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: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

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…

View original post 358 more words


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%


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.


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.–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.

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.


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.