The news just keeps getting worse for Supt. of Ed. John White; State Auditor investigating possible payroll fraud

Interesting development. I will try to meet with some legislative auditor staff tomorrow. I think I can point them in the right direction.

Louisiana Voice

The news just keeps getting worse for Superintendent of Education John White.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has put White on a short leash with Executive Order BJ 2014-7 on June 18 and last Wednesday (June 25) Internal Audit Administrator Marsha Guidry issued an extensive laundry list of documents information relating to the Department of Education’s (DOE) contract with Data Recognition Corp.

At the same time, LouisianaVoice has learned the Legislative Auditor’s office is conducting an investigation of DOE that could involve payroll fraud, according to sources inside the department.

White, as we have reported several times in the past, has loaded up the department with unclassified appointments at bloated six-figure salaries.

There are apparently three major problems with that:

  • Many of these appointees seldom, if ever, show up for work and apparently are required to perform few, if any, duties to earn their keep;
  • The department did not have enough money…

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Did LDOE hire 100 summer Interns at 25,000 a piece?

Did LDOE hire 100 summer Interns at 25,000 a piece?

I was recently contacted to investigate and Louisiana Department of Education story that sounded too absurd to be true. I was told John White had hired as many as 100 interns at 25 grand a pop for a few months of summer work. That comes to 2.5 million dollars in just straight up pay. If the department was responsible for, SSN, employment taxes and Medicaid this could easily be a 3.5 million dollar program.

can you look into something I just heard of… approximately 100 interns hired this summer by LDOE, 3 months of work for $25,000 pay. 25 thousand. many from California apparently. and John White didn’t have enough budget to keep me on his roll last year (I’m one of the 65-70 let go last May). Thanks

I did not want to bring this to the attention of the public until I had some more information, so I did a little digging. I came across this newsletter that came directly from John White and LDOE dated June 4th.

Welcome Summer Interns

We are happy to welcome interns within various divisions of the department. In order to allow for a smooth transition with us and in making their stay successful, we ask your assistance in making them feel welcome and in assisting them with procedures, policies, paperwork, and maneuvering around the department.

We will benefit from having extra staff on board who are here to assist us in our work while learning the difference in what we are doing for the children in our state.

This newsletter issued by LDOE and signed by John White clearly indicates that these interns exist, that there are many of them helping out in many departments across LDOE. Before I could report on this I felt I needed to find out the specifics: how many interns, who are they, what their salaries are, and who is paying for them.

Before anyone can get access to LDOE they would need to have paperwork set up for badges to be created to get past security. They would have to be entered in the HR and payroll system to get checks. The would need to have computers issues to them, e-mail address requested, and e-mails would have to go to specific departments to introduce these interns. I figured I could get some of this information from a simple Freedom of Information request. State and Federal agencies are required by law to turn over records and information (including e-mails) in their possession upon request. In Louisiana they have 72 hours to respond how they will answer the request. LDOE usually sends a response saying they will look for info and get back to you. I got this one:

With regards to the above-mentioned request as written, and within the ambit of La. R.S. 44:1 et seq. the Department will identify and locate any public records in its’ possession that are responsive to the above written requests.  After any responsive items have been identified, the Department will segregate and set aside those public records and will make them available for your inspection.  You will be contacted in order to make arrangements for this process.  I can be reached at (225) 342-6985 should you have any questions regarding this matter.

I submitted my request on June 6thBelow is the text of my request.

Pursuant to the Public Records Act of Louisiana, R.S. 44:1 et seq., I respectfully request the following information:

  • Please provide a count of interns hired in relation to this June 4th announcement in the LDOE newsletter from John White. (A copy of the text is enclosed for your reference.)
  • Please provide the salary and compensation package provided to these “interns”
  • Please provide a list/names of all interns.
  • Please provide the posting(s) used to recruit interns.
  • Please provide any contract related to acquiring/recruiting these interns with any organization
  • Please provide the funding source used to pay for this internship program
  • Please provide total cost of this internship program. ( If this was a grant, please provide info on the grantee and the grant application LDOE submitted.  If this is internal funds please describe this as internal department funding. Please separate out costs to LDOE and from external sources, if this is a joint project  )
  • Please list the roles/functions of these interns.
  • Please list all departments where interns were assigned and approximate numbers assigned per department.
  • Please provide a list of all supervisors or Department staff responsible for managing this program and/or these interns.
  • Please provide the duration of these intern assignments.
  • Please provide the hours per week these interns are expected to work.
  • Please provide the requirements interns were required to have to be employed.
  • Please provide details on any other promises, benefits, housing allowances, or enticements used to recruit interns. 


It took LDOE 20 days to get back to me that they had no records in their possession.

June 26, 2014

 Jason France (Emailed to:     

Mr. France:

The Department’s public affairs office has requested that I inform you that the Department is not in possession of any public records responsive to your June 16, 2014 request regarding interns.


It is actually impossible that LDOE did not have any records in their possession responsive to my request. They sent out a newsletter about these interns which at least would have qualified. LDOE is clearly violating the law, as they always do whenever it is convenient, or just because they think it’s funny. John White recently complained about Bobby Jindal violating the law by pulling the state out of PARCC.

Jindal “breached a constitutional line and broke the law in suspending assessments in Louisiana for reasons that defy the civil rights of our state’s citizens,” White told POLITICO in an interview on Wednesday.

Read more:

John White is always violating the law. These interns are but the latest example of how John White has turned out state into a training ground for the national reform movement on Louisiana’s dime. Every year John White takes on “fellows” and assistant superintendents he recruits from the New Teacher Project, Teach for America, and other reform organizations. These employees rarely show up for work, have no assigned responsibilities (which is why you will never see an up to date phone list with any of these six figured salaried folks listed.) These specific interns are reportedly making 25 thousand dollars for 2 months of work. At this rate of pay they are being paid the equivalent of 150,000 per year per intern in just base salary, which is far more than just about any employee earns but John White. I’m guessing that these “interns” have not even finished college yet (I wouldn’t have to guess if they weren’t violating the law by refusing to release details), but they are earning 6 figure salary equivalents, and John White is refusing to acknowledge their existence or what their responsibilities are, just as he does for most of his entourage that recycles regularly throughout the department upper echelons.

Even more tragic and infuriating, John White is spending all this money at a time when teacher’s pay has been stagnant for 3 or more years, most public employees from this state (especially LDOE) have not received a pay raise in 4 or more years and many districts are facing bankruptcy as a direct result of his unfunded mandates and policies. John White did this at the same time he eliminated hundreds of full time employees from Louisiana that worked year round for what he is paying these interns to bounce around at LDOE for 2 months. John White’s absurd hypocrisy does not end there however. White was originally hired at 275,000 a year as state Superintendent. According to his 2013 ethics filing he is making 305,000 a year. Apparently John White gave himself a nice 11+% increase in his salary, roughly the equivalent of one of these fancy California interns’ pay, or close to the medium salary of a normal Department of Education employee. John White’s pay is also about three times the salary of Louisiana’s Governor.

Education Reform is very profitable business. I’m sure all of this is “for the children.”

I think it’s time John White was held personally financially responsible for all the fines he is forcing the state of Louisiana to incur for his refusal to obey State public disclosure laws. He can certainly afford it, and if it ever gets too pricy, he can always give himself another raise to make up the difference.

Are there any lawyers out there interested in helping me file a case for this blatant violation of RS 44:1 and a number of other ones that have been flaunted over the years? This post already contains the proof you need to be successful and I am expecting some other recent requests to be denied as well.

John White has apparently divorced the wife he left behind in New York, or he knowingly filed a false financial disclosure to the ethics commission. Until we can divorce him from our state, we need to hold him accountable for his actions.



LouisianaVoice fund drive has just three days remaining

Please support Tom Aswell and Louisiana Voice if you can. Tom does great work and helps us hold Louisiana politicians accountable for their actions and exposes their misdeeds. He does so with speed and gusto that traditional media sources can’t even come close to. We bloggers do incur expenses form time to time in addition to the vast amounts of time we spend interviewing sources, answering emails, reviewing evidence and writing our posts. A lot goes into our work that you don’t see, and we want to do more, but we need help. Tom is trying the NPR funding approach. Tom doesn’t charge for his services, which are public services and a public good that all people can benefit from, but we are asking that if you are in a position to support his work to please do so. Can you imagine a Louisiana without the Voice and others to hold our “leaders” accountable? (Scary thought, right?)

If you would like to see the coverage of such pieces expanded and you have the ability to wherewithal the make a modest contribution, please do so. You will be helping yourself and your state and our future with your pledge.

Thank you.

Jason France
Crazy Crawfish

Louisiana Voice

The first ever LouisianaVoice fundraiser has only three days to go and to those who have contributed either by PayPal or by personal check, we are deeply humbled by and grateful for the enthusiastic response. We have almost reached our goal and with your help, we can make it. Please help support us in our effort to give you the stories behind the stories.

We at LouisianaVoice attempt to illustrate how events and people are interconnected by money and power. You won’t find that in any other news reports on Louisiana politics. Most issues in state politics can be traced directly to campaign contributions or the influence that money buys—and that’s what we try to bring to you through our research and reporting.

Your contribution can go a long way in assisting us in our efforts to shine the glaring light of true transparency on the actions of our elected…

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Further Investigations of LDOE and John White are Warranted and Long Overdue

Further Investigations of LDOE and John White are Warranted and Long Overdue

Now that some investigations are underway by the Jindal Administration into John White and his Department of Education and how they allocated and spent funds on PARCC test and Common Core promotion and training I thought it would be a good idea to advise folks about some ongoing and perpetual financial mismanagement and malfeasance in office on the part of John White and LDOE. I have been gathering tips and reports for months from numerous current and former employees about vast amount of intentional mismanagement (although it was termed fraud and theft by those reporting it to me) of a wide variety of programs and functions maintained and performed by the LDOE. I was even told there are reports available that document part of the story and I was pointed to the Legislative Auditor’s site for some public reports that may not have been fully understood by the public and properly investigated when they were released. I was also given some of the backstory on a few of them – details that did not make it into the published reports but which Daryl Purpera (who heads the Legislative Auditor’s Office) and Steven Street at the OIG should probably consider investigating on their own.

So let’s just get into the nitty gritty. . .

Payroll Fraud – Type 1: Employees, mostly from John White’s executive team at LDOE, are not showing up for work, but are documenting that they are. Some live in New Orleans or outside of Baton Rouge. Some of them have offices at both LDOE and in the New Orleans RSD headquarters and are not at either location, not visiting schools, and claim to be working from home. As you might imagine happens, the real LDOE employees check up on these folks that waltz into the department making outrageous salaries with little experience and produce nothing tangible but padding to apply to their resume’s. These employees are not actually doing any work from home and are unreachable to regular department staff most of the week, most weeks. This has been going on for years, since John White took over at LDOE. John White cycles through employees that produce nothing for Louisiana, but which he then is able to send to other departments of education and charter organizations throughout the country equipped with fancy titles, fat salary histories and glowing recommendations from him and his lackeys. This has been reported by numerous employees and confirmed by numerous time and attendance keepers across the department who are frustrated at covering for these people.

Payroll Fraud – Type 2: John White has been misallocating federal funds dedicated to specific programs for years since he came to power. The federal government provides specific funding allocations for specific programs like IDEA (Special Education.) The funds provided by the Federal government come with strings attached. These funds are required to be spent on employees performing a specific role for a specific federal program. To attempt to circumvent these rules John White and his staff started having staff across the department (code) allocate a portion of their salaries to these federal programs they had nothing to do with. When reporting to the federal government how we are spending their funds we tally up these percentages to equivalent FTE’s, (Full Time Equivalent) employees. I heard this became a widespread practice shortly after I left. To provide some cover for this scheme John White also secretly reorganized the Department of Education, without first getting any legislative approval as is required (by laws he doesn’t follow.) When the legislative auditor’s office went in to audit the department they found 22% of the employees from a random sample were “miscoded” to federal programs. What the auditor’s office did not realize was this was not an accident, this was intentional. Moreover, the auditor’s office found that 100% of recent changes to coding (when they just examined recent changes) were incorrect.

For the second consecutive year, DOE did not properly allocate federal payroll expenditures to the correct federal programs in accordance with the completed employee certifications. This resulted in $96,183 in overcharges to the programs which may have to be returned to the federal government. In a test of payroll certifications for 36 employees, the cost distribution report for eight (22%) did not agree to the federal program and percentage charged per the certifications, resulting in overcharges to the programs totaling $96,183. The Title I Grants to Local

Educational Agencies (CFDA 84.010) and Special Education – Preschool Grants (CFDA 84.173) programs and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Consolidated Administrative Funds (various ESEA programs) were charged $23,436; $227; and $72,520, respectively, for payroll expenditures that did not match the employees’ documented work effort. Also, in a test of 19 employees with system coding changes during the year, DOE did not maintain a properly completed payroll coding change form to support the cost distribution changes made for any of the 19 (100%) employees tested.

That is not a typo. Every single payroll coding “change” they looked at was wrong. The department made the excuse that this was because of a “reorganization” they undertook. (This was done so secretly, illegally, and without permission, but forget all that and don’t hold us accountable for breaking the law. . .  even though it is a direct result of breaking a different law. ) Below is LDOE’s response to these findings:

During the time period of the audit, the Department was undergoing a re-organization in an effort to better align the work of Department staff with the needs of teachers, students, and parents across the state. The reorganization of the Department resulted in some confusion as to how time and effort was going to be coded for individuals whose job location or job function and duties was shifting.

However this was not innocent incompetence. Employees advised their supervisors they had no duties to the programs they were told to code their timesheet with (to draw down federal funds.) This was done intentionally, possibly to free up funding for the voucher program or for Common Core materials and PARCC testing cost defraying. What is more, LDOE is reorganizing the Department . . . again.

Only a small portion of that annual billion dollar piece of federal pie was audited related to certifications (of which 1/5th were incorrectly accounted for). This 5 billion dollar annually baked pie is why so many outside groups invested millions in our BESE races last election cycle.

This decision has led to a vast information vacuum in the districts which relied on State employees to provide guidance on federal laws and programs.  I’ve heard numerous reports of how districts are not following federal law in regards to disabled children. This is not a victimless crime, it is impacted disabled children and their families. I imagine this is impacting other federal programs that have had their funding rerouted to John White’s general funding coffers.

Testing Fraud: One of the changes LDOE is planning to undertake is to have Kim Nesmith’s team (data collections) and Laura Boudreaux’s team (Data Analysis) report to Jessica Baghian who they recently moved over Accountability and Assessment. As some of you may have recently heard, these sections had some whistleblower(s) recently come forward and accuse John White of asking them to directly alter test scores to make RSD and charter schools look better and traditional public schools look worse. What you may not have known is that Jessica was moved down to make sure these sorts of “leaks” don’t happen again. Did you also know almost the entire Assessment team is employed and run by folks who are not US citizens and who are here on work Visas that are conditional they work for the Louisiana Department of Education? If they are terminated or quit, they have to return to their home countries. 2 weeks after the story broke two such employees did leave; one very suddenly and without warning. One employee returned to Canada. One went to China, without any notification or fanfare and came as a surprise to many in the department. This is an interesting development, no? I believe the feds may have lost their chance to discover how John White tried to falsify data to promote his agenda (but then again John White’s agenda seems to mirror that of President Barak Obama so maybe this was not an oversight on their part?)

Grant Manipulation Fraud: I verified this recent story (by Tom Aswell) about grant manipulation within the LDOE with some of my sources and it checked out.

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) for at least three years manipulated qualification requirements for several New Orleans charter schools so that they would qualify for millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a former LDOE employee who now works for a parish school district and who asked that his name not be revealed.

The employee told LouisianaVoice that the practice started under former Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek and continued at least in John White’s first year as superintendent.

My sources listed grants by name that they were involved in (Obviously I cannot reveal those without tipping off who these employees were) that recently returned Paul Pastorek and John White (and their affiliates) overruled grant criteria and selected winners based on favoritism or for political reasons. Some grants were posted that the winners had already been selected, but the Department under both John White and Paul Pastorek made their staff go through the motions of reviewing grants and interviewing applicants so individual superintendents and legislators would not be upset when their districts and constituents did not receive these grants.

Voucher Fraud: Whether you agree in using vouchers to send public students to private schools or not, no one (except fraudsters) should approve of public funds being used or paid out fraudulently to private school operators. According to the last audit of how these funds are being handled, 97% of schools are mishandling their funds, with John White’s blessing.

We found that the while the Scholarship Program is expanding, LDOE does not have adequate criteria in place to determine if participating schools are academically acceptable and have the capacity needed to serve the number of Scholarship students they request. In addition, LDOE should develop internal procedures with more specific criteria for removing a participating school from the program based on academic performance. Specifically, we found the following:

Program Expansion and Implementation

• Student participation increased 269% (by 4,937 students) from academic year 2011-12 to 2013-14, while school participation increased 282% (by 93 schools) during the same time frame. Funding for the program increased from $8.9 million in fiscal year 2011-12 to a budget of $44.6 million in fiscal year 2013-14.

• State law requires public schools that participate in the Scholarship Program to have a letter grade of “A” or “B.” However, there are no legal requirements in place to ensure nonpublic schools that participate in the program are academically acceptable.

• LDOE’s review process lacks formal criteria to ensure that schools have both the academic and physical capacity to serve the number of Scholarship students they requested.

• During academic year 2012-13, the number of Scholarship students in participating schools ranged from one to 336. The enrollment percentages at participating schools ranged from 0.1% to 86.8%.

Program Accountability

• A Scholarship Cohort Index will be used to measure academic performance of participating schools. It will be calculated “substantially similar” to the school performance scores.

• Overall, the proficiency rating for schools participating in the Scholarship Program is 41%. This rating is based on the percent of students who scored basic and above on standardized tests during academic year 2012-13.

• The proficiency rating of the 33 schools that participated in the Scholarship Program for at least two years is 41.8%. LDOE restricted admission for new Scholarship students at seven (21%) of these 33 schools for academic year 2013-14 based on poor academic performance.

• LDOE has not set standards or measures in the accountability system for removing a participating school from the program for academic performance.

Program Cost and Funding

• Independent auditors found that LDOE overpaid or underpaid 48 (41%) of the 118 participating schools in academic year 2012-13.

• Independent auditors were unable to perform all procedures related to the use of funding for 115 (97%) of the 118 schools because these schools did not separately account for the Scholarship funds.

• The source of funding for the program changed from MFP to State General Fund because of a May 2013 ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

In a perversely ironic move, John White removed one of the only schools that segregated their funds enough to be audited. Living New Word in Ruston Louisiana was not removed from the program for poor academic performance, for teaching kids on DVD’s, for not having certified teachers or for not even having a building to house the children they requested to “educate”. They were removed for charging the state too much based on the financial information they provided; that 97% of the other schools in the voucher program did not provide and were not chided or sanctioned for by the department. In response to the report that 97% of this voucher schools were unaccountable and that 1/3rd of the audited schools had to be shut down immediately for engaging in egregious mismanagement of state dollars, John White had this to say:

“These findings are evidence that the oversight process is working and that there will be zero tolerance for fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, said State Superintendent John White.”

The findings I am disclosing are evidence that the oversight process of John White and LDOE is not working and that currently there is a high tolerance on BESE and within Governor Jindal’s office for fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. I hope these disclosures lead to more oversight and investigations before John White leaves for greener pastures. With so much emphasis on district, school and teacher accountability, it would be nice if we finally held some of our education “leaders” accountable for their actions and inactions, and not simply reward them with a fat severance and pat on the head for a job so poorly done.

Wanted: Chief for Change

Great blog from my favorite Tennessean guy (next to my brother and nephew) about CCSSO, grant manipulation, and how some of our local players have broken rules and laws on a nationally recognized level.

Pastorek is back, and inserting his tiny child-like lawyer fingers into Louisiana’s education pie again. More on that later, but for now please read this awesome recap from TC.

Dad Gone Wild

th44C1K480Last year when I started reading educational missives from the Chiefs for Change, for a minute or two I wondered what it takes to be a member of  Chiefs for Change. In case you didn’t know, Chiefs for Change is a national organization made up of seven current state education superintendents and then six more Members Emeritus. Which as far as I can tell, emeritus means guys who were once state superintendents but are now just citizens trying to make a buck off of education. According to their web site, they are committed to putting children first through bold, visionary education reform that will increase student achievement and prepare students for success in college and careers . It’s pretty heady stuff.

I don’t need to tell you that they are big supporters of Common Core, TFA, Charters Schools and accountability. They are such big supporters of accountability that one member, New Mexico’s…

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Details on La. Gov. Jindal’s Common Core and PARCC Exit

Great in depth analysis of latest PARCC and Commob Core events in Louisiana by our own edu-celebrity – Dr Mercedes Schneider.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

In a press release on June 18, 2014, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made a number of statements regarding Louisiana’s participation in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the associated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)– one of two assessment consortia (groups of states) connected to the CCSS.

Some have questioned whether Jindal is serious or just showcasing for the cameras.

He is serious.

Jindal Suspends PARCC

First, allow me to offer the text of the executive order that Jindal issued to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) regarding the suspension of PARCC for the 2014-15 school year:





 WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 5 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, and La. R.S…

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Is Common Core Dead in Louisiana?

Is Common Core Dead in Louisiana?

Yesterday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced he was withdrawing from PARCC testing and pulling Louisiana out of Common Core because while we believe in high standards for our children, we do not believe in federally imposed one-size-fits-all standards. Almost immediately Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White and BESE President Chas Roemer released statements saying they were staying the course on implementing both PARCC and Common Core, regardless of Jindal’s declaration. This is where things get interesting. At the mundane level, both White and Roemer have asserted that Jindal has no power to prevent PARCC or Common Core form going forward or prevent BESE or LDOE from entering into exclusive multi-million dollar contracts that violated the state’s contract bidding laws. Jindal’s commissioner of Administration, Kristy Nichol’s stated the state would not be purchasing the Common Core tests and she temporarily suspended the contract with the state’s current testing vendor to ensure White did not direct them to buy the tests. I see this as an interesting chess match.

I knew this move by team Jindal was coming weeks ago, although I can’t disclose exactly how I knew it, and while I was actually surprised this happened on one level, I was completely expecting it. Watching how this happened behind the scenes has been very enlightening, but this was not an off-the-cuff maneuver, I assure you. The framework for this decision was being laid for weeks, if not months. Some folks pointed to White’s quick response as indication this is just a play put on for our benefit and for the benefit of the national stage and to garner some Fox News interviews. While I can’t say for sure that this is not pandering at some level, I don’t actually think that’s all this is. What’s more, I would not use White’s quick press release as proof that there is collusion on this issue. This move has been telegraphed for some time – probably to feel out the waters before taking the final plunge. I would have been more surprised if John White was caught flat-footed or if this withdrawal did not happen soon.

Listening to this Jindal speech I admit I was a little impressed by the lack of strained small-talk and superficial frills. It was different than more widely panned ones like his Kenneth the Page impression Presidential Rebuttal some years back. It’s not just experience that has improved his delivery, his recent red meat CPAC speech was also painful to listen to, if less head-in-palm-of-handable. (I made that term up, impressed?) No, this speech actually made sense and made him sound like a human, echoing lot of parents and talking points we’ve been saying for years. I actually believe he believes this, and frankly, Jindal is not a very good actor. Seriously. Moreover, this change brings him in alignment with his conservative, fight the Feds, local control loving rhetoric. (I wonder if he will appreciate my defense?) J

I’ve been asked if I’m afraid if Jindal, White and Chas are just putting on a show for us. I am not worried one bit. Regardless of whether this is an elaborate dance or not, I will still be here as will all of the parents opposing Common Core. Jindal obviously has higher aspirations than Louisiana Governor, of that there is no doubt. This decision puts Jindal and his resources squarely on our side . . . for once. If one of the most powerful Governors in the United States can’t make a decision on National Television and get his handpicked Board of Education and Superintendent to tow the line. . .eventually. This says way more about whether Bobby Jindal is ready for Primetime or just a Saturday Morning Cartoon. (Remember those?) Jindal must make this proclamation stick or he will have no friends and no accomplishments to overshadow his failure to lead and reverse the damage he created when he invited John White into our state.

Jindal has staked his entire political future, at least in the short term, to the elimination of Common Core and PARCC testing. While it’s true his legal record is not all the great, at least this time he is fighting on the side of the Constitution, not fighting to reinterpret it as he did in the MFP and tenure battles. This is a big win for us, but the fight is not over. One thing you can do to tip the scales in our favor for the future is vote out BESE members like Chas Roemer, and elect folks like me to take their place. It just so happens I am running to replace Chas in the 2015 election.

Go to to sign up, or mail a check to:

The Campaign to Elect Jason France (or just Jason France)

235 Marilyn Dr.
Baton Rouge LA 70815

PO BOX 46393


Please ensure your address and phone number appears on the check and that it is a campaign contribution.


BREAKING NEWS: Louisiana Governor Jindal Drops PARCC and Common Core

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

Jindal just finished a press conference.

His words, summarized:

PARCC selection did not comply with La state law requiring a bidding process– this voids PARCC agreement. Jindal has asked for a financial audit of PARCC spending and an open, competitive bidding process for assessment.

He said that suspending PARCC is what he was able to do immediately via executive order.

He also contacted NGA and CCSSO and terminated La’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Common COre (CCSS). He said when he signed on, he did not realize the federal control that CCSS would bring into the state.

He charged the La State Board of Ed (BESE) to produce state standards and state assessments. He wants BESE to work with legislature on this.

More to come.

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PARCC test security flaws are reminiscent of InBloom, News Corp. Microsoft attempt to gather personal student data, not to mention Microsoft’s cooperation with NSA eavesdropping

Tom Aswell writes about a complete conflict of interest between PARCC and parents that resulted in a loss of privacy and exposure of data to hackers. If PARCC and DOE’S can’t get privacy and security right during a small pilot of the exam, what are the chances they will be responsible and dilligent with security measures and privacy over a real run or over the long-haul. With all the scrutiny they are under to protect data and privacy, to allow such blatant violations and incompetent decisions is inexcusable and borders on the criminal.

Louisiana Voice

When LouisianaVoice broke the story about the stealth agreement between the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. whereby DOE would provide News Corp. with personal information on Louisiana’s public school students for use by a company affiliated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the resulting firestorm resulted in cancellation of the agreement.

Or did it?

Remember, too, that it was Murdoch who, in 2010, speaking of the enormous business opportunity in public education awaiting corporate America, said, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S.”

In June of 2012, Erin Bendily, assistant deputy superintendent for departmental support and former education policy adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal emailed Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White:

“I think we need to start with a very strong introduction and embed more CCSS (Common Core State Standards) alignment/integration throughout. This sounds…

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The New Orleans Imperative Next Show – June 16, 2014

I will be on the radio tomorrow at 10 am discussing data issues at LDOE.

Jason France researcher and blogger will discuss questions around the data crisis at the Louisiana Department of Education. Jason has an informative blog on public education in Louisiana


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