Letter to the editor by BESE member Lottie Beebe

Dear Editor, [That’s me I think!]

On October 15, 2013, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) invited feedback from the public regarding the national Common Core standards that are currently being implemented across the state. As a BESE member, I requested that BESE discuss the standards based on numerous concerns expressed by parents across Louisiana – concerns about the rigor of the standards, the negative effects the standards were having on our students, student privacy, the role of special interest groups outside of Louisiana in shaping the standards, lack of training on the new standards for teachers, and poor implementation planning by the Louisiana Department of Education. Citizens came to the meeting and spoke about the pros and cons of the Common Core standards, expressing their convictions to their government.

The citizens who voiced their concerns about Common Core clearly affected BESE, which had previously acted with a heartless disregard to the impact Common Core was having on Louisiana’s children. Less than 24 hours later, without any public input or scrutiny, with little time for review from elected BESE members, BESE voted on new policies to shift responsibility to the local school districts to pick materials for Common Core.

Common Core remains in place. Student data sharing remains in place. The questions and concerns about classroom readiness and the special interests and the rigor of the standards remain. It was great that BESE responded to the people’s concerns, but it was a very ineffectual response.

Regardless of our thoughts on the Common Core, it is clear that we all want academic rigor for our students. We should also demand rigorous accountability of our elected leaders. We should demand that new policies be passed in a thoughtful manner, with input from the public, not as a flimsy distraction from legitimate public outcry.

 

Sincerely,

Lottie P. Beebe, BESE District 3

Breaux Bridge, LA

337.412.2564

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18 thoughts on “Letter to the editor by BESE member Lottie Beebe

    1. Absolutely. Of course he is also secretly selectinga pool fromwhich all materials must come from. He even created a cadre of new positions to review these materials and select the lucky vendors. Of course, you wouldn’t know that from the Advocate article.

  1. In the immortal words of John White (on another subject) “Let’s muddy the waters!”
    So there is nothing new under John’s Sun. Merely juggle the pins differently as conditions require.
    ‘Tis all a thread in the Jindal propaganda patch work. A budget-busting deficit finally is correctly reported as a multi million dollar surplus…aw but its because of our budget cutting. A cost savings from private operation of public hospitals…but there are no savings its a way to scam the federales out of increased Medicaid funds. Its like announcing a major economic development then learning it creates 60 jobs for Louisiana workers (anyone want to guess what is the amount of state and local tax incentives and grants it took to get them here?). When the numbers don’t add up the Jindalistas are trained to spin, spin and when that doesn’t work remove the numbers and find a weak judge to rule in the state’s favor regardless of the law.

  2. But he told us the scores wouldn’t drop this year! Can you say data manipulation! I guess he knows how to do the fuzzy math already!

    1. Statistical equating. They voted on that as well. It was item No. 2.2 which was skipped to talk about item 2.3 Common Core. Item 2.2 stated (paraphrasing) end of course test will include so much new material statistical equating may be needed.

  3. I want to thank Dr. Lottie Beebe again for allowing an opportunity for parents, teachers, citizens to voice their concerns on Common Core/Child data sharing. In addition I would also like to thank the ONE (if there were others, sorry I did not see you) Representative on our House Education Committee that cared enough to show up and witness for himself the concerns of parents across this state – Representative John Bel Edwards. Representative Edwards stated that one of his biggest concerns about Common Core is whether the implementation will unfairly push more schools into the C, D, and F range and then divert more students to choice initiatives such as vouchers, charters, and course providers.

    1. There is zero doubt that it will.And based on BESE’s approval of a universally unwanted charter in a B district, it will mean every district will now be vulnerable to State takeover and chartering. That is the real reason Common Core was rushed through and why schools were prepared so poorly. They are “empowering” schools to make their own decisions so they can declare them failures when those impossible goals are not met.

      1. I have also been wondering if perhaps this “empowerment” of schools/local districts is analogous to being given enough rope to hang oneself. I believe that it is in Gov. Jindal’s and Superintendent White’s personal best interests for public schools to fail. Then Gov. Jindal can clear his balance sheet of as much public $ as possible for his run for President. All the while, teaching becomes downgraded from a profession to an entry-level job, where “facilitators of learning” (yup, that’s our new name according to a meeting at the Southside Parish Public Library for the Common Core) can just read from a prepared script, use lesson plans/resources created by professional teachers and stored on oncoursesystems.com (no longer our personal property?), and get paid a lot less. That way, the division between the “haves” and the “have nots” becomes greater, with no one standing in the middle ground to call out the perpetrators of the inequities. Really disgusts me.

    2. Her dedication and diligence deserves a nomination for public servant of the year. Fighting city (or state) hall is never comfortable, and in the aftermath of Jindal’s dealing with former BESE member Tammie McDaniels it is even dangerous.
      When two of her colleagues hold their seats due to huge cash expenditures from out of state donors and two with apparent conflicts of interest that a Jindal-dominated commission refuse to take to task, one can easily see why bravery should be a descriptor added to dedication and diligence when applied to Mrs. Beebe.

        1. She is amazing ! Speaking as a parent ,Jon White needs to know we are not done with him . We will never be quietened or intimidated . Louisiana is connecting the dots and he will be held accountable .

    3. The master plan is to push ALL schools into “failing” status. They are starting with the economically disadvantaged, but eventually all schools will get labeled as “failing” so that ALL schools can be privatized. We have always been taught that private schools are better, but that’s not true for all of them, and the charter, voucher, online schools will be significantly worse than what we have now. We are already seeing larger class sizes and questionable practices is these “privatized” schools.

      1. Absolutely.   They are using multiple strategies to privatize public schools.  When charters “fail” they become new charters, when public schools fail.they become charters.  Nothing.returns to public and nothing ever will as long as Jindal and White and this BESE board call the shots.

        Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

  4. Just a thought – These ‘standards’ are to equalize the schools. How do St. Tammany schools become equal to New Orleans schools? States will eventually get to choose Common Core Book 1 or Common Core Book 2. Both will be filled with liberal, progressive garbage.

    1. Louisiana public schools have always had to follow the state curriculum. The same topics are taught in St. Tammany schools and in New Orleans schools. People are confusing test scores with the quality of education that is taught in the schools, which do not correlate in our society. Test scores are directly impacted by the students’ family economic status. There are tons of literature out there that explain this and some give examples of specific questions from standardized tests that show why this is the case.

  5. Another observation – I am not sure that principals of Parochial schools are aware that charter schools are beginning to pop up near Catholic Schools in different parts of the country. Both Catholic Schools and charter schools can be selective, but since both will be using Common Core, religion is the only differentiating factor with respect to academics. Many Catholics are opting to send their children to the charter schools rather than pay the tuition for Catholic education choosing to provide religious instruction for their children in alternate ways. In summary, Common Core is the reformers’ weapon of choice for the destruction of BOTH public AND private schools. Did I mention that this is fantastic news for hedge funds as they continue to add educational portfolios(charter schools) to their mix?

  6. Take a look at the 2nd grade Unit 2 Engage New York Guided Reading material. That was an eye opener. Better yet, a shock! I wonder who is behind this in America. There is so much about America that we should be teaching our 2nd graders besides ancient civilizations, foreign culture, Budism, Dilwali and I could go on and on. Check it out.

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