The Stop the Common Core Curriculum Rally was held this Saturday and by most accounts was a remarkable success. While several media outlets tried to portray this as a Tea Party event, and while there were tea party folks there and who helped organize it, I had the privilege of meeting many parents, students and teachers from all walks of life and political background. Many, if not most, had never been to a political rally before but this was a cause they felt very strongly about. The impromptu theme for the event was “We are not uninformed. We know what Common Core is, and we reject it.” This was a message repeated by many speakers and which showed up on several signs brought by protesters. I will show you all the pictures I took, including one of me standing triumphantly on the steps of the Claiborne building, in front of a banner I helped string up. Even though I have not won anything, I say triumphantly, because now I am surrounded by allies who are committed to learning and telling their neighbors the truth; allies who love Louisiana as much as I do; allies who love their children and who see the harm being done to them by this Jindal and John White administration as this banner clearly shows. (I’m not quite sure why Jindal is Mrs.’d but now that I see it, it is pretty funny.) (*update: This was not a typo, this was a crawfish senior moment, not to be confused with the south of the border cuisine of Senior Crawfish Momento. This refers to a Workforce Development grant and the WDQI Workforce Development Quality Initiative which Bobby Jindal’s mother is listed as the IT director in charge of administering. Kinda’ funny I forgot since I think I was the first person from our group to spot that name and relationship. Oops)
Before you say it, yeah I know my stomach covers up more of the banner lettering than it should. (I had my victory feasting earlier . . . and over the course of few years.)
When I left LDOE I never really thought I would be coming back. I was resigned to the idea that John White and Bobby Jindal had won. I didn’t really know what I could do to stop them by myself. I met with a few groups, contacted media and legislators but was rebuffed at every turn. That’s when I started my blog. If nothing else, I resolved I would tell people what I was seeing, and what I saw. I knew if I didn’t, no one else would or could.
For the better part of a year I was more of an oddity than a serious threat to the status quo of Jindal and White and their corporate interests. Slowly, oh so slowly, I linked up with other groups, school district superintendents, reporters, parents groups, bloggers, and political leaders. I fed them info, produced reports for them, researched developing stories, connections, and information requests. One of those stories involved inBloom and LDOE’s secret plan to collect and sell Louisiana’s student data to outside vendors, like inBloom, who could then in turn resell their contract to other entities, or sell or use their data for any purpose they felt like, all the while charging us 5 dollars per student stored on their database, annually. This was touted as necessary for proper implementation of the federally incentivized Common Core Curriculum.
Once parents starting rejecting this theft of their most private data, including SSN’s (which were actually sent), pictures, phone numbers, health information, and addresses among more than 600 other bits of data, John White changed his story. White is saying now that this data will not be necessary, and telling parents they have nothing to worry about because there currently is not data sharing contract in place. This is a lie on both counts, as usual. We have proven time and time again that this is another lie, but the proving gets tiresome, and lies and misleading statements more devious each time. As long as John White sits in the State Superintendent chair, the public will have no faith in him or LDOE. Currently John White plans to share student data through the WDQI (Workforce Quality Data Initiative) that he agreed to participate in writing, and assigned three data folks to lead from the DOE side. I will get into another secret project later where data will be stealth shared through private vendor that is offering a student dashboard system to school districts directly. They will charge a fee to districts directly, but I’ve been told they actively have plans to share the data they collect to vendors like inBloom on the backend.
But those will be posts for another time. I don’t have hundreds of employees I personally hired to spin lies for me full-time on the taxpayer’s dollar. Fortunately the lies are so easily disputable I can easily debunk them in my spare time. LDOE’s latest strategy is to swamp the mainstream media with lie upon lie in rapid machinegun fashion. I need your help to call attention to these articles and these lies as you see them, and to contact the reporters that print these lies of how they are being misled. White has overpaid corporate thugs, I have dedicated Louisiana parents and teachers backed with the truth. I have every confidence we will win, and bring down any politician foolish enough to get in our path. Now our goal is to minimize the damage White can do before he finally takes the time to look up from his ever-present Smartphone and corporate e-mailed talking points, to see the writing on the wall.
Now more pictures of parents who are trying to exercise their right to choose. . . something other than the federally coerced Common Core Curriculum, John White and John White’s recruiter and chief Louisiana ally, Bobby Jindal.
Stop giving us false choices, and a phony federal curriculum, Bobby. We know better, and we are watching you.
This is just the beginning, Bobby. How long this battle lasts is entirely up to you, but each day you wait is one more day we have to get stronger.