined.”

Here are the reasons I think it is unlikely Jindal is contemplating a Presidential run:

Popularity (or lack thereof)

According to recent polls, Jindal’s popularity is at an all-time low. As few as 17% of Louisiana’s think Bobby Jindal should make a run for President. In a hypothetical matchup between Bobby Jindal and Hillary Clinton, Clinton easily defeats Jindal, in his own state, in a general election. Louisianan’s prefer gay marriage almost twice as much as they approve of Bobby Jindal running for President and 13% more believe Barak Obama is doing a good job as President compared to just 28% feeling Jindal is doing a good job as Governor.

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of President
Barack Obama’s job performance?
Approve …………………………………………………. 41%
Disapprove……………………………………………… 52%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 7%

Q2 Do you approve or disapprove of Governor
Bobby Jindal’s job performance?
Approve …………….. .28%
Disapprove…………. .59%
Not sure …………….. .13%

Q3 If the candidates for President next time were
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican
Bobby Jindal, who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton………………………………………….. 47%
Bobby Jindal …………………………………………… 40%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 13%

Q8 Do you think Bobby Jindal should run for
President in 2016, or not?
He should run …………………………………………. 17%
He should not………………………………………….. 72%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 10%

Q10 Do you think same-sex marriage should be
allowed in Louisiana, or not?
It should be allowed …………………………………. 28%
It should not ……………………………………………. 63%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 10%

Unemployment

During Jindal’s reign as Governor Louisiana’s unemployment rate has doubled. Louisiana’s rate continues to climb while the Nation’s rate as a whole continues to fall. Jindal promotes his job creating measures such as chicken processing plants, but on the balance his policies have led to a severe decline in employment for Louisiana. The circles represent when Bobby Jindal took office. Notice the steep increase in unemployment reversing a trend of declining unemployment.


This is in large part because as our labor force has been returning or graduating, they are not finding jobs. The job sector in Louisiana is staying for or declining, despite anecdotal press releases to the contrary.

While the Nation as a whole experienced an increase in unemployment during the same time, the trend for the nation is undeniably downward. Louisiana’s is also undeniably trending upwards, the wrong direction. Here is the national unemployment data. In technical terms, it goes down, while we go up. Going down, good. Going up, bad.

Education

It would hard to argue for Jindal on education policies. According to Jindal’s own definition of what represent’s a failing school, any school graded “C” or below and requiring the state to offer families vouchers to escape these failing schools. Currently more than half of Louisiana’s students attend these “failing” schools even after being given “bonus points” to boost many borderline schools up an extra grade level, or in at least on case 2 grade levels.

Fiscal Irresponsibility

Jindal has run an enormous budget deficit for each of the past 6 years requiring many draconian cuts to higher education (more than 50% since taking office), healthcare and services for the elderly, mentally ill, and disabled. At the same time he has approved pork barrel projects such as 2 million dollar libraries to honor his wealthy friends and donors. This actually does sound like business as usual in Washington, so maybe he does have some credentials in this area.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Bobby-Jindal–Tuition-Hike-King-of-America-.html?soid=1102448202033&aid=HD-ixfabqmM

“Revenue neutral” at this stage of the game is a recipe for continuing to shift the burden of paying for government off those with the ability to pay and onto those with the greatest need for access to government services, whether its an affordable college education, behavioral health services for early childhood development, battered women’s shelters, or hospice care for Medicaid patients.

Common Core State Standards, New Hampshire and Iowa

The two first primary states in the election process are New Hampshire and Iowa.

In Iowa: Governor Terry Branstad has signed an executive order killing Common Core.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, declare the following:

The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards, which are known as the Iowa Core.  The Iowa Department of Education shall develop a regular review cycle for the Iowa Core, including public comment, to determine the contents of and to continually improve state academic standards.

New Hampshire’s largest school district, Manchester, has rejected Common Core and other districts are now following their lead.

http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/manchester-nh-schools-reject-common-core/

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/bold-alton-new-hampshire-school-board-votes-to-reject-common-core/

Many candidates are given a boost or the boot depending on how they fair in these two early bellwether contests.

Since 1976, when proliferating primaries and caucuses became the basis for selecting convention delegates, every single nominee but one, in both parties, won either Iowa or New Hampshire. The singular exception occurred in 1992 when a favorite son rendered Iowa’s Democratic caucuses moot and Bill Clinton’s comeback, second-place finish to a near favorite son in New Hampshire left the contest unresolved.

Both states, have either rejected Common Core State Standards by Governor’s decree or are in the process of rejecting it one community at a time, as Louisiana is doing. While Bobby Jindal has publicly stated he opposes the imposition of a Federal Curriculum, privately he has funded and appointed the 9 of the 11 members of the state BESE board that is unwaveringly supportive of CCSS despite statewide outcry from parents and teachers. The rejection of CCSS in Louisiana has done what many folks would have thought unthinkable a year ago, unified conservatives, liberals and independents, republican party stalwarts like John Fleming and David Vitter, Woody Jenkins and A.G. Crowe (this is what I’ve been told or seen e-mail correspondence from), and teachers unions in this state in rejection of Bobby Jindal and his CCSS agenda. John White, Superintendent of Education, was hand-picked by Jindal to lead the Louisiana Department of Education. John White has embarked on a statewide campaign to promote CCSS, including many venues that are private or refuse to permit public comment. The federal Common Core standards drive the curriculum. Bobby Jindal is trying to distract folks using the age old chicken and the egg argument.

On the plus side, Jindal will be able to claim he has the ability to bring people diverse backgrounds together (in opposition of him and his policies.)

What’s more, Jindal’s stature in New Hampshire and Iowa was already in the pits before his deviation from them on CCSS

The Louisiana governor is the featured evening speaker Friday at the Redstate gathering in New Orleans and then sets off to Iowa on Saturday for a fundraiser on behalf of Gov. Terry Branstad.

For almost any potential top-tier 2016er, this back-to-back premiere event scheduling would attract gobs of media attention and piles of aftermath analysis.

But for Jindal, it’ll likely produce no more than a few headlines out of his battered home state press corps.

When he jetted up to New Hampshire in May, the Union-Leader didn’t even tease his visit on the front page.  The Granite State Democratic Party chairman openly mocked his draw.  And he’s placed at the bottom of virtually every GOP primary poll taken this year.

The 42-year-old Jindal is a second-tier GOP candidate at best.  He’s said anyone thinking about 2016 this early should have their head examined.

Question 3: As of today, who do you see yourself most likely supporting in the 2016 Republican Caucus?

Marco Rubio 11% (195)

Rand Paul 10.5% (179)

Paul Ryan 9% (159)

Jeb Bush 8.7% (148)

Chris Christie 7.7% (130)

Rick Santorum 6.7% (114)

Ted Cruz 6.1% (103)

Scott Walker 2.1% (36)

Bobby Jindal 1.3% (23)

Unsure 36% (618)

Environmental Catastrophe mismanagement

Bayou Corne. This has been and continues to be an unmitigated disaster. It could have been mitigated by Jindal. It should have been mitigated by Jindal. After ignoring the toxic situation there for more than a year, Jindal continues to do the least he can do at every turn, pretending the toxic radioactive sludge hole than Assumption Parish is slowly being gobbled up by does not exist. Jindal has no plan, except maybe a prayer he says every night that the entire parish and everyone who remembers it will get sucked into a sinkhole created by lax environmental regulations and oversight, and made infinitely worse by pretending it the problem does not exist. Maybe he just needs to ask the federal government to build some billion dollar sand berms like he did during BP? Those stopped a tiny fraction of one percent of the oil that was going to reach Louisiana’s coastline otherwise.

Taxation

It’s hard to envision a Republican candidate for president after advocating for doubling the taxes in his state, as Bobby Jindal attempted to do with his ill-fated tax proposal, that even industry claimed was a bad deal for them and the state. The math for this proposal never added up. Jindal claimed everyone would receive a tax cut in all income levels, after rebates. However it would also have catapulted Louisiana into the highest sales taxed state in the nation. This tax would have killed off new businesses, that currently benefit under the income tax structure because many new businesses have little to no revenue when starting up, and they can offset their expenditures against their revenue to both encourage reinvestment in property, plant and equipment, and discourage hoarding of money and resources. A sales tax creates an added expense for small business by charging them more for every investment they might make, regardless of whether are able to eke out a profit. Larger companies with out of state operations could easily bypass much of this tax by simply purchasing their large equipment outside of our state. Resellers and production facilities would have been foolish not to relocate their facilities out of state to avoid this tax had this passed, and large existing corporations and lobbyists already get close to 6 billion in tax credits, tax breaks and tax incentives regardless of the presence they have in Louisiana, which is coincidentally close to the amount of revenue Jindal hoped to bring in by doubling the sales taxes which would have hit all Louisiana families in all income levels, while funding large tax credits and corporate welfare for Jindal donors. A much better proposal would have been to eliminate state sales taxes entirely, as well as the corporate welfare, and allow local communities to control their own sales tax levels to create and finance their own local projects. This would have eliminated the need to have pork barrel projects like the museum Jindal is trying to create for his mentor, former governor Foster.

For those interested, here is a tax plan I proposed earlier that might actually help Louisiana:

Instead of doubling the sales tax, he should eliminate it.  This will immediately add thousands of dollars in everyone’s pocket in the state which can be used to buy additional goods and services from local merchants.   Instead of proposing to go from the third highest sales tax rate in the nation to the highest rate, Jindal should be proposing to eliminate that tax and drop us to the lowest tax rate in the nation.  This would address internet sales, by undercutting them.  Buying goods from the internet still incurs a shipping charge, but no taxes.  If you eliminate most of the taxes then you bring parity back to the local retailers, especially for small items or very large items.  This will immediately shift internet sales back to local sales, adding to the income of local retailers.  Jindal’s staff claimed Louisiana is surrounded by other high sales tax states proving a “buffer” to prevent people from driving across the borders to neighboring states with slightly lower rates.  That might be true, but if that is a concern, doesn’t it make sense to lower our sales taxes dramatically to encourage Texan’s, Mississippians, and Arkansans, to drive across our borders, to buy from our retailers and add to our local coffers?  Most people believe, and the data shows, that when you eliminate the state sales tax during “sales tax holidays” this stimulates a spending frenzy. This is usually only done for a single day or weekend, but now imagine if those weekends were every day?  If every day was busier than Christmas wouldn’t that force retailers and other merchants to hire anyone they could find to staff their businesses?  This would create a fully employed workforce than could in turn spend their wages locally.  This excess spending and hiring would cause a worker shortage, which would put upward pressure on wages and encourage folks to relocate here for jobs, further adding to our local economy, our real-estate markets . . . our everything really.

Now for those of you who like to eliminate taxes, I have something for you too!  My plan involves phasing out the income tax for people making less than 50k a year for a family of 4.  But I’m not done yet.  Instead of providing tax credits to every industry under the sun, such as bottlers, oil and gas explorers, movie makers and chicken  pluckers, we can offer a tax credit of say 1500 to 2500 per Louisiana resident employed.  This could supplant all the tax credits we currently give to businesses and apply to all businesses regardless of how large their campaign contributions are or how well placed their lobbyists.  While the increased sales tax will hurt new businesses immediately, the sales tax cut and tax credit will help them all immediately and put them on a competitive footing with the larger operators and industries.

I could go on. (I jotted down like 20 – or 30 points like this off the top of my head.) So can we please stop hearing about Bobby Jindal as a serious Presidential candidate? He has as much chance as getting elected president as a gerbil getting elected in Iceland. Strike that, like half that chance (Icelanders as pretty weird.)

Like Bobby Jindal always says, “he’s got the job he wants.”

He’s just not very good at it.

New Orleans SPS score release reveals 69% of students now attend “failing schools” according to Bobby Jindal (compared to 62% in 2005)

New Orleans SPS score release reveals 69% of students now attend “failing schools” according to Bobby Jindal (compared to 62% in 2005)

Some of you may have seen reports in the Picayune or from Leslie Jacob’s “Educate Now” organization touting an educational resurgence taking place in New Orleans. One of the claims is that only 5% of students are now in “failing” schools. I’ve had a little time to look at her stats and the reporting put out by the State and thought I’d make my own fancy graphs and charts and point out some glaring logic flaws, but instead I decided to just look at the raw numbers. I will publish my data for you to critique. I don’t have access to all the data, but that Leslie Jacobs can get with her friendly relationship with John White and LDOE, but I can still deduce a few things, and I have been accumulating files from folks who had older reports, that LDOE removed from their website, archived on their local machines.

Let’s examine one of Leslie’s claims before showing you what I’ve found:

Claim: Only 5% of students now attend a failing school – down from 62% in 2005.

Only 5% of students now attend a failing school – down from 62% in 2005.  In 2004-05, 78 public schools in New Orleans, enrolling over 38,000 students, were failing. Today, only 9 schools in the city, enrolling 2,481 students, are failing.*

As evidence for this claim Leslie uses enrollment from 2013-2014 for school still open. However the test scores and grad numbers come from the previous school year, 2012-2013. She uses the 2004-2005 enrollment figures for the 2005 SPS score comparisons so it is clear this is not a simple “oversight” but an intentional misrepresentation. Much of the press release is filled with accurate numbers but interpreted creatively. If we planning on using the enrollment of the year the scores are released, the 2005 SPS scores would have related to a total enrollment of just 5800 students.

For instance, Educate Now assumes ever school without a score is a non-failed school by definition. It’s not really clear why many of the schools without scores or grades were given passes this year. The explanation in the footnote is not sufficient to explain why so many schools that had students on October 1 of 2012 did not take tests or have test results reported for tests given in April of 2013. I have chosen not to automatically assume these charters are “passing” and have assigned them failing grades, which for all we know they may very well be. It is absolutely certain we cannot claim they are passing schools as the press release claims and they may very well be failing schools. Only LDOE knows, and for some reason they are not telling, which I find telling. When I add those schools into the failing category, use the apples to apples test scores of last year, include the proper enrollment from 2012-2013 to make an “apples to apples” enrollment comparison, and include schools that were closed for sucking I get a more modest 22% enrollment of potentially failing schools. When I add in schools graded D or F I get close to 52% of the students in inadequate schools. As Leslie points out in her own release, we did not have an A –F scale in 2005, so she made an assuming about what would have been assigned an “F”/”Failing” grade. Since Bobby Jindal and John White see schools graded “C” and below as inadequate enough to warrant giving parents school choice, the actual failing percentage by the metric LDOE uses for granting parents a school choice option, the actual substandard percentage rises to 69% now compared to 62% in 2005. Who am I to argue with what they themselves have already defined as the failure of our public school systems to provide an adequate education?

White said the 2013 scores for voucher students were low because of the large influx of students from failing schools. The voucher program, officially called the Louisiana Scholarship Program, started in New Orleans in 2008 and expanded statewide just this school year. It is open to low-income students who are either entering kindergarten or who have been attending a public school graded C, D or F. This year, 61 percent of test-takers were in their first year at their voucher school.

Oct 1 Enroll TrueGrade %
7786 A 18%
5502 B 13%
7452 C 17%
12992 D 30%
9664 F 22%
43396    

(*Note: unnecessary bright colors to make chart easy for parents to understand.*)

Bobby Jindal has openly called C schools “failing schools” as recently as 5 days ago when defending his voucher program from federal oversight.

“The Obama administration wants to deny a voice to the very people who will be harmed by this ridiculous lawsuit,” Jindal said in a statement, accusing the department of “trying to muzzle parents who simply want to express an opinion about why their children should have the opportunity to escape failing schools.”

Vouchers, officially called the Louisiana Scholarship Program, let low-income children who are new to the public school system or who attend C-, D- or F-schools attend participating private schools at taxpayer expense.

But just for argument’s sake, let’s see what Leslie is calling a New Orleans non-failing school, shall we?

Here is an easy to read school report card. I know it’s easy to read and “parent friendly” because this seizure inducing message on the official LDOE website tells me so.  Like all parents, I find I can only understand things easily if you dress them up in as many bright, clashing colors as possible.

Wow this is easy!

A “C” average New Orleans elementary school gets something magical, called bonus points. Apparently 43% of their students score below basic on standardized tests compared to a statewide average of 32%. Frankly I’d call that above average (underachievement), but obviously I’m not a LDOE mathematician, just a parent.  Best to stop looking at numbers and focus on the fact my F was curved (altered) to a “C” and that this mess is displayed in an almost unreadable sickly green.

Apparently non-failing high schools in New Orleans get bonus points too! A non-failing high school (in New Orleans) has almost 13% of their students getting a “Good” or better! That is good! (the LDOE geniuses obviously failed basic math and think putting <5% hides the fact only 1% is left when you add the other 99% together. ) Of course the state average is 59%, but who’s counting right? It’s the arbitrarily calculated “passing D” (after New Orleans bonus points) that matters, right?

I’m just a simple parent, so obviously I need lots of unreadable bright color, but I wonder how this school manages to swing a 74% graduation rate when 60% of their students are scoring in the lowest possible category on the very state tests needed to graduate? I know those graduation counts factor into the SPS scores, and graduating is good an all, but I do have to wonder at the quality of the diplomas being issued. . .

We have incentivized schools to churn out graduates, and their very existence depends on pushing out as many of those as they can manage. Do you think some of them might be graduating students who simply attend 4 years?  I wonder if John White and BESE removing the GEE (graduate exit exam) has something to do with this impressive grad rate coupled with a dismal set of performance scores?

Here’s my data in case you were curious how I came to my conclusions. (I had to look up every single fricken school individually to determine its physical address since LDOE did not include a Parish code, so I hope you appreciate the work I put in on this.) There’s only so much LDOE can reveal before the cracks begin to show. There is a reason they are hiding historical info and source info, folks. Fortunately they don’t have a clue what most of the data means so they accidentally release more than they intend to.

Enrollment
SiteCode

SiteName

Total

TrueGrade

oldgrade

newgrade

NO

oldSPS

newSPS

036005 Audubon Charter School

808

A A A Y

127

106

036011 Mary Bethune Elementary Literature/Technology

380

B B B Y

107

88

036013 Einstein Charter School

475

B B B Y

106

95

036035 Warren Easton Senior High School

929

A A B Y

139

95

036043 Benjamin Franklin High School

794

A A A Y

197

138

036056 Alice M. Harte Elementary Charter School

681

B B B Y

114

94

036060 Edward Hynes Charter School

636

A A A Y

124

107

036064 Edna Karr High School

974

A A B Y

129

94

036079 Lusher Charter School

1,697

A A A Y

172

133

036088 McDonogh #35 College Preparatory School

855

C C C Y

100

84

036089 Mahalia Jackson Elementary School

109

B B B Y

107

88

036096 Eleanor McMain Secondary School

766

B B B Y

118

94

036132 Youth Study Center

34

F Y
036149 Robert Russa Moton Charter School

346

D D D Y

89

62

036158 Lake Forest Elementary Charter School

500

A A A Y

152

125

036161 Benjamin Franklin Elem. Math and Science

698

B B B Y

108

96

036163 New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics HS

369

B B C Y

118

85

036186 McDonogh 35 Career Academy

94

C C D Y

91

64

036187 ENCORE Academy

190

D D D Y

88

65

300001 Pierre A. Capdau Learning Academy

401

F F F Y

74

49

300002 Nelson Elementary School

501

C C C Y

95

80

300003 Lake Area New Tech Early College High School

657

C C C Y

102

74

300004 Gentilly Terrace Elementary School

456

D D C Y

86

74

331001 International School of Louisiana

743

A A A Y

124

105

334001 New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

119

A A A Y

161

115

339001 Milestone SABIS Academy of New Orleans

419

D D D Y

83

63

344001 International High School of New Orleans

418

C C D Y

102

67

347001 Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans

341

F Y
348001 New Orleans Military/Maritime Academy

219

A A B Y

130

85

360001 The NET Charter High School

150

F F F Y

40

9

361001 Crescent Leadership Academy

159

F T T Y

36

25

362001 John McDonogh High School

389

F T T Y

30

9

363001 Harriet Tubman Charter School

520

D T T Y

82

73

364001 Fannie C. Williams Charter School

550

D T T Y

86

76

366001 Lagniappe Academy of New Orleans

131

C C B Y

95

85

367001 Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy

373

D D D Y

76

64

368001 Morris Jeff Community School

310

C C C Y

101

84

369001 Batiste Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak Elem

678

F F D Y

61

60

369002 SciTech Academy at Laurel Elementary

694

F F C Y

72

75

369003 Reed Elementary School

690

D T T Y

74

64

369004 ReNEW Accelerated High School, City Park Campus

191

F F F Y

22

5

369005 ReNEW Accelerated High School, West Bank Campus

178

F F F Y

17

2

373001 Arise Academy

387

D D C Y

77

72

374001 Success Preparatory Academy

410

D D C Y

86

80

375001 Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School

361

F Y
376001 Pride College Preparatory Academy

323

F Y
379001 Crocker Arts and Technology School

279

F Y
380001 The Intercultural Charter School

385

F Y
381001 Akili Academy of New Orleans

385

D D C Y

86

72

382001 Sci Academy

367

A A B Y

129

89

382002 G. W. Carver Collegiate Academy

103

F Y
382003 G. W. Carver Preparatory Academy

110

F Y
384001 Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business

387

F F D Y

67

60

385001 Sylvanie Williams College Prep

358

D D C Y

84

72

385002 Cohen College Prep

502

D D D Y

84

64

388001 Andrew H. Wilson Charter School

616

D D D Y

77

63

390001 James M. Singleton Charter School

645

D D D Y

83

57

391001 Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School for Sci/Tech

760

C C C Y

102

78

391002 Joseph A. Craig Charter School

382

F T T Y

61

50

392001 McDonogh City Park Academy

422

D D C Y

87

78

393001 Lafayette Academy

939

D D C Y

84

80

393002 Esperanza Charter School

460

D D C Y

81

75

393003 McDonogh 42 Charter School

446

F T T Y

55

39

395001 Martin Behrman Elementary School

714

B B B Y

112

92

395002 Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School

603

D D C Y

82

80

395003 William J. Fischer Elementary School

674

D D C Y

80

76

395004 McDonogh #32 Elementary School

438

D D C Y

78

71

395005 O.Perry Walker Senior High School

903

B B B Y

109

86

395007 Algiers Technology Academy

238

D D D Y

82

52

396003 Benjamin Banneker Elementary School

404

F F D Y

62

54

396004 Walter L. Cohen High School

119

F F F Y

50

41

396009 Paul B. Habans Elementary School

354

F Y
396010 Murray Henderson Elementary School

80

F Y
396012 James Weldon Johnson School

282

F Y
396017 Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School

259

F F D Y

51

57

396019 A.P. Tureaud Elementary School

246

D D D Y

89

68

396026 G.W. Carver High School

169

F F D Y

61

63

396029 F.W. Gregory Elementary School

85

F Y
396031 L. B. Landry High School

466

F Y
396034 H.C. Schaumburg Elementary School

564

F Y
396037 Mary D. Coghill Elementary School

597

F Y
396203 Abramson Science and Technology School

294

F Y
397001 Sophie B. Wright Learning Academy

484

C C B Y

101

88

398001 KIPP Believe College Prep (Phillips)

617

C C C Y

100

78

398002 KIPP McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts

766

C C B Y

102

90

398003 KIPP Central City Academy

407

B B B Y

108

97

398004 KIPP Central City Primary

513

C C C Y

92

75

398005 KIPP Renaissance High School

380

C C D Y

95

50

398006 KIPP New Orleans Leadership Academy

528

D D C Y

79

71

399001 Samuel J. Green Charter School

515

D D C Y

87

78

399002 Arthur Ashe Charter School

490

C C B Y

99

90

399003 Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

435

D T T Y

86

58

399004 John Dibert Community School

476

C C B Y

92

88

399005 Langston Hughes Charter Academy

647

D D C Y

87

81

School Performance Scores finally out? | Methodical, Musical Mathematician’s Musings

Here is some thoughtful analysis from a local mathematician on the insanity and arbitrariness of LDOE’s latest SPS score release.  I encourage you to read this accounting. 

http://jamescfinney.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/school-performance-scores-finally-out/

I was overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of it but James does a good job dissecting this pig trough of loonacy into its component goofy, icky parts.

SPS scores are largely meaningless but LDOE has gone to great lengths to make them absurdly complicated, while hiding the source data, to help disguise this fact.  Just adding a bunch of random bonus points (which are not in approved policy) is almost unimaginably stupid except that folks seem to have bought into the idea, so its hard to say who is stupider, our reporters who meekly bought into this or our LDOE for sitting on these terrible numbers before simply adding 10 points to them to (make them go up) hoping no one would notice that was bizarre and retarded (sorry, was running out of synonyms for stupid so went with an un-PC one that really might be true in this case.)

In any event, please read James Finney’s post on our latest release if only to reaffirm what you probably already suspect, the SPS  scores are retarded, written and reported by retards, retardedly.

(Figured I’d shoot the moon on offensiveness.  I think it says something I’ve gone this long seeing all the LDOE foolishness and only now had to resort to this. :))

Friday Story Time: Deconstructing the Cycle of Reformy Awesomeness

Friday Story Time: Deconstructing the Cycle of Reformy Awesomeness

The awesomeness found in Newark NJ is the same brand of Awesomeness found in our New Orleans charters like Sci Academy. To keep us from truly how awesome charter schools are, Louisiana hides their data scrupulously and only realeases positive percentage based metrics or meaningless scores chocked full of bonus point goodness (like our latest SPS scores) to delude the easily deluded public. There will be “much rejoicing” in New Orleans, based on completely bogus unverifiable claims. What we can verify is LDOE needed to add random bonus points to keep schools from declining. I suppose its a good thing we don’t actually care about kids, and just what LDOE tells us about our kids. A lot of people make money that way, so that must be good, right?

School Finance 101

Once upon a time, there was this totally awesome charter school in Newark, NJ. It was a charter school so awesome that its leaders and founders and all of their close friends decided they must share their miracle with the world in books on the reasons for their awesomeness, including being driven by data andteaching like a champion!

The school’s break-the-mold – beating the odds – disruptively innovative awesomeness was particularly important during this critical time of utter collapse of the American education system which had undoubtedly been caused by corrupt self-interested public school teachers (& their unions) who had been uniformly ill-trained by antiquated colleges and universities that themselves were corrupt and self-interested and generally in the business of selling worthless graduate degrees.

In fact, the undisputed awesomeness of this North Star Academy could, in theory, provide the foundation for a whole new approach to turning…

View original post 1,034 more words

2013 Louisiana School Letter Grades: Recovery School District Gains Nothing

SPS scores are out and they are bogus. I’ve actually heard reports they believe their own lies now and think they are actually helping children. That’s what happens when you completely surround yourself with lies and illusions, you lose the ability to tell the difference.

deutsch29

On October 23, 2013, John White released the long-awaited, capriciously calculated 2013 Louisiana school performance scores (SPS) and letter grades. In this “official” LDOE graphic, he attempts to sell the public on the “new,” “simpler” SPS/ letter grade formula and “easy to understand scale”, all the while maintaining that this latest attempt to label Louisiana education is “aligned with higher standards to ensure postsecondary success.”  Now, there is no evidence that such a statement has been tested, but this is the era of Untested Yet Boldly Proclaimed Reformer Smoke, so, it must be true.

In well-trained reformer fashion, John White is careful not to openly release any raw data by which third parties might examine formulas and verify calculations. In fact, the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge recently ruled that John White gets to withhold or release LDOE data at will.

Nevertheless, in this 2013 spreadsheet of SPS scores, I found…

View original post 1,305 more words

Common Core is failing the “parent test” in Louisiana

Common Core is failing the “parent test” in Louisiana

You might not know this from reading the newspapers or tuning into your televisions programs that have been bought out by Common Core supporters, but if you’re a parent and you’ve been listening to your neighbors and teachers and using your eyes you know what you are seeing is not what you are being misled to believe. October 17th John White tried to pay a stop to Mandeville High to rally support for Common Core, but what he thought would be a an easy slam dunk of a conversation turned into a serious embarrassment – that was not covered by any newspaper articles I’ve seen. The road leading into the High School, Skipper Drive was lined with signs like the ones below and tells the story of how that visit went.





It was reported to me that rather than meet with the entire school, John White held a secret private meeting at the school and then went out to dinner with some local legislators, where they all sat around drinking sugary flavored drinks, and agreeing with each other.

Local media was briefed on this plan ahead of time, but chose not to run anything on the opposition to Common Core. However at urging from John White and the Louisiana Department of Education, the Advocate started making inquiries of the property owners if their local ordinances and neighborhood associations permitted yard signs like this. I would cancel my subscription to the Advocate if anyone still has one. That type of intimidation and bullying is ridiculous and truly shows how subservient our local media has become to our local politicians.

If I was working for the Advocate I would be embarrassed, although I’m sure I would have been fired a long time ago for trying to report the truth instead of the lies my owners wanted me to report to appease local politicians. If you were wondering why the Advocate only reports one sided reports of the Common Core situation, the reason is money and politics. I make no money from my blog (and have turned down offers of financial support in the past – although if Bill Gates wanted to give me a million dollars like he has everyone else I’d probably tattoo CCSS on my chest. If you see me wearing one of those I beg you to stop listening to me. . . ) so I am free to report what others are afraid too, or paid not to do.

St Tammany is not the only parish where protests are taking place. I have heard of similar events in Vermillion and Terrebonne. An “all in one” sign is apparently circulating in Terrebonne along with magnets and decals.


In Caddo and the northern part of our state the conservative Louisiana Power Coalition and Diane Long is making an impression and a stand against Common Core.

LOUISIANA POWER COALITION IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!!

—————————————————————————————–

LOUISIANA POWER COALITION, LLC is made up of volunteers except for Representative/Lobbyist and administrative costs and receives its operating funds through Membership Dues and Donations.   We provide a good service (Representative/Lobbyist) with a good product (Email Blasts).

If you agree, please mail Dues and/or Donations to:

Louisiana Power Coalition, LLC

2163 Airline Drive  Suite 298

Bossier City, LA  71111

  Learn about us at

www.lapowercoalition.com

www.louisianapowercoalition.com 

In the central part of our state the Acadiana Patriots, and their allies, are taking a stand and going community to community, library, to town hall, to community center informing parents of the poorly contrived Common Core. I have some very interesting footage of some of their meetings I will try and post later. This group was also in involved in the rally at the LDOE a few weeks back that I attended.

On Facebook I’ve been invited to a half dozen local anti-Common Core groups from different parishes.

Our Teachers Unions, LAE and LFT are opposed to LDOE’s ill-conceived rollout of Common Core.

The only people that seem to be in favor of Common Core are Exxon, LDOE and the Advocate. So put that newspaper in the trashcan, pass by that Exxon station, and open your eyes and ears so you can see and hear the truth. Common Core is under siege, and for good reason, and no amount of printed lies and staged news conferences will change that. The only people that still think Common Core is a great idea for our children have been spending too much time with the Common Core Kool-Aid man.


Back away from the punch, Louisiana. This guy does not belong around our children.

Louisiana Releases new SPS school grade scale, in bright colors, to make easier for Louisiana parents to understand

Louisiana Releases new SPS school grade scale, in bright colors, to make easier for Louisiana parents to understand

October 24, 2013

Baton Rouge, LA

Today John White and the Louisiana Department of education have released a new grade scale they believe will make it easier to understand SPS, School Performance scores. Whereas in the past, the old, yucky score scale was printed out in monochrome grey, the new scale features the word “NEW” with colorful dashes around the word “New” and comes in 5 new bright colors. When asked about the change, John White replied:

“Why should Apple iPhones get to come in all those fancy colors and not our SPS score scale? It just didn’t make sense to parents that they would get a grade of ‘A’ but still be stuck with a grey letter just a few shades lighter than an ‘F’. Now parents will be able to proudly display that their kids attend an ‘A’ school in greenish chartreuse. Even parents of ‘F’ school students have improved options under this new system.”

Figure 1 Taking their cue from apple, LA redesigned their SPS scoring system

When asked for official comment, LDOE spokesperson Erin Bendily reported that they decided to go to the simpler scale so parents could color coordinate their school choice with their car paint jobs and personal palette preference.

“No longer will parents be fettered by the color of low expectations.”

When BESE president Chas Roemer was contacted for comment he had this to say:

“Everyone knows the SPS scores are meaningless. LDOE juggles the formulae every year and we just approve whatever John White tells us to approve. I’m a lawyer so I don’t have to do math, so that 150 points could be 150 bagillion trillion millioniplex for all I know. What I do know is that new scales are always better and less confusing than old scales. By the way, did you know my daddy was Governor?”

To further explain how much simpler these scales were, John White had this to say in the Times Picayune:

“We are providing a transition letter grade so that schools can see using the same formula as last year how well they did this year,” he said. “And we’re including the new grade to ensure that as we transition to the new system, we give families a clear apples to apples comparison.”

Obviously since no one understood scores previously, including those scores along with new scores will make things easier for parents to understand. And who can’t see a difference in color (except for color blind parents who will sadly be unimpressed by the new scores.) To further explain how simple the new method is John White provided this very simple breakdown and the old scale and new scale.

As for the method of grading, the previous rating system for elementary schools counted student scores on iLEAP and LEAP tests for 90 percent of the school’s grade. School attendance accounted for 10 percent of the grade. Now, however, these schools will be graded entirely student test scores.

For middle schools, 90 percent was formerly based on test scores, 5 percent on attendance and 5 percent on dropout rates. This year, 95 percent will be based on test scores, and 5 percent will be based on how many students drop out or don’t progress to the next grade level.

At the high school level, 70 percent of the school’s grade was based on end-of-course examinations, 30 percent on graduation rates. This year, 25 percent will be based on ACT scores, 25 percent on end-of-course exams and 50 percent on graduation rates.

Another change is that schools no longer will receive any points for students scoring in the two lowest tiers of LEAP and iLEAP exams: unsatisfactory and approaching basic. But in an effort to avoid a drastic decrease in some schools’ scores, the state is implementing a bonus system, where schools may receive as many as 10 points for students who scored in the two lowest tiers but who made significant progress from the previous year.

White says he does not expect to see a drastic shift in the number of schools rated highly or poorly under the new grading system. He has proposed that no matter how elementary and middle school students performed on tests this year, no school would see its letter grade drop more than one letter grade.

This year’s scale is:

  • A — 100-150 points
  • B — 85-99.9
  • C — 70-84.9
  • D — 50-69.9
  • F –0-49.9

    The previous scale was:

  • A — 120-200
  • B –105-119.9
  • C – 90-104.9
  • D –75-89.9
  • F — 0-74.9

So there you have it folks. The new SPS scoring system LDOE has been working on for 6 months before releasing SPS scores. They needed to multiply the previous numbers by 0.75. Now I really feel like my tax dollars are being put to good use.

I also go this explanation from an anonymous tipster for why it took so long to release the scores.

I don’t suppose it has ANY bearing on the holdup of school performance scores, (wink wink nudge nudge), but it seems there’s a bit of a headache with the voucher schools & students….

Seems that, of the 21 voucher-receiving schools that had enough data to get a ‘comparable’ SPS, the score breakdown is: 1 B, 2 Ds and 18 would have an F. Yes, you read that right; 18 of 21 would have an F. The department is desperately trying to figure out a way to give these schools “bonus points” so that they don’t appear as ‘bad’ as they are (hesitant to  use that term about any school), but they need to play with the entire data set…so, they can’t release a score for fear it will end up changing.

There’s also a ‘slight’ problem with the data collections…it’s so bad in the non-public schools (which never bother updating info….look who I’m telling!) that students were included in both the NPS as well as their original public schools…neither the total numbers or percentages match up.

Apparently the bonus points are for the voucher schools. So voucher schools that were super crappy, but did a little better, get a 10 point bump to their score to make it look like they dramatically improved. So reporter guys, please look at that before you go off the deep end gushing about how those schools have posted dramatic gains. I’d really appreciate it if I don’t have to correct any more of your stories for you. I have my own to write. Thanks. CCF

John McDonogh Part 2 (Rebuilding a Culture of Corruption)

John McDonogh Part 2 (Rebuilding a Culture of Corruption)

The John Mcdonogh story is one of obvious lies, reckless endangerment and exploitation of children, and utter disregard for the input of parents and community members. John McDonogh is a bridge from our past, to our present and a window on what the future of our education system will look like, statewide and nationwide, if we continue to allow corporations and politicians (more interested in making their donors happy than their constituents) run our school systems into the ground in the name of “Reform”. To everyone I’ve spoken to, John McDonogh embodies the culture of corruption festering within our education systems and communities. . . and is made even more poignant and infuriating because there is absolutely no excuse for the persistence of this situation, except greed, incompetence and antipathy.

Let’s start with the past. From my discussions I’ve learned that in the early 2000’s, pre-Katrina, John McDonogh was already falling apart and largely abandoned by the Orleans Parish School board. I’ve heard some stories of corrupt contracts related to equipment that was supplied to the school by School Board members or family of board members, and stories of mice falling from the ceiling during classes and holes in classroom floors that allowed the curious to peek in on what the classroom below was studying that day. The mold, termites, rat infestations, boarded up windows, faulty roof, faulty wiring and asbestos, that I will show you later did not all occur post-Katrina. This was a school that has long been languishing and so when education Reform proponents hold up New Orleans as evidence of a failed public model, they had a point in many areas. However what I can’t quite fathom is how they could hold up a school like John Mcdonogh as evidence of a failing school system, and then not only fail to remedy the situation but make the situation worse, even after collecting 35 million dollars in grants to address the serious health problems for which they had ample evidence?

In 2011, John White got on TV and told the people of New Orleans, and the United States that he had 35 million dollars dedicated for fixing up this school. 2 years later John White and RSD still has the money, but John Mac is even worse off than before. This school gained national attention in 2012 after becoming the subject of an Oprah Winfrey documentary “BlackBoard Wars.” A charter operator called FIN (Future Is Now) schools was given rights to operate John Mac in 2012. The money gained from that exploitation by Steve Barr, the director and founder of FIN, has not been fully accounted for. Black Board Wars was not a project which was ever approved by the School’s own cozy board of Directors as this letter to Barr clearly states. Barr has not been especially forthcoming about an additional federal grant of 800,000 dollars (provided by way of New Schools for New Orleans) that partially funds Barr’s salary and the 115k salary of a 9th grade principal position (at the 9-12 school) who oversees 13 students.

Prior to the handover of this school to a private charter organization, the school posted less than stellar School Performance Scores (SPS). But the latest score, a 9.3 out of 150 is borderline absurd.

Operator Year SPS Score out of 150
RSD

2008

20.9

RSD

2009

21.6

RSD

2010

32.2

RSD

2011

41.8

FIN

2012

9.3

The line in the article about graduation rates adding 40 points to their SPS score is ridiculous. Those modifiers are multipliers that add or subtract a few percentage points depending on whether the school did better or worse than the average in terms of graduation rate. If the school had more graduates than normal (with an SPS score of 9.3 out of 150 I find that very doubtful) they might have added a point or two. In all likelihood their score would have been even lower. This does not explain the nearly 80% drop in scores from when RSD had them to when Future Is Now schools took them over. It would be very easy to blame the new charter for these scores. However what I think is more likely is that RSD engaged in cheating starting around 2010 to start raising their scores, at least at John Mcdonogh. When teachers tried reporting cheating to John White when he was in charge of RSD he had them terminated rather than investigate. It’s quite likely that RSD is rife with cheating that is encouraged by the State to promote the RSD model. This is a pattern that happened in DC, and Atlanta, and very likely happened in a widespread manner in RSD and is probably still happening. At the last BESE meeting a teacher from RSD actually brought up a case where he was dismissed by John White shortly after coming forward with evidence of teachers visiting the homes of students and reading the actual test questions before the state tests. Rather than investigate this situation, this teacher was terminated. That termination serves as a lesson to other teachers who would dare report cheating, and an encouragement to do so. It would seem that cheating is more extensive than many would lead you to believe, and cheating can take many forms as this article shows.

The incentives for cheating can be immense. Teachers get rewarded if their students do well on these tests. In one case a New Orleans charter school (New Beginning’s) awarded cash in excess of 43,000 dollars to specific teachers whose students test scores had miraculously improved. The chief operations officer in charge of these outlandish payouts at New Beginnings in 2011, Stephen Osborn, was subsequently recruited and appointed to be an Assistant Superintendent at LDOE in charge of Special Programs (although they called it Office of Special Program’s support it was the same position formerly held by Donna Nola-Ganey.) John White was promoted to State Superintendent of Education with a 275,000 dollar annual salary after overseeing, and perhaps covering up, many instances of cheating. Charter operators can keep and gain very lucrative contracts if their schools post extraordinary gains. The incentives for charters schools can easily run to the millions of dollars.

While there is money to made by doing something to improve test scores, like cheating, there are many millions of dollars of dollars more to be made and dispensed for doing nothing at all.

This is the angle, and shot of the school when most news outlets do stories about John McDonogh.

These are some of the photos of the school from slightly different angles that you will see if you are actually a student, parents or live in the neighborhood of this school.

+

Those pictures of the outside are hard to look at. Obviously this is neglect and damage that took place over more than the half dozen or so years RSD ran the joint. However, RSD has the power and the money to actually fix this situation. They have a fixed up a few of the more common areas of the interior of the school, they have fixed the roof, but they left a majority of the school boarded up like a condemned building. The inside is filled with mold, asbestos, termites, roaches and rats. To date, RSD has done nothing to address previous photos and documented evidence of serial neglect. Executive communications director, Zoey Reed has provided the reason RSD is sitting on 34.2 million dollars that John White promised in 2011 on national television would be spent on renovating John McDonogh.

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Zoey Reed <Zoey.Reed@rsdla.net> wrote:

“Also, as far as timeline, the charter schools work with the RSD on timing, FIN of John McDonogh asked the RSD not to start renovations because students would have to move and they were building school culture and didn’t want the disruption. “

The reason provided is that FIN is building “school culture,” and would rather live in a culture of filth, squalor, mold, leaking windows, and rat feces for the 300 students they have on a campus that can house well over 1000. They want to preserve a culture responsible for an SPS score of 9.3 out of 150. These groups have not rebuilt John Mcdonogh. What they have rebuilt is a culture of corruption.

My belief is they want to preserve the 34.2 million dollars to promise to another school on national TV for another renovation that will never take place. My belief is they want to give the 34 million dollars to private entities in the form of more enormous pay raises and bonuses for managing 13 students or improving a test score or two through “creative” student assistance. I do not believe RSD should be waiting until 2016 to start renovating a building that currently looks like it should be condemned. I do not believe a school with an SPS score of 9, running a 900,000 deficit (after dispensing their 800,000 grant to themselves) should be allowed to run this school any longer.

This school should be fixed up and given back to the community. The Orleans School Board failed. RSD failed. Chartering failed. It is time to return this school to the community and renovate it, and see if they can succeed, where so many have failed this school so completely. How could anyone succeed in an environment like the one shown below? Oprah Winfrey’s Network advertised John McDonogh as the most dangerous school in America. Based on these photos have been right, but not for the reasons they were telling their audience. By the looks of these pictures just getting out of this school alive is an accomplishment.

Figure 1 rotting wood

Figure 2 Mold behind all walls and ceilings


Figure 3 Rat Feces/termites?/rotting wood


Figure 4 asbestos

These pictures were taken two years ago. Reports were requested from RSD showing any mold remediation or repairs that were done. The only reports listed involved a new roof and heating and air repairs some bleachers and sprinklers.

On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Zoey Reed <Zoey.Reed@rsdla.net> wrote:

In response to your records request please find the documents responsive to your inquiry. I also wanted to provide some context to what you are reviewing. The budget to renovate John Mac is $34.2 million. These funds will come from FEMA, this is a part of the over $1.8 billion school facilities master plan where all students will be in a new, renovated or refurbished building. This is one of the largest school redevelopment projects in the country. In the interim, the RSD has spent about $865,000 on a new roof, HVAC repairs and sprinklers and bleachers in the gym.

The attached documents were created in 2008 and in 2011 when the master plan was revisited. We have attached documents on assessments which we have done for every school. These documents show that, like all of our schools, John McDonogh needs to be renovated. We have done immediate upgrades to ensure the safety and well-being of each student until the large scale renovation takes place. Attached you will find the following documents responsive to your request:

Is this building one of the least serious in all of RSD such that it can wait until 2016, 11 years after Katrina to start to be fixed even though the money to fix it is already there? Almost all of New Orleans had to be repaired after the storm, often with little federal assistance. How can RSD justify allowing this building to poison our kids while they sit on their hands and 34+ million dollars? If someone at RSD really believes that “school culture” that produces a 9.3 SPS score trumps basic human safety and decency for children they need to be fired. This situation is beyond disgraceful. The situation at John McDonogh is criminal and negligent. None of the people that have allowed this situation to fester should ever be allowed to claim they are doing anything for children ever again. The staff responsible for allowing this situation to exist should all be fired, but more importantly, students should be moved off campus to somewhere healthy and renovation plans and repairs should begin immediately. No school and no child should have to operate under conditions like this.

I doubt this will be the last story I do on John McDonogh, but if the next story I do is not about how RSD decided to move the renovation timeline up and to find a healthy environment for these kids to attend class I’m going to be really pissed. I can’t even imagine how the parents of these children must feel. If the FIN charter operator cares anything for these children they should be lobbying for this renovation more than anyone: anything less is inexcusable.

If you would like to express an opinion on this situation directly to RSD please contact Zoey Reed. I’m sure she will be eager to hear from you.

    Zoey Reed

    Executive Director of Communications

    External Affairs

    504.373.6200 ext. 20180 (o)

    504.333.2800 (m)

I hope my regular readers can forgive my recent foray and seeming obsession with Common Core developments in our state. What is going (or not going on) with Common Core in our state is a big deal with wide ranging implications. Moreover, traditional media sources are covering this topic very poorly and with a significant corporate bias. After attending and seeing footage from various venues across the state and I amazed at the complete disconnect/fabrication of what I’ve seen or witnessed transpiring and what has been reported in the newspapers and TV news. Through the vast conspiracy and corruption parents are seeing through their exposure to how our politicians, BESE board, Superintendent of Education and governor are handling Common Core they finally starting to wake up and recognize they no longer live in a representative democracy, but as inconsequential cogs in a corporate machine designed to harvest as much wealth from us and our children as they can dream up in their private meetings. The situation with John McDonogh is no different.