I would like to thank all of you who came out to support our call to take back public education in Louisiana at the Rally this Saturday. I spoke with many parents and teachers (in both public and private schools) about their concerns about the federal Common Core Curriculum, and informed them of many other goings on at the Louisiana Department of Education. I explained just tiniest fraction of the issues I’ve covered over the past two years and I literally saw jaws dropping open in disbelief. Most parents and teachers have been oblivious to what has been going on with education in our State, but they are starting to wake up and ask questions, and for that I am especially thankful.

As I said during my speech to close out the rally, we must engage our political leaders, and ask them the hard questions that they have never been asked. They have lived a life of legislative leisure, ignoring any opposition and critiques of the policies that have been handed to them by non-parents; by outsiders; by corporations and wealthy individuals seeking to profit from our children and our state. I asked you to contact these leaders that have pledged to represent our interests and ask them real questions, to go beyond the pat talking points John White literally delivers to their doorsteps, and inboxes. One of you did and I received this transcription of the event.

From a parent who called his BESE representative:

“Chas Roemer (District 6 BESE Representative) just returned my call. I left a message for him to please call me, but I did not tell him what I wanted to discuss. My goal was to express to him my concerns about Common Core Standards.

After our ‘conversation’, I can say that Mr. Roemer is a person who is elected by the people BUT who does not want to listen to the people.

He stated that they are trying to create a “workforce” that can compete with the world.

When I asked when we went from educating our children to creating a “workforce“, he stated that they needed to create skilled workers.

Again, how is that the purpose of education?

When I asked why we are adopting a standard that has no textbooks, proven testing, or curricula, he told me that they were giving each district the power to do that.

When asked why he was just giving the standard rhetoric, which is all we seem to get from him concerning Common Core, he started yelling at me and wanted to know where I got my information.

When I stated that myself and my wife have been researching this, he stated that what you read on the internet is false information.

He started actually yelling at me about how he didn’t have to listen to me.

Yes, I’ll admit it; I did raise my voice back and said he is an elected official and that it is his job to listen to me. He then said if I have a problem then run for the BESE board where we could debate the issue, and then he hung up on me.

This man obviously does not want to hear from anyone that does not agree with him.”

My thanks and admiration goes out to the parent who took this necessary first step. However this was just a first step, a first blow in what will be a much longer battle. Even now John White, Bobby Jindal, and their media allies are coordinating attacks on parents and students, calling them “populists” and special interests, tea party fanatics, and crazies in an attempt to marginalize them; to marginalize us. Chas Roemer’s reaction is what you should expect from any of John White’s allies, and Jindal’s puppets. They are incapable of defending these policies because they don’t understand them, because they are indefensible, and because no one has ever dared ask them too. They are incapable of answering these questions because they do not allow dissent, they do not allow discussion. Even on BESE, 9 of the 11 members all vote in lockstep with John White and Bobby Jindal’s agenda on every single issue. Look closely the next time you attend a BESE meeting and you will see tiny strings attached to these nine that travel all the way to the Governor’s mansion and up to the 5th floor of the Claiborne building where John White holds court with his entourage of out-of-state henchchildren.

The sad part of the whole exchange between Chas Roemer, and one of his constituents he was sworn to represent, is that even if this person were elected to BESE (as Lottie Beebe and Carolyn Hill have) Chas Roemer, in his role as BESE president, would still not allow them to speak or discuss these issues. The only solution I can offer to deal with Chas and so many puppets like him is to run out own candidates to replace them. Chas has served on the BESE board long enough. He is obviously overburdened having to listen or discuss issues with his constituents. The only person he’s had to represent up until now was Bobby Jindal.

We will run or support a candidate against Chas or anyone he endorses in district 6. It is time a parent, not a lawyer without any kids in the public schools, represents other parents. I encourage all parents with children in our public schools to consider running for BESE in the next election and replace these phonies like Chas Roemer and Kira Orange Jones that use BESE as a stepping stone in their careers, not as one of the most important jobs in state government, looking after our children.

Hey Chas, any guesses which district I live in?

Now get out there and have yourselves a little puppet show!

As I promised at the Rally, here is a list of resources you can use to contact relevant legislators and representatives:

Here is the link to find your legislators if you don’t already know who they are or have their contact info. http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx

Here is the house education committee: http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Cmtes/H_CMTE_ED.asp

Here is the Senate Education Committee: http://senate.la.gov/Education/Assignments.asp

Here are the BESE members: http://bese.louisiana.gov/about-bese/bese-members

And here is a listing of the Governor’s staff/policy advisors. Stafford Palmieri is the education liaison.


You might also try contacting your local superintendents and local school board meetings as well as the BESE meetings for voicing your concerns. All of those folks will communicate your dissatisfaction to LDOE and John White.

Not sure who your BESE rep is, or which district you want to consider making a run for? Here’s an easy reference map.

You will probably note that the “member’s at large” portion (Jindal appointees) is outdated for at least two of the members. I suppose they are trying to say it doesn’t really matter who fills those spots, they might as all say Jindal Proxy votes.


16 thoughts on “A Parent Confronts a Puppet on BESE

  1. Hats off to the parent who called Chas.

    I know a former public school teacher who put her youngin’ in private school until Common Core blows over. She has lunch at the school once a week and is impressed with the manners the kids use in the course of their day. Obviously Chas didn’t go to that school. I have a friend who is clamoring to make a run for BESE. She used to work for the LDoE and could really expose some of their shenanigans.

    Thank you, Crazy, for all the rabble you rouse.

  2. Reblogged this on Parents of PVMS and commented:
    Thanks for posting this Jason. Guess which district I live in, also….
    The pressure is on. They cannot give legitimate reasons or facts concerning Common Core and that makes them nervous. Let’s keep it up. The more nervous they are and the more they realize that we are on to them, the better. Let’s keep them on the run (right out of office).

  3. Very believable, but it’s kind of hard to believe this parent since Chas the millionaire son of a former governor doesn’t give anyone the time of day unless they’re rich and powerful.

    Speaking of campaigns, remember Chas was the guy who waged a mean spirited, vicious and much better funded campaign * against “tax and spend liberal!” Donald Songy-a greatly respected lifelong educator, recently supt. of Ascension Schools, one of the most successful and fastest growing districts in LA who unfortunately barely campaigned and had only a facebook page describing his exceptional career and extensive volunteer work with children, while Chas’s bio on his big political website only described his prowess as a big businessman-VP of nursing homes I think-and, of course, his perfect family full of fake smiles in those typical professionally made political ad photos. Sadly the reelection is either 2 or 3 years off.

    *”On a comprehensive campaign finance filing dated October 11, Roemer’s records show he collected $117,250 to Songy’s $965.” (Yes, for a state ed. board race!) from

  4. Guess what district I live in? I helped Chas Roemer in his bid for BESE. I will fight to the death to get rid of him. Disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.

  5. Let’s think of the old adage, ” Fight Fire WITH Fire”. Our gov’nre has an ad campaign going. Those who are oblivious to the real issues of ed reform in LA will naturally agree with him.
    Sure phone calls, emails, text to our legislators are a good weapon, but to truly get the general public on our side, an ad campaign is needed. Otherwise, the general public – who votes- will just thing we are crying in our milk. I wish someone would start a PAC for this purpose; I’d gladly donate. And oh btw tv commercials via cable cost less than you think!

  6. Could the teachers groups – Deshotels bunch, LFT – maybe the School Board Association, and wasn’t their some sort of alliance a while back. They have structures in place. It’d be easier to ‘spin-off’ than start from scratch.

    1. I think this needs to be parent driven, not teacher/union driven (whether by perception or reality)  parents have their own concerns/priorities whicg may align with those groups on some issues, I imagine not on all or to the same degree or emphasis.   

      Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

      1. I’m a grandparent, and I work for LAE. Sure parents should be involved, and at the forefront. We’d all love that. Just wish the parents would have stepped up last year during the beginning of the Jindal reforms. Yes, later is better than never.

        1. They are getting involved now.  More of us needed to do a better Job involving them i feel, but many teachers didnt realize the extent of what was going on either. These guys are masters of deception, not engagement. That’s where we can all help now. We must educate our parents and our children about what is happening and hold the imposters accountable.  Isnt that what accountabilitt is all about?

          Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

        2. I do agree with you. My research was started 2 years ago. That is when the transition began where I teach. This our third year into the program. I did call La State of Education two years ago, I was able to speak to someone pretty high up. Special education was my main concern(until I did and still doing my research) as that is what I teach. First, I asked if what I was reading was correct, response was yes, there will be no modifications and accomadations for children with learning disabilities. Me- How can you do this? I would believe it is not ethical. Then I asked, Don’t you think people are going to protest against this? He said they will, but it will be to late and already implemented in our schools. So my response was; you are betting that parents are not doing there homework at the present moment (now remember this was 2 years ago in 2011) and when it is fully in our schools, is when you will have many people cocerned. By then it will be to late and the program will be already passed and it will be to late to pull out? him- you are correct. Me- Well if I was a betting kind of woman, I would take that bet and say you will be correct when the time comes. Low and behold he was correct. I did appreciate his honesty. LATER IS BETTER THAN NEVER.

    1. Unfortunately not til 2015. That means we have to get Jindal to act if we want anything done.before then. We must also make it clear our senators and reps will be held accountable and the BESE rubberstamps will be remembered for their betrayal of students and parents.

      1. With the millions of dollars behind the BESE board and Jindal, we will need a strong positive media presence with a common message, across the board and literally hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers actively working towards the goal. Unless, of course, a pot of gold is presented to us, then we can buy media.

    1. Those rarely work, especially in this state,  and we would have to recall most of BESE to have an impact.  They would get millions of dollars and sympathy as a result if a recall effort.  Best to vote them all out of office enmsse in the next election and use this time to discredit them and find our own candidates to support.

      Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

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