St.Tammany Parish in Louisiana Drops Out of CCSS

St Tammany has gained some national attention for their bold move, to thwart the state, and close to half a dozen parishes look to be not far behind. From the grilling John White and BESE president Chas Roemer got by the legislature this week it looks like our legislature may act to delay or withdraw from CCSS as well. If Governor Bobby Jindal’s behavior is anything like his abandonment of his sales tax increase plan, he will meekly follow along with the legislature and claim credit for rejecting Washington interference in local education, except this time he will be right, even if he is just boldly leading from the rear, as usual.

Diane Ravitch's blog

St. Tammany Parish is one of the state of Louisiana’s high-performing districts. Its board passed a far-reaching resolution declaring that it was dropping out of the Common Core standards and would not administer the PARCC assessments. Its resolution explained why it was not willing to participate in this disruption to its schools:

It objects to federal control of its curriculum;

The CCSS were written and implemented too quickly, without due deliberation;

Compliance with CCSS and PARCC involves huge expenses, in relation to equipment, upgrades, time, and effort;

It objects to the data-sharing agreements that are associated with CCSS;

It sees CCSS and PARCC as an unfunded mandate.

For these and other reasons, the school board said “no thanks.”




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The New Orleans Imperative rebroadcast link of me talking about 2013 SPS scores and links to quoted stories

Listen in from the following link:



Here are the recent SPS score reviews published by myself and others.

Here is the predictive blog post by Herb Bassett I referred to during the show.

And here is Herb’s prediction of what would happen to SPS scores. If anything the results seem to be less stellar than predicted based solely on the formulaic change. This most likely indicates student achievement is actually declining under John White and the education reform agenda.

You can read Herb’s entire report here: 2013_School_Letter_Grade_Manipulations_release


Figure 1 Predicted results based on formula change


Figure 2 Actual results

Here is the reclassification SPED students before test time to improve test scores post that shows guidance from LDOE directing school districts to do this:

From: Gary Jones [mailto:Gary.Jones@LA.GOV]

Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 8:50 AM
To: (redacted)
Subject: ACT testing for LAA1/LAA2 students
Importance: High

Dear Superintendents,

In his conference call today, Superintendent White talked about ACT testing and LAA1 versus LAA2. Superintendents are encouraged to make realistic decisions about who should be taking the ACT. We realize the likelihood that some students who are currently assessed as LAA2 (and thus required to take the ACT) might be better placed as LAA1. In the past, the impression was that among the criteria for students to be eligible for LAA1, students had to be at 3 standard deviations below the mean in both cognitive and adaptive skills. However, that is not the case. They can meet that requirement by scoring 3 standard deviations below the mean in cognitive skills only.

Please note that the deadline for placing students in LAA1 has been extended from January 25th to February 25th. Students who are placed in LAA1 will be tested by mid-March.

The last two newsletters have contained a link to FAQ’s on this issue, but I have included it again below for your use. Please encourage your special education administrators and high school principals to join the webinars that will be hosted on Thursday of this week and Wednesday of next week (will be in newsletter today).

FAQ Link:

Dr. Gary L. Jones

Assistant Superintendent

LA Department of Education


Office: 318.767.3018

Cell: 318.308.2306


Shadow Schools information: Iberville and St James.

T “Turn around” Schools information:

My last John McDonogh story.

We were both wrong on SPS score. J (Not 30 or 50) I think the 50 was based on a 200 point scale but it was 41.8 before Future Is Now charter took over the school.



SPS Score out of 150

















83% below grade level or failing state tests:

65% below grade level

RSD successfully argued the below is successful school to the desegregation judge overseeing St Helena’s consent decree when refusing to allow St Helena to expand grade levels in their existing schools to give parents of middle school students a non-RSD option with 70% of students performing below grade level.