The Louisiana Department of Education rushed and ruined the implementation of Common Core, on purpose and for quick cash

I’ve been researching this story for close to 4 months now talking to local superintendents, teachers, parents, teacher leaders, and both pro and con Common Core folks. I’ve been following tips and reviewing internal documents that were sent out to school districts as well as listening to accounts of what local educational leaders were told in person.

What I was surprised to discover is that LDOE, despite their protestations to the contrary and despite a lot of supporting evidence, is not entirely incompetent. This is the line of reasoning John White wants you to believe, that the Common Core rollout was just handled poorly, and now he is using a 10 year phased in approach. (This makes everything alright, right?) This gradual, phased-in approach was recommended hundreds of times to John White from teachers unions, BESE members and education leaders across the state and discarded out of hand.

White would like you to “believe” it was simply a lack of experience on his part and an overactive hubris that led to this cataclysmic implementation fail. A fail that has spawned dozens of parents groups across the state clamoring to their legislators to “kill Common Core.” The implementation was so bad, Governor Bobby Jindal had to distance himself from the issue by vaguely stating he is opposed to a “national curriculum,” without actually answering publicly whether is in favor of Common Core which is handpicked State Superintendent of Education and handpicked and financially sponsored BESE board committed Louisiana to sight unseen. There is no question that Bobby Jindal supports Common Core, and a national curriculum these standards impose, he’s just being cagey for the cameras and to keep his presidential chances alive no matter how this issue is finally resolved. True Leadership in Crisis Monday morning quarterback leading from Bobby Jindal, as usual.

I do wonder if Jindal would be as supportive of his Superintendent putting him in this position on purpose? The truth is, John White intended for the CCSS rollout to be a failure, for some school districts; probably for most districts. He and his network leaders and TFA cadre and regional network leaders intentionally disseminated incorrect information to mislead school districts. This was occurring at the same time White quietly slipped documentation into LDOE newsletters and ESEA waiver requests, he was well aware no one read, to try and discredit critics after this planned failure. White intended for some districts like Lincoln and Jefferson to implement Common Core well (as well as such a substandard set of standards could be implemented) while using the poor implementations in other districts as leverage to make charters, Course Choice, virtual schools, and the state’s voucher programs more palatable to the public.  There is also the question of where did all the money for Common Core implementing actually go?  At least 25 million was given to the state by Gates and US DOE in the form of Race to the Top grant.  I can think of 25 million reasons to find reasons to skimp on the Common Core implementation.

Common Core has some educational material. Some individual components, taken by themselves in a vacuum might even be better than some of our current standards. That does not explain why we just didn’t remedy our existing standards. The folks who gave us the previous standards have been in charge for more than decade. If our existing standards were so poor, they were poor because the people we put in charge made them so, or allowed them to be that way. These same folks are now telling us Common Core is better, but are they in any position to judge?

Proponents of CCSS like to pull out individual pieces and ask critics questions like:

“So you don’t believe kids should be able to multiply in third grade?”

Or

“So you don’t believe kids should understand motivations of the narrator?”

They don’t like anyone to view these standards as a whole or to actually look at the credentials (or lack thereof) of the creators of Common Core. Common Core is not about raising standards or helping children, or improving college and career readiness. Many proponents of Common Core have the same mission as Superintendent White, to destroy the teaching profession and replace public schools with private and unaccountable charters, voucher and virtual school alternatives.

Common Core is about control. The purpose of Common Core is to wrest control of local curriculum and local schools from communities and to eliminate experienced teachers. Those who support Common Core, and most specifically a hyper-fast track for it, did so not because the wanted children and teachers to succeed, but because they knew they would fail. From this failure charter schools could reap more opportunities for expansion. Voucher schools, which to date have performed abysmally even compared to our already abysmal education outcomes would be seen as a more favorable option. As schools are forced to narrow their curriculum to simply focus on improving Math and English scores, private Course Choice providers are lining up to fill in the void. Their contribution is substandard but highly profitable and easy to churn out material. Inexperienced teachers who drill and kill students to prepare them for the new material and high stakes testing will “seem” to be as good or better than experienced teachers who build a strong foundation for learning throughout a lifetime. Drill and kill teachers are easier to train and recruit, cost a lot less to hire, and can be easily replaced. This keeps expenses down in charter schools, which are often run for profit. Charter schools are good for politicians because many wealthy sponsors donate to candidates who favor them, and because charter schools can donate to political candidates themselves.

As I covered in a previous articles, John White and BESE approved Common Core before it was even finalized. It was approved in our state before the final draft was even released! They did this without any input from a majority of parents and stakeholders. One of the reasons most parents and stakeholders did not weigh-in was because there was not much in the way of user-friendly documentation on it, and it wasn’t even finalized. Many parents, myself included, expected these standards were properly reviewed by the folks employed by LDOE with grand 6 figure salaries, and by the elected educators running BESE, our state school board. It was not known that some of the members like Holly Boffy, are paid to promote Common Core by the folks that sponsored it, namely the CCSSO.

What follows is a timeline and additional proof that shows how John White created two paths for implementation of Common Core simultaneously. My comments/discussion is displayed in [green brackets].

Original Timeline provided by White and LDOE (released in 2011)

1. TRANSITION TO PARCC

Development Year – 2011-2012

Transition year #1 – 2012-2013

Transition year #2 – 2013-2014

Full Implementation of – 2014-2015

2. TRANSITION TO COMMON CORE CURRICULUM (CCSS)

Development Year – 2011-2012

Transition year #1 – 2012-2013

Transition year #2 – 2013-2014

Full Implementation of – 2014-2015

2/17/2011

BESE Meeting ESEA Reauthorization:

White relayed: 2013-2014 considered transition year for PARCC and CCSS

5/2011 – 9 /2011

Webinars confirmed schedule, promised crosswalk, phased in approach and grade level content comparison documents. [The crosswalk by Weststat cost 1.6 million dollars but was never released to any district superintends I spoke to.]

5/2011 – 2/2012

LDOE confirmed timeline in communiqués and messaging

2/28/2012

ESEA flexibility request featured these promises:

  • A new state-developed curriculum aligned with CCSS, meaning that no districts will have to undertake this work themselves.(ESEA Waiver – 2/28/12 – pg. 94-95)
  • “Crosswalks and content comparison documents clearly outlining the changes from current grade-level expectations to CCSS” to be utilized in the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 [emphasis added]
    school years.” (ESEA Waiver – 2/28/12 – pg. 94-95)

3/9/2012

BESE – Official Board Minutes – message from Superintendent White

  • “. . . Implementation of CCSS in grades K and 1 begins . . .” ” (BESE Official Board minutes 3/9/12 – pg. 2)
  • Transitional curriculum for most grades over the next two years for smoother transition to CCSS. (BESE Official Board minutes 3/9/12 – pg. 2)
  • “. . . the LDE submitted an application for flexibility waivers from federal NCLB regulations . . .” (BESE Official Board minutes 3/9/12 – pg. 2)

3/29/12

“The timeline outlined in the flexibility request and addendum shows a transition period for grades 3-12 that raises concerns about full implementation within the timeline . . .” ” (ESEA Flexibility Peer Panel Notes – 3/29/12 – pg. 1) [US DOE doubts LDOE can implement in time with proposed timeline, LDOE does nothing to address concerns.]

4/17/2012

Letter [from USDOE] Regarding Peer Review Feedback:


“A timeline for implementing college- career-ready standards that does not meet the requirement for full implementation of the standards by the 2013-2014 school Year”

5/1/2012

LDOE Bi-Weekly Newsletter:
Within the Superintendent’s Message, John White states:

“Moreover, once we fully transition from the current Louisiana GLE’s to the Common Core State Standards – to be complete in 2014-2015 – the state will no longer produce a Louisiana-specific comprehensive curriculum.” [This statement actually implies the transition to take place in 2014-2015, actually adding a year to timeline.]

5/29/2012

Approved ESEA Flexibility Request –

MAJOR CHANGES IN TIMELINE

“The plan utilizes a phased in approach to ensure maximum preparation and continuity as educators also begin to undergo more rigorous evaluations.”

2011-2012 – TRANSITONAL YEAR


. . . One year of preparation while current GLEs are in place.

2012-2013 – TRANSITIONAL YEAR


. . .implementation of transitional curriculum and assessments, which use both the current GLEs and the CCSS.

2013-2014 – FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF CCSS


. . .with the professional development and curriculum resources provided, districts should be able to fully implement the CCSS as early as possible. [US DOE approved the “plan” without LDOE telling districts at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. If this was LDOE’s intent why was this not communicated to all stakeholders instead of implying the transition might actually take place over an extra year? The Feds have approved LDOEs change to eliminate 2013-2014 as at transition year changing it to a full implementation year. This is quietly approved at the end of the 12-13 school year after most teachers and administrators are about to be sent home for the summer. However not all districts are caught flat-footed, some favored districts like Jefferson and Lincoln had advance warning this would take place. Their preparedness is used against other districts as proof LEAs were informed and had plenty of time to implement CCSS. The story promulgated by LDOE and their allies like Stand for Children is that school districts were simply dragging their feet, hoping CCSS would disappear if they kept their heads in the sand long enough. I even thought this might be the case to some extent, but contrary to that narrative and belief, most LEAs were simply actively misled – by design.]

6/19/2012

BESE Meeting – ESEA Notice of Intent:

“On a motion of Ms. Bradford, seconded by Mr. Garvey, the Board approved, as a Notice of Intent, revisions to the following Sections of Bulletin 111, The Louisiana School, District, and State Accountability System, as a result of the ESEA Flexibility Request that was approved for implementation by the United States Department of Education, as amended and presented by the LDE: 68 policy changes to Bulletin 111 were made in one motion . . . [This is what we call thoughtful debate and transparency in Louisiana. Any questions? And I bet you thought Obamacare was the fastest, largest and most complex rollout to avoid dissent. Welcome to Louisiana!]


8/7 and 8/21/2012

LDOE Weekly Newsletters: [some other gems LDOE released but then subsequently downplayed in person as you will see shortly.]

A document containing a fundamental shift in the way we plan and teach our children is buried within a LDOE Weekly Newsletter Hyperlink about a memorandum. [How many hyperlinks have you clicked on in this document so far?]

“. . . Louisiana is replacing the academic mandates of the comprehensive curriculum and textbook adoption process with academic tools such as rubrics, assessments and video modules. . .”(Academic Strategy Memorandum – 8/7&21/12 – page 1) [Par for the course; John White eliminated direct communications with districts as his first move when he came to LDOE to destroy communication between LDOE and school districts.]

“Required comprehensive curriculum is replaced with optional transitional comprehensive curriculum” that aligns to some elements of the Common Core State Standards. The state also publishes assessment items aligned to Common Core in Eagle. Teachers and principals work together to determine how best to incorporate these into their work with students.”

Comprehensive curriculum is eliminated altogether and school districts have the freedom to choose any content or text. To support decision-making at the district level, the state recommends content aligned to Common Core and continues to publish sample assessments and tasks that are aligned to Common Core in EAGLE.”

[Quite an important shift to be delivered by vague hyperlink within massive Newsletter nobody reads. This was by design to show notice had been given, while knowing full well no one reads those newsletters, no one has the time to plumb them extensively or the expectation that such major changes will be released with a newsletter and not sent to superintendents directly and coordinated with emails and reminders to impacted staff as we used to do for such initiatives prior to John White’s installation as head of LDOE.]

[My favorite ironic line from this memo]

“Louisiana Believes our state’s comprehensive plan for continued improvement starts with a simple idea: if you believe that all students can achieve a career or a college degree – and thus master the Common Core standards – you must believe in the adults who know and care for them. A true plan for change is not based on the dictates of governmental agencies; it is based on the idea that, given high standards, the people closest to students should have the power to choose what is right for the child.” [The response to this could be an entire post. Parents are the closest to the children, not John White and the corporations that produced these standards. We do not trust or believe John White, he is an inveterate liar. Common Core is pushed by LDOE and US DOE, hence the entire need for a ESEA waiver request from US DOE to include Common Core. Despite propaganda to the contrary, Louisiana has had some of the highest standards in the nation for over a decade, and we have remained mired in 47th through 49th place out of 50 in academic achievement. High Standards are important, but all alone do not promote achievement one iota. In our case because we provided no support or funding to districts. This is despite LDOE receiving million in grants from Bill Gates and US DOE hat they spent on 6 figure staff and unused vendor products. No help was forthcoming for most districts despite the promises they made in the ESEA waiver to US DOE. The way Louisiana “implemented” CCSS actually harmed student achievement by draining resources and attention from helping all students master the basics and build on a foundation for a lifetime of learning. ]

1/8/2013

Superintendent Advisory Council – SAC

NO MENTION OF FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF CCSS IN 2013-2014

[. . . .because districts White wanted to know about this were informed directly. Wouldn’t you think a monumental shift to the entire curriculum, something that hadn’t been attempted on this scale in decades or perhaps ever , for all students and to all standardized tests would be worthy of a even a brief mention?]

1/14/2013

Conference call with State Superintendents

NO MENTION OF FULL IMPLEMENTATION OFCCSS IN 2013-2014

[. . . .because districts White wanted to know about this were informed directly. Wouldn’t you think a monumental shift to the entire curriculum, something that hadn’t been attempted on this scale in decades or perhaps ever , for all students and to all standardized tests would be worthy of a even a brief mention?]

1/29/2013

How easy is it to find out independently that there is no transitional curriculum?

[Just two easy clicks to an obscure line in an enormous document with a vague phrase filled with lines crossed through old passages. That’s how White’s LDOE keeps folks in the know.]

2/5/2013

State Superintendent Conference Call/webinar

Superintendent White:

White: “We are keeping with that transition schedule for next year, and at the same time I think it is fair to say that, frankly that the guidance that the teachers have been given, from a curriculum perspective, and from a assessment perspective, has not always kept faithful to that transition plan.” [This is clearly and without question, intentionally misleading. LDOE filed for and received approval for elimination of transition from the Feds in May of the previous year and has produced numerous documents from White that are hard for most LEAs to find but indicate the opposite. White’s actual word, the head honcho, declares the opposite! To be this incompetent is unrealistic, even for him, for anyone really. This shows intentional doublespeak on his part. This shows he was misleading districts on purpose to ensure Common Core is implemented poorly in most districts.]

White: “The goal of the transition plan was that to . . . was that next year we would be teaching standards that are only representative of the Common Core that was planned and published in 2011, and that is the plan going forward.”

[In other words, teaching only the Common Core material that was indicated in the 2011 timeline, which shows 2013-2014 as a transition year. Please refer to this timeline shown above.]

White: “What I am suggesting is that feedback from the teachers is that the further that we get into a transitional phase, the more important it is that we be very clear on aligning the assessment guide with the curriculum guidance . . .”

[At this point White knows there is no transitional phase for the following year, but he is trying very hard not to give that info away to the superintendents on the general call. I have no doubt he made private calls to some districts and charter schools to inform them of the real plan.]

2/19/2013

LDOE Weekly Newsletter

White: “As we continue our transition to the Common Core State Standards, the LDOE will be providing resources to support teachers as they begin planning for the 2013-2014 school year.”

[Still maintaining the ruse that there will be a transition next year (2013-1014; which was in fact a full implementation as many unhappy parents and teachers will tell you.) This is one of the final months of the single year he allocated for Transition. If the State Superintendent didn’t understand that, how could he have expected any districts to know? But some did. Those districts were told in no uncertain terms what the true deadlines were. Everyone else was intentionally misled time after time, conferences after conference, meeting after meeting, newsletter after newsletter.]

2/20/2013

Superintendent Collaboration – Network 3

In discussions concerning CCSS content the following exchange occurred:

Jerome Puyau (Superintendent of Vermilion Parish Schools): “Will there be a transitional curriculum next year?”

Michael Rounds (Deputy State Superintendent): “There is not a transitional curriculum.”

Jerome Puyau: “So what does that mean?”

Michael Rounds: “It primarily, um, means that we are going to provide for you, we will show you, a tool box that is, that the curriculum is going to be Common Core aligned, and what is tested will also be aligned to the Common Core . . . that doesn’t mean we will implement all of Common Core next year because we are not prepared to do that, and the state nor the country is prepared to do that.”

[Even under direct questioning by local superintendents to their network leaders, the message being delivered to some districts like Vermillion was that Common Core would not be implemented next year because no one in the nation was prepared to do that! That was perhaps the only true statement I’ve seen from LDOE. Louisiana was not prepared – intentionally. New York was not prepared. North Carolina was not prepared, butLDOE attempted to rush the implementation anyway, knowing full well this would be a foolhardy endeavor and that many folks would not be prepared. This was an intentionally screwed up rollout designed to blame and destroy some districts while promoting friendly, allied ones.]

This is part of pattern of keeping districts in the dark that John White initiated as his first act as Superintendent. His first agency-wide memo to LDOE staff was to forbid us from communicating directly with all LEAs. His first communication was not an introduction, not a “good to be here” note, not a “bear with us while we organize” missive. His first communiqué was that any employee found violating that edict would be fired. Instead of working to improve communication (despite the many highly paid communication folks he hired with salaries that exceeded hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis) White created a bi-weekly memo that is filled with too much information. This memo contains everything going on in the state and is too large for people to read or explore adequately.

Prior to White we communicated directly with program personnel in the school districts from our own personnel. After White a single letter combining info they wanted to discuss was sent out by communications only to the superintendent. It was the superintendent’s responsibility to read and disseminate the memo to their entire school district. If superintendents chose to send it to everyone, then their entire districts would have to read the entire memo to find out if anything impacted them (several times a week.) To avoid this enormous waste of time, superintendents would have to read the entire memo themselves, and send it to each person directly with a note about what to pay attention to.

This intentional muddying of the waters added a lot of time and busywork to LDOE staff, and a lot of time to superintendent’s workloads, without improving communication, it actually all but destroyed it. Just as John White destroyed the department website to remove links and contact info of people in charge of programs and to remove historical data, he destroyed internal communication as well. White did this so he could deceive superintendents directly with webinars and conference calls while vague nearly inaccessible memos could be produced to show just how informed everyone should be.

It’s not even possible for district personnel to find LDOE folks in charge of program areas for questions anymore. The LDOE Contact list has not updated since John White arrived in 2012 although most of the information is completely incorrect. Most of the employees listed no longer work there or work in different areas. As far as I can tell the only change they made was to remove me (after I wrote an earlier post making fun of them for still listing me as an employee years later.)

John White also paid for a 1.6 million dollar state GLE (Grade Level Expectations) to CCSS (Common Core State Standards) crosswalk from Weststat for the transition years of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

weststat

This crosswalk was not distributed to any superintendent I spoke with. I doubt it could have been of much use since the phase in defined was over two years. That amount of money from the LDOE budget could have been used to give pay raises for a decade (which is has claimed he wished he could do but could not for lack of funds) or keep most of the staff he laid off employed including some he terminated months or years away from retirement. That amount of money could have paid for most of his Course Choice program for a year. Instead this is just one of many contracts White spent on vendors he had no intention of using. Despite the fact that the 2012 ESEA waiver request indicated this crosswalk would be used and available to districts:

“Crosswalks and content comparison documents clearly outlining the changes from current grade-level expectations to CCSS” to be utilized in the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 [emphasis added]
school years.” (ESEA Waiver – 2/28/12 – pg. 94-95)

White had his network staff trained as trainers to help districts learn and understand the Common Core standards. He was sending these folks out to specific districts with multiple sets of lesson plans with the intent of using a train the trainer model. The Math curriculum was reported and well known within LDOE to be a serious problem for many districts. Without explanation, White ceased sending out his trainers to LEAs in the 2012-2013 school year. This was despite the fact that his trainers we reporting back that there was a lot of confusion in the districts, and that their trainings were sorely needed. Nevertheless, these staffers were told to cease helping school districts, some even were recalled before giving all of their training sessions they had been scheduled to give LEAs they were already working with. This was despite the fact White had promised to help districts in his 2012 ESEA waiver request so no districts would have to undertake this task by themselves.

A new state-developed curriculum aligned with CCSS, meaning that no districts will have to undertake this work themselves.(ESEA Waiver – 2/28/12 – pg. 94-95)

This promise gave way to the LEA empowerment argument that John White, Chas Roemer and Holly Boffy started proselytizing. Instead of the state helping districts develop their curriculum, LEAs and teachers were now “empowered” to create their own without, state interference. This would probably have been nice to hear before LDOE promised to help school districts.

This was not an argument or promise that was made in any of the ESEA waiver requests sent to LDOE, but something White and his allies manufactured after seeing how poorly the CCSS was unfolding, even worse that they had planned.

One nice benefit of bailing on the Common Core implementation is that this did allow LDOE to spend the many millions of dollars it received from Gates and US DOE to skimp on helping school districts and divert that cash to funding voucher schools and Course Choice. This was done from LDOE’s budget that White “found”. This money was not spent on the implementation. This was 10s of millions of dollars. I do not see how the state spent millions helping school districts prepare for CCSS. As far as I’ve seen all they’ve produced is a pathetic “toolbox“with a few videos? Are you going to tell me Louisiana spent 25 million in Gates grants and Race to the top funds creating a few YouTube videos I could do in a week from my spare bedroom with a webcam?

Louisiana Department of Education (Gates Grant)

Date: June 2011

Purpose: to provide organizational support to the Louisiana Department of Education related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards & teacher development and evaluation systems
Amount: $7,351,708

This comes from the 25 million dollar toolbox CCCS implementation.  I must say I’m impressed.  What a plan!

Just master those CCSS standards that have never been used anywhere before, ever, are children are magically college ready. 25 Million dollars please!

The Race to the Top grant Louisiana received was 17.3 million dollars to implement their plan for CCSS, as well as everything they were already doing that didn’t cost any money, like promoting charter schools.

“Louisiana’s Phase Three application, the Louisiana Education Reform Plan, addresses standards and assessments, the collection and use of data, school turnaround strategies, and effective support for teachers and school leaders. The four-year plan also outlines strategies to enhance the state’s current STEM program. Reform activities already underway and detailed in the state’s R2T application include the implementation of Act 54 and the state’s adoption and transition to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and CCSS-Aligned Assessments.”

Do you think LDOE spent 25 million dollars implementing CCSS, or do you think it’s more likely all that money went to vouchers, fat-cat 6 figure LDOE salaries, voucher “scholarships” and Course Choice programs while our children were sacrificed to the intentional mess that was our 2013-2014 CCSS implementation?

LEAs did not get money from the State to implement Common Core; they did not get training from the state in most cases either.

Just where did all that relatively fungible money go I wonder?

Not really, I think we all know where John White found his pot-o-gold to save Jindal’s pet programs. . . And all it cost was a year of our children’s education.

(My profound thanks to all those who contributed to this article.)

attachments:

Adobe of PowerPoint with documents behind dates for timeline: ESEA Presentation to VPSB Final.5

Teacher Toolbox worth at least 12.5 million: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/classroom-support-toolbox/teacher-support-toolbox ? (Note: 12.5 mil not true figure, I think they bummed off a food truck street vendor for free and made off with the cash.)

District toolbox worth another 12.5 million dollars: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/classroom-support-toolbox/district-support-toolbox ? (or perhaps two food trucks were involved?)

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “The Louisiana Department of Education rushed and ruined the implementation of Common Core, on purpose and for quick cash

  1. This burns me up ! My daughter missed a critical year of learning and then the math is advanced a year because how it was implemented. This is setting these kids up to fail not succeed . Parents and myself included are having to pay tutors on top of this . It is blatantly obvious that they don’t have our children’s best interest in mind .It always comes back to be about the money with CC
    .

    1. Afraid so. I found out about this months ago but had to do research to make sure this one stuck. Didn’t expect to find so much blatant lying, from White no less, so close to the full implementation date. He’s got gumption if not much else.

      1. Why is John White never publicly called out on any of this? I can tell you this…. Ascension Parish needs to be added to the list of John White’s favorites. It is pathetic here!!!!

  2. Jason, there are no words, this is mind-boggling……….. to you I say Bravo, thank you, well done. As for me, I am going to print this, go away from my computer and read it until I can absorb it . Holy cow. Terrific job!

  3. As a teacher of GED students at the high school level, I have the changes affect my students. The expectations have increased for student who have already fallen out of their cohort and cannot graduate; however, as a parent, I am much more concerned. I have watched my son, who entered Pre-K reading at 3 years old, fall from an A student to a struggling D student. His self-esteem has plummeted. There doesn’t seem to be much focus on the absurdity of the standards. Standards that require cognitive skills that are above the level of the age group. Nor is there any focus on the PARCC test. A typical math word problem provides four methods to solve the problem, and the student must identify which method is not a valid method. Not only does the student have to grasp concepts above their ability, but know multiple methods. You only need to know one way to solve a problem.

    1. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, why not 4 ways to add 1 + 1?

      Uh, except cat skinning would probably be a more valuable skill and less psychologically harmful than the perpetual mind % €#× that is Common Core. 🙂

  4. For those of us who studied education history and theory in college while attaining our teaching credentials, this man is a slap in the face. It is readily apparent that TFA – where JW received his “teacher” training – did not teach that socialist, Dewey’s, gradualism theory. He’s learning it as he flies the plane. Unfortunately, Louisiana is his pilot program, Jindal is the co-pilot, BESE serves as the cabin crew, Gates supplies the fuel, and Arne runs air-traffic control. But never forget: taxpayers pay all their salaries in the end. And it is our children who lose the most. We MUST restore real local control of education.

  5. HOLY FREAKING shit! These SICK **k**ng bastards!!!! If parents don’t wake up and understand that this was the intentional raping of children’s minds for $$$$& then I have lost all faith. I knew JW was wicked but this takes it to a new level. That smug lil turd! It’s gunna be hott for him! Jason THANK YOU for this!!! Thank you!

    1. I was genuinely surprised at how much trouble he went to mislead while simultaneously requesting these changes through his ESEA waiver. I thought I might have to stretch to connect some dots, but he used a dot matrix printer for this fiasco.

  6. Thanks for the detailed research, Crazy Crawfish! Going an entire layer deeper, I’m wondering if Common Core is the same program as No Child Left Behind and the same as the name of the educational push before that. It has occurred to me that we as a nation fell for the implementation of this program (Common Core or whatever its name was back in the day) all the way back in the early 80’s (if not before that) when we believed that our testing scores were falling behind the rest of the world. I must say the powers that were and still are interested in ruining our educational system are pretty darn smart. They put a brilliant spin on the evaluation of the scores and we as a nation bought it. I know I did. We were sold that our education was failing because our Math and Science scores were well below the rest of the world. This is the funny part. No one ever considered that we, The United States of America had a program based on liberal arts and that this program taught our children to think for themselves and that was why our children grew up to solve problems for themselves, create amazing businesses and were extremely innovative. Why had America risen to be a super power? Because our teachers taught our children to think for themselves and to be creative. They didn’t spend endless hours drilling Science and Math to create robots. It seems this Common Core program has been in the works for quite some time (at least 40 years) and has had the blessing of both Democratic and Republican regimes. (That realization, I fear is the most important point here. Our own government ….both sides has agreed to sell our education short so we can be a part of the Global Community. tsk tsk tsk. Shame on them.) The only problem is that “these powers that be” didn’t realize that American parents take their children’s future and ability to dream very seriously and will not go quietly into the night. Keep up the amazing research. I’m deeply appreciative.

  7. Excellent review. As a certified teacher who left education after 13 years, I have been telling my friends and colleagues that are still in the trenches of the public school classroom that this has been the intent of the LDOE all along. They WANT to sabotage public education in Louisiana so they can reap the profits of vouchers and charter schools.
    I always told my history students that there are only two main reasons people do anything; money and religion. Since all this Common Core mess has little to do with religion, I’m pretty sure I know what their motivation is. And anyone who thinks differently is either naïve or trying to make a buck themselves (politicians and whatnot)
    All you have to do is look at who is in charge. A governor with no resume’ other than “elected official”, and a state superintendent of education who lacks the qualifications to even be a certified public school classroom teacher. The blind leading the blind.
    The good thing is the people that are most affected by this unproven BS (children, parents, and teachers) are willing to/trying to speak up about how horrible this all is. I urge everyone to contact their representatives and let them know what will happen at the next election if this foolish endeavor of unnecessary suffering continues.

  8. As a teacher that teaches 6th and 8th grade remediation classes, I was forced to teach grade-level state recommended anchor texts to my students. Consequently, my students tested coming into my classroom from first to 5th grade level. Out of frustration, my students and parents rebelled. My students were failing as a whole as I fought to break down the core and teach my student how to understand one core concept a week. I basically was walking the students through how to understand the words in the questions and text. I modeled the correct ways to respond. I realized my students motivation was low because the words were like Greek to them. My student are the ones that in large part were passed up from grade to grade with little to no mastery of basic concepts. My students did not know a noun from a verb, how to identify story elements, break down simple vocabulary and had little to no knowledge of basic grade-level vocabulary. Basically, I was walking them through the process giving them the answers because my overwhelmed students refused to try. I created graphic organizers asking them to walk with me through the complicated terminology and thought processes require, yet I still had a 30 percent failure rate. As I wrote emails, letters and made calls to the LDOE, my acting superindent, my principal, assistant principals begging for assistance, I was told I was not working hard enough (16 hour days) was insufficient and I was the failure. I reported students former testing data, current testing data, graders portfolios and behavior concerns as well as parent reported numbers of diagnosed ADHD students who were not only not treated but behaviors resulted in behavior so disruptive that the students could not learn. I reached out, researched, shared and begged for help finding solutions to help my strudents to learn how to become successful. I did what every law from federal to state and policy demanded of me. For my efforts, I was escorted off of school property and put on paid leave- my emails cited as cause for concern. I was forced to endure weeks of testing to prove I was fit to teach at my own expense. After all of my testing revealed not only was I fit to teach but I had developed adjustable anxiety disorder, I was allowed to return to work. At this time, the year is half over and administrative support finally given but at the cost of my health. I’ve had rapid weight gain, now battle high blood pressure at 40 and have to battle constant anxiety over student behavior that included assault from one student during the first 9 weeks. I’m a twelve year teacher with a masters degree on educational leadership, and I was verbally clear that we were being set up to fail; I was severely punished for my effort. This year we were Inhumanely treated: students, teachers and parents. This is a criminal act! We as voters should hold these politicians accountable for their cruelty!

    1. This hurts my heart, a deep sadness running through me. For you, for the kids and for our Louisiana society- who seems to be in a deep sleep. Thank you for trying, for caring and for posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s