Why do I think Bobby Jindal is scamming us with faux Common Core lawsuits?

Why do I think Bobby Jindal is scamming us with faux Common Core lawsuits?

To be quite frank, I did not develop this idea on my own. I was asked whether I thought Jindal’s opposition to Common Core was sincere, and my response at first was “I don’t know, but does it matter?” My thinking being: whether or not Bobby Jindal opposed Common Core for the “right” reasons or for political reasons, was irrelevant. What mattered is that we had a former staunch supporter of the standards publicly recanting his position. I actually think this encouraged a lot of folks in the Anti-Common Core camp, and added to the nationwide movement and impetus to roll back or remove the standards across the nation. Which is great for folks outside of Louisiana, but most public school parents know we are still in a bind. At the end of the day, talk is cheap and therapy and tutoring for 700,000 Louisiana school children won’t be.

Jindal made some moves that seemed to indicate he had genuinely thought deeply about this situation (that he had put us in) and had a thoughtful plan for extricating us from it.

  • Jindal held press conferences denouncing Common Core as a Federal takeover of education
  • Jindal took numerous photo ops surrounded by opponents of Common Core
  • Jindal appointed Jane Smith, a staunch Common Core opponent (one of his three appointees)
  • Jindal (though his surrogates at DOA) declared the contract for the PARCC test invalid for not following proper laws and procedures (although DOA had previously reviewed and okayed this same contract.)
  • Jindal sent a letter to PARCC telling them he was pulling Louisiana out of the testing consortium (something he apparently didn’t have the legal standing to do.)
  • Jindal reduced John White’s purchasing power from 20k to 2 k without prior approval. (Meanwhile John White explained he’d actually been functioning under a 50k limit.)
  • Jindal originally refused to allow BESE to hire a lawyer/law firm to being suit against him (but did allow a law firm connected to LDOE, TFA, and Reformers to bring suit against him on constitutional grounds and allowed BESE to sign on as a party to this suit without repercussions for his other two appointed BESE members.)
  • Jindal appointed Jimmy Faircloth (a chief campaign donor who has never won a constitutional education case for the administration) to “defend” him from the lawsuit brought by Common Core supporters to allow Louisiana to purchase the PARCC test.
  • Jindal brought forth a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration over the constitutionality of Race to the Top funding tied to Common Core and PARCC testing in relation to a 17 million dollar grant Louisiana eventually one in the third round of RTTT

     

All of these things sound positive, but the net effect to date has been nothing but jawing on national television, more photo ops and newspaper stories, more lawsuits, and chaos in the classrooms and homes. Common Core is more entrenched in Louisiana than ever.

 

Sadly I have detected a waning in interest in Common Core forums among opponents. I’d diagnose this as a blend of fatigue, resignation, and perhaps a yearning for eventual victory that has sapped the life from folks and the movement locally. Many are waiting to see how this develops. I don’t blame them. I was watching too. I fear this that is exactly what Jindal’s opposition was intended to do. Jindal inserted himself at the head of the angry mob of parents and teachers opposed to Common Core. He took up our banner (but with what appears to be a rubber pitchfork) and has led us in direction after direction; telling us he has a plan; urging us to follow his lead.

 

He is leading us through blind alleys and into dead ends, folks.

 

I was warned something like this was going to happen numerous times by insiders. Here’s an excerpt from one person I received in April.

I’ve watched with interest this whole story about Common Core tests the last few days.  I have been on the inside of the political circle.  I would bet my life on this.  Bobby Jindal, John White, and Chas Roemer came up with this strategy months ago.  Saying Jindal wants out — but White and Roemer have to sign withdrawal allows Jindal to be perceived as far right — less federal oversight, etc. — poising him for his presidential campaign.   But it also keeps Common Core testing alive in Louisiana.

I’ve had numerous other conversations with different folks on the inside, but this one sums the situation up very nicely. Every day I fear more and more that they were right.

This isn’t just some random guy like me speculating . . . this is someone that works with these characters and knows how they work. So let’s examine some of the signals and moves that don’t make sense if you were really trying to eliminate Common Core, and not simply trying to make a lot of noise about eliminating it.

  • If Jindal really wanted out way back in April, when he first started making noise, why didn’t he talk to any of his handpicked and appointed legislators?
  • Why did Jindal wait until after the legislative session was completely over in June to hold his press conference about getting Louisiana out of Common Core?
  • Jindal has folks all over the legislature keeping an eye on bills and people, but anyone with a half hour and a black and white TV set could have seen the hundreds of parents being marginalized day after day while bill after bill to put the brakes on Common Core was shot down. The only indication that he was for any of these bills to remove Common Core were a few random support cards, but no one from his administration chose to speak or make a statement. In fact, even though those opportunities were offered to them they declined.
  • Unless I am mistaken (admittedly it’s been a while since I looked), every BESE member that is for Common Core (except maybe Walter Lee) received maximum contributions from the Jindal campaign in the last BESE election. 2 of Jindal’s 3 BESE appointees are adamantly for it. Why has Jindal not asked them to resign (and appoint two folks that would shift the tide 6 v 5 if swing voter Walter Lee could be brought on board); if he really believes Common Core is an unconstitutional federal takeover of education as he has asserted in his recent lawsuit against the federal government?
  • I think that last point should get two bullets, because. . . Seriously? Is he really keeping his appointees, Judith Muranti and Connie Bradford, onboard to represent his interests when he believes they are actively violating the Constitution of the United States and depriving Louisiana citizens of their Constitutional rights? And he wants to be President or even just a national figure??? You would think removing folks Jindal himself appointed on his state board of education, or even just calling for their resignation, would be a much more efficient and effective move than literally making a federal case out of this. It’s not like that would even be a new thing. Jindal did that before, with former Jindal appointee Tammie McDaniel, when she voted a way he didn’t like on a simple funding issue. But Jindal has said nothing and done nothing to his appointees violating the US Constitution and voting to sue him directly for violating Louisiana’s Constitution stating he has been disruptive and destructive. (He has of course, but his own appointees should not be saying that and retaining their positions if he is at all serious about his opposition to Common Core.) You would also think Jindal would have some influence over all the other members he donated to and brought to power.

     

But the truth is, even the federal lawsuit he is bringing is weak and destined to fail for three reasons:

  1. His case is weak
  2. His lawyer is weak
  3. His time is short

Plenty has been written about number 2, Jindal’s representation, Jimmy Faircloth. The fact that he produced not expert witnesses and rolled over in his last case on this issue should be documentation enough. (Not to mention he has never won a Constitution education case he’s represented Jindal on – not that that is ordinarily bad thing except here. . .) While Faircloth might not be the best lawyer if you want to actually win a case, no one can say he isn’t generous when it comes to kicking back [legally of course] some of his “earnings” to his favorite employer in the form of campaign contributions. (This is legal in Louisiana as long as no one calls it a “kickback” or demands a kickback and – and it just “happens” organically. . . I guess. . . of their own volition/common sense.)

So instead I will explore the other two items.

It’s not that the argument the Jindal administration is making a federal case out of is not firmly grounded for some states, but at this moment Louisiana is not really one of them. US DOE did unconstitutionally grant itself waiver powers to ignore the legally defined sanctions of NCLB in the form of ESEA waivers. These waivers were put in place by US DOE to supplant NCLB (No Child Left Behind) requirements. These were put in place without Congressional approval and Duncan has required the defacto adoption of Common Core (or a nationally recognized curriculum of which only Common Core qualifies) in exchange for relaxation of the NCLB requirements. The NCLB requirements were designed to be unattainable, requiring 100% proficiency of all students in all subgroups (Limited English, poor, disabled) by 2014. Some threats made by US DOE are that all federal funding would be withheld if the states don’t meet the impossible standards of NCLB, or the sanctions of NCLB (which can be financially crippling) and will be vigorously enforced. So states can choose to weather the NCLB sanctions which no states can avoid, or adopt Common Core and tie those tests to teacher retention policies and also adopt a bunch of other Reform friendly destructive crap.

By “waiving” the sanctions imposed by the NCLB law that Congress did authorize, Duncan removed the incentive and urgency for Congress to fix the problem built into NCLB that all states faced because NCLB was designed to be structurally impossible to achieve by anyone. When Congress chose to turn a blind eye to the constitutionally questionable ESEA waivers, what resulted was a ceding of all powers to set rules and guidelines for federal funding to the Executive branch (Arne Duncan), rather than the legislative branch of government.

This is why many informed opponents of Common Core consider it a federal mandate and takeover.

(When the mainstream media chooses to ignore this direct line of influence and control it feeds into the conspiracy theories and theorists. To tell you the truth, media that refuses to acknowledge this direct connection is really stupid (or thinks we are), willfully ignorant, lazy, or is actually a part of a conspiracy to spread Common Core propaganda.)

So what has resulted from the imposition of unattainable standards and the refusal of Congress to act to remedy the situation is a requirement that states adopt Common Core (nationally recognized standards of which there was only one by definition: Common Core State Standards), or else.

However Duncan’s interference did not end there. He also added this requirement to the billions of dollars allocated to RTTT (Race To The Top) grants. Louisiana would be in a much better position to make the case these standards were imposed upon them unconstitutionally if Louisiana rejected them (as Oklahoma has done) and was subsequently sanctioned by Arne Duncan (as has happened to Oklahoma). However because Louisiana’s state Board of Education (BESE) is endorsing them, and not stating they are doing so because of a concern about funding being yanked, Jindal’s case is weak. He could make it stronger by kicking his own appointees and replacing them with anti-Common Core appointees, and then perhaps working out an “understanding” with the swing vote BESE member, Walter Lee, who is facing multiple indictments for various financial improprieties. I can see an easy win there, and then a strong federal case to be made when Duncan slams some sanctions down on us.

The basis of the case for arguing the RTTT grants are unconstitutional will be tied to the determination of whether the Federal government can define national standards and curriculum, or whether those are sovereign rights left to the states. Some states that received very large grants in the first or second round of RTT (during one of the greatest financial downturns in our nation since the Great Depression might have a case they applied for and agreed to these grants under financial duress.) However the 17 million dollars Jindal complains about in his federal lawsuit is chump change compared to the more than 800 million dollars Louisiana receives from LDOE for agreeing to the waiver conditions set in conjunction with Arne Duncan. The ESEA waiver process is where Arne’s chokehold over education comes from. 17 million dollars is what we find in our couches every year trying to fill the billion dollars shortfalls Jindal “balances” our budgets with every year, but it is an issue for some states that won significantly more than 17 million dollars..

Even so, a Federal lawsuit is not the short-term answer and not one Jindal can follow-through on. Jindal’s term is up in a little more than a year and he can’t run for a third term (thank the Lord). Not one candidate for Governor in the 2015 gubernatorial race supports eliminating Common Core. The front-runner and most well-funded (and diapered) candidate, David Vitter, has changed his position from staunchly opposed to rabidly in favor of Common Core. (I’m assuming he changed positions after he found out who had all the money.) That means this lawsuit will not amount to anything except more money for one of Jindal’s best campaign donors (Jimmy Faircloth) more headlines for him, and more wasted money and hopes for Louisiana taxpayers and parents.

The BP oil spill happened in 2010. We know who was responsible and BP has acknowledged their responsibility. We know who was damaged. That tragedy happened at end of Bobby Jindal’s first term; 4 years ago, but we still do not have a final settlement for the State or lawsuit brought to trial for Louisiana. What are the chances this lawsuit concerning our very US Constitution will have any meaningful results in the next year?

Will we wait 4 years for this to be resolved? How many Louisiana Governors will be have to go through before a settlement is reached?

That is what Common Core supporters (whom I must now re-include Bobby Jindal as) want. They want a full generation of our children to experiment on to see if Common Core works (even though the early results show abysmal failure.) But don’t worry, parents. I’m sure the next big education plan will be right around the corner for your kids’ kids. Maybe they will be more successful at taming the Educational Industrial Complex than we were?

Standardized Lying

Standardized Lying

Student performance in Louisiana is dropping rapidly. The decline started just about the time John White became superintendent of Education and has accelerated rapidly with the introduction of Common Core in Louisiana schools. Based on a sample analysis of the very meager data LDOE finally released under threat of lawsuit it is clear that not only is student performance not increasing or staying steady, it Is in fact declining, and being masked by a lowering of the number of correct answers required to pass LEAP and iLEAP tests. Please refer to this post by Mike Deshotels and the analysis provided by Herb Bassett for the details. Below is an excerpt from Mike’s blog.

Here is the table supplied by the LDOE as a result of my public records request:

    scores

Notice that for 4th grade ELA, 4th grade Math, and 8th grade Math, there was a significant lowering of the percentage of correct answers needed to get a rating of basic. The Science and Social Studies percentages were changed very little from 2013 to 2014.

Would you like to know why such a high percentage of our students (64%) were able to reach the level of Basic this year on a more difficult 8th grade Math test? Herb Bassett calculates that using the same method of guessing described above, 8th grade students this year on the average would need to know only 20.2% of the math material on the test to reach the level of Basic.


 

What this means is simple terms is that Louisiana students are about 18% less prepared now in 4th grade in English Language Arts, and 28% percent less prepared in Math by the time the reach 8th grade than they were before John White and Common Core started being used in Louisiana schools. 8th grade ELA seems to be about the same. (My guess is this ability evened out as children read more books outside of school. That’s actually how I acquired my skills.) 4th Grade Math takes about a 10% hit in 4th grade, and children’s abilities seem to deteriorate going forward based on the 8th grade results.

This data actually matches up with information being supplied by teachers and parents. I can see why John White would have been so reticent to release this information except under court order and legal proceeding. This is not a local phenomenon. New York has discovered the same subterfuge in their state.

I don’t have magical powers, but I can confidently predict this is something you will find and see happening across the nation, especially in education Reformer infested territories. There is nothing standardized about the testing of Common Core, the only standardization comes in in the form of lying about it.

Proponents of Common Core, and the High Stakes testing required by it, have claimed the comparability of test scores across states will make for meaningful comparisons. To have this meaningful comparison, all states must teach the same curriculum and all must administer identical tests from one of the two federally funded consortiums (Smarter Balanced and PARCC). However neither consortium controls the cut scores; those are entirely in the control of the states. These scores can go up or down as local politics require.

Let me spell this out for you. If you want to show progress in your state you can artificially inflate the scores to show improvement. If you need to make a case for more charter schools and school closures simply lower the scores and take them over and then raise the score back to show that reform worked. That is exactly what Louisiana has done and no doubt other reform markets as well. The actual data shows the Reforms, including Common Core, have had the exact opposite effect, and a very dramatic one.

Even though the proposed tests are identical, even though the curriculum is identical, the actual scores and their meanings are left up to individual states to determine. That fact nullifies the argument for identical standardized tests and even the need for a standardized curriculum. Our scores, our levels of achievement, will not be and are not comparable to scores in other states. These tests are actually the opposite of comparable. NAEP and DEIBELS are national tests that are comparable, and neither of them requires a standardized curriculum nor extensive, expensive, technology intensive, obsessive testing, like Common Core does.

Most people won’t understand why that’s important. Even if some people do understand this shell game, most states will do whatever they can to prevent the public from learning about this practice in a timely manner (as Louisiana and John White has done). This is really a pretty important finding. It confirms anecdotal evidence many parents and teachers have experienced in school and in their homes. This finding drives a stake through the heart of the educational vampire known as Common Core.

Unfortunately Common Core vampires are very real. The corporately funded, Reformer and National teacher union embraced propaganda promoting Standardized Tests linked to Common Core as the cure-all for educational inequality and systemic and endemic poverty is the myth. Really, when you think about it, which is really the more believable reality?

CCVampireneed CC please help

The Violence and Hatred of Common Core Fanatics

The Violence and Hatred of Common Core Fanatics

It may come as no surprise to those of you/us who have been trying to point out the deficiencies of Common Core, that our input is often met with derision, hatred, venom and now even threats of violence. When I first wrote an article about my experience in with Common Core about a year ago I admit I did not fully understand what was going on, and that I was perplexed and confused by the homework at times. Many of us were. I understand Engage NY Curriculum is not the same as the Common Core standards, but it is derived from them and entirely related and relevant to discussions of Common Core. Moreover, in Louisiana the only State approved Tier 1 resource that LDOE endorses is Eureka, which is the “paid” version of Engage NY. From what I’ve seen this year the only difference between the two is that districts have to pay for Eureka products, and the branding at the bottom of the resource worksheets.

I wrote an entry on my blog to explain how many parents were feeling and because no one in power was listening to the complaints and concerns of parents. Many of us felt marginalized and maligned rather than engaged or listened too. Many folks who embrace the standards, like this teacher that recently posted on my blog talked to us this way when we expressed our concerns:

Sarah Berry, teacher (and provider of Common Core Teaching materials?)

Are all you people Fin crazy? Not a one of you know what the hell you are talking about. If parents can’t add their doubles then we have a bigger problem than we realize. As for the author of the original article; spend more time doing research than criticizing curriculum that you have no idea about. You have no degree in curriculum development (that is obvious) nor do you have a degree in education, your expertise is that you have a child. Just like you have a background in mathematics; that’s right, you had math in school and you learned just fine. Again, obviously not if you don’t know the benefits of doubles. What addition facts give most first graders difficulty? Oh that’s right, you don’t know your doubles so how in the hell would you know 6+7 or 8+9 or 5+7 Doubles helps student make sense of new problems by using their prior knowledge, something you have obviously lost! 6+7 can be seen as 6+6+1 more and is called a doubles plus one. Or you 6+7 could be seen as 7+7-1 and is called doubles minus one. But since your head is so far up your ass and you can only see how “you” were taught, not the benefits of teaching kids the “mathematics” vs. the short cut. When you get your teaching degree, earn your masters in curriculum design, spend time actually in the classroom teaching students, work as an administrator along side professional teachers, then you can write a blog regarding Engage NY math curriculum. And please do all the teachers in your area a favor, don’t have another child just because you can!

I had reports of many parents across various school districts being addressed this way by their teacher and other Common Core proponents. Perhaps Sarah does have all the credentials she implies she has, but what she does not have is people skills or the ability to work well with others. She may not want me to have any more children, but I don’t want her to be “teaching” any more children or engaging with any more parents. Based on this comment I would judge her as a disgrace to her profession. Fortunately not all teachers feel the same way Sarah does or I would be waging a war on teachers the way Reformers do. I actually try to support teachers and engage them constructively and I don’t think they should be evaluated just on a test score tied to a student tied to Common Core, like most, if not all, Common Core supporters do.

As victories are being made across the country against Common Core, it is clear that the strategy of marginalized and mocking parents and making children cry as a measure of rigor is not working. Amazingly this type of antagonistic attack below does more to enflame passions and solidify positions, but I’m sure it made the poster of this comment feel superior for a little while.

Chris Jenson (parent?)

And there are alleged teachers who completely agree with you in the comments. Amazing. I feel forced to point out that, as an adult who went through the old educational system, your clear lack of cognitive ability and problem solving skills, and most horrifyingly the “teachers” who agree with you, are the most telling examples of why we needed education reform in the first place.

I have seen and endured (and sometimes deleted) many of the comments because of racists, classist, and bizarre defenses that included call me and other parents [Expletive] Libertards, an ignorant hillbilly, nazi [expletive], redneck Teabilly/bagger, educational knuckle dragger, etc. I’m sure many parents have endured these insults also. At meetings I’ve attended or others have attended we endured hour upon hour of insults at the hand of Common Core supporters from LABI, Stand For Children, the Louisiana Charter Association, APEL, TFA, Chas Roemer [BESE President) talking to his sister Caroline Roemer Shirley (head of Louisiana Charter Association), as well as representatives from Exxon. We don’t all wear badges to identify who we support and oppose, Senate Education Chair Senator Apel, and these folks were quite brutal and obnoxious in their assessment of our intelligence, possible inbreeding, and sincerity of our tears being shed. We do listen quietly, and nod, and the report back. You have shown your true colors and made us enemies, probably permanently.

This situation is really unfortunate. I have come to meet some teachers that I believe really believe (it appears largely faith based) that these standards will help children. These teachers literally preach the gospel of Common Core, as they tell us in 10 to 12 years we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. I do not have the background in teacher, nor do I have your faith in a system that is fundamentally overly bureaucratic and flawed and that refuses to admit to its shortcomings. I cannot have faith in something that was sold under false pretenses to the American Public and which continues to be sold with lies by proven liars, Reformers.

It may be that Common Core, developed slowly and truly collaboratively, introduced gradually and with forethought and consideration of all stakeholders could have been successful.

If Common Core had not been tied to High Stakes tests for grading teachers it might be easier for people to buy this is for children and not corporations that seek to privatize education.

If concerns had been addressed thoughtfully and respectfully and if there was some local autonomy in the adoption, and possible changes to areas that even the developers of Common Core have realized they had to make it might have been more palatable to folks.

If Arne Duncan had not forced this upon states through Race to the Top Grants and ESEA waivers to free states of impossible No Child Left Behind standards it would have had less of a Federal Takeover feel.

If the messengers of Common Core were not many times proven liars about charter schools, Value Added assessments of teachers, virtual schools, massive school closings of poor children’s schools, and purveyors of temp teachers over experienced and more expensive ones it would have been met with less immediate skepticism.

If Common Core had not been adopted sight unseen in many(most) states, like Louisiana, and a true discussion had taken place, it would have been hard to say this was done clandestinely. Lying about this situation and telling parents the standards were around for 4 years ignores the fact that many parents had not been exposed to it until recently. It was your job, as education leaders, to reach out to parents and engage them before this blew up in your faces. You failed to do that and now you have a mess. Parents immediately objected when they were exposed to it for the first time, but you (officials and official channels) ignored them and forced them to create a grassroots movement bound by social media to spread the word and oppose you. No matter how many times Will Sentell from the Advocate prints that it was around for 4 years (since 2010) without objection or controversy, it does not alter the fact that most parents and children were not exposed to it, and when they did they immediately freaked out and were completely marginalized, ignored and disparaged by even the Secretary of the Us Department of education.

“All of a sudden, their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought … and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said at the event Friday.

Do these folks really not get it, or do they think they can simply bully and bulldoze their way over parents like they have been doing to our children and teachers for years?

Now that parents have former their own channels of passing information and started to rack up some victories in various states, some supporters of Common Core are getting scared, and getting angry. People like Michael Mulgrew, Head of the United Federation of Teachers, are directing their anger at the wrong people.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/michael-mulgrew-defends-common-core-punch-face-tools-article-1.1895301

Teachers union honcho Michael Mulgrew unleashed a venomous screed directed at anyone who would dare threaten his beloved Common Core agenda.

 “If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!” the head of the United Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles.

The rant was posted Thursday to the Ed Notes Online blog.

“And I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” added Mulgrew.

Punching parents in the face might seem like a good idea to Common Core supporters, since their lies have failed to convince parents, maybe fear and anger will force them to back down? I kind of doubt it though. What it has done for me is to settle into a state of resignation. I can see you guys don’t want to talk. When you did talk you lied, and we caught you. Then you lied some more and we caught you again. Then you ignored us and shoved this down our throats and mocked us. You told us no one gives a shit what we think or feel like David Coleman, architect of Common Core, because that’s really how you see the world and our place in it.

(You can see the Coleman clip in the link below)

http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/tag/people-really-dont-give-a-shit-how-you-feel/

Now Common Core proponents are using strong-arm tactics and threats of violence and telling us we are too stupid to have any children for you to teach. I admit, I do not want you teaching my children either. Many parents have been pulling their children out of public schools to homeschool them to escape teachers like you. That will work for a time, but I know corporations are forcing Common Core in private schools and homeschool legislation is next. In fact, in order for parents to be allowed to continue to homeschool their kids, they must still teach them some Common Core to pass the required tests. This is why you will find many parents that are now homeschooling their children continuing the fight against Common Core.

Will we simply wait 12 years for things to work out? I doubt we would have to wait that long for these to change, but not because of the needs of students. Now that textbook and testing corporations are so intimately involved with these “Standards” and the textbooks and supplemental materials that go with them, we can be sure they will be changing pretty quickly in ways that force the previous textbooks and materials into planned obsolesce so they can sell more, more frequently.

I am tired of trying to convince people by showing them an example here or a lie there. This becomes a never-ending cycle of lies and examples and counter-examples. I will even concede that some of the content and standards appear fine or even good in some cases. When we redesign our own curriculum I hope to keep the good, discard the bad, but most importantly retain local control of what and how we teach without regard for High Stakes Testing, just High Quality Learning. What is clear is that this was done poorly and that those that support this initiative failed to address the concerns of all stakeholders, and have switched to even more aggressive tactics which have permanently poisoned the well of public support.

 

 

Peter Greene: Why So Many Teachers Turned Against Common Core

Posts don’t get much better than this. Check out Peter Greene’s post (from Curmudgication) on why teachers (like him) turned on and rejected Common Core. I’m not a teacher but many of his reasons for rejecting it are 100% reflections of my own. Read Diane Ravitch’s summary of course, but the full post is really worth the effort to click through to get. Peter will remind you of many of the reasons you’ve been alarmed and have been fighting. It’s always nice to read when someone else really “gets it.”
Thanks Peter.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The conservative journal “Education Next” reported a poll showing that support for Common Core plummeted among teachers from 76% to 46%. Conservative supporters of Common Core think that teachers are afraid of accountability but that doesn’t explain why 76% thought it was a good idea last year.

Peter Greene explains the teachers’ change of mind, which he is well-qualified to do since he is a teacher.

Here are a few of the reasons:

First, writes Greene, was the lying.

“Remember how supporters of the Core used to tell us all the time that these standards were written by teachers? All. The. Time. Do you know why they’ve stopped saying that? Because it’s a lie, and at this point, most everybody knows it’s a lie. The “significant” teacher input, the basis in solid research– all lies. When someone is trying to sell you medicine and they tell you that it was…

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So LDOE’s website went down, how did that go down?

On Monday the 18th the LDOE website, Louisianabelieves.com went down for a few hours in the middle of the day. This was immediately tweeted about by Will Sentell and covered in the Advocate and KATC-TV 3 and nefarious reasons were given for this brief outage. The implications of the articles covering this story were that this was somehow related to the Jindal administration’s ongoing pseudo-fight over Common Core. In a quote in Sentell’s article, John White correctly stated that the site went down because of the failure of DOA (the executive agency that reports directly to Jindal) to pay a 280$ bill. While technically accurate, this statement was surrounded by ominous sounding implications and was written to be intentionally misleading. For instance, it was further implied that the timing was fishy since this happened just before a ruling was expected in the legal case brought by some random teachers and parents, a corporately funded astroturf organization (BAEO) and a charter school operator over Jindal’s executive order to halt the funding of an improperly executed contract that was to be used to purchase Common Core specific high stakes tests. The Jindal administration’s spokesperson, Meghan Parrish, claimed that this was unintentional and that it was paid immediately.

I suppose the implication Sentell and others are trying to make is that this lawsuit was timed to coincide with expiration date of the domain name registration that was purchased 2 years ago and that somehow their cause is advanced by having the site down for a few hours before a lawsuit verdict is rendered in the case? I suppose if the site was down for more than a day, and that all news on the planet was acquired and distributed through the LouisianaBelieves.com website, that might make sense on some level, to someone. However the truth is actually much less sinister and much more interesting and newsworthy. Back in March of this year DOA consolidated all IT shops into one under the DOA umbrella. All IT expenses must be paid through DOA now. During this vast undertaking some licenses and registrations got lost, overlooked or never made it to the right people to keep track of them. The domain for LDOE’s website was one of those things. You can see the details on the IT Consolidation Plan/project here.

The Office of Information Technology with support from Deloitte Consulting initiated the process of creating a roadmap for transforming Louisiana’s IT environment into a consolidated model for service delivery in November 2013. The process included interviewing departmental/agency CIOs, business leaders, and staff, as well as examining the existing infrastructure, services and organizational structures of current IT operations. The IT Consolidation Plan was completed in March 2014, and 21 actionable deliverables were produced.

It’s a shame we don’t have folks that actually try to investigate and report the news, and prefer to report rumors and innuendo. Just who is the trusted news source, and who is the blogger here, anyway?!?!

The IT Consolidation Plan resulted in many agencies losing their employees on paper, while the employees remained in their current roles and offices at their respective agencies. I wonder how much all of this is costing or saving the state? Is this is resulting in better or worse IT service and responsiveness? I wonder how many more glitches like this are out there we don’t even know about? It would seem like someone should be investigating and reporting on that rather than choosing to make a big deal about a 5 hour outage because someone forgot to mail a check.

Is it any wonder bloggers like me exist?

Common Core Chaos, Loss and Betrayal

Common Core Chaos, Loss and Betrayal

Recently I was interviewed by WAFB about the latest developments in Louisiana’s Common Core lawsuit saga and the recent court loss. You can see the full story here: http://www.wafb.com/story/26328975/common-core-debate-continues

On a personal note, I was amused that this was a story I’d watched earlier in the day while working out, but without sound. I remember wondering what the folks were saying, but figured it was just a bunch of face saving and sparring . . . and that I’d probably never know. I wasn’t far off of my analysis, but I was wrong about not seeing it again. A few hours later I was weighing in on the situation myself and ended up appended to the same video. Lol. That’s a strange feeling to be sure. Earlier in the week I was contacted by Motoko Rich at the New York Times to provide some background and commentary. I actually didn’t know I would end up being quoted, I’ve been contacted by reporters at various times and outlets to provide background info from a local perspective and I usually try to point reporters to other folks if I can. Tonight I was contacted by a producer from Al Jazeera, America to explain some of the complex issues and nuances in our Common Core battle. I’ve gotten some feedback that this contact makes people a little uneasy, but I try to keep an open mind. Maybe that’s my strength (or my Achilles Heel)? I prefer to think of it as the former.

Ultimately I can’t control what any of these folks do with the info I provide them, but I feel it is important to provide a counterpoint to the corporately funded Reform line on so many issues important to our community. Mainstream coverage is important and my blogging helps me break into that market. For instance, without mainstream media coverage by folks like Stephanie Simon at Reuters, I have little doubt that inBloom would still be in business selling out children’s data to not just the highest bidder, but any bidder.

Once this information gets out there, it’s going to be abused. There’s no doubt in my mind,” said Jason France, a father of two in Louisiana.

In case you were wondering, I think the above linked article by Stephanie Simon was perhaps the most important story in terms of raising national awareness of this issue as an issue that we should all be concerned about. We can’t know who our next Stephanie Simon will be ahead of time though.

I’ve provided info and interviews to folks at the Advocate, Reuters, LPB, Monroe News star, NPR, Louisiana Anthology, WBOK, Al Jazeera, Channel 2, Channel 9, and various New York Times folks on numerous occasions, researchers, documentary makers and many, many blogs. Sometimes it’s been flattering coverage, sometimes not so much. (You’d think I’d be better at it by now too, but hey, we can’t all be reality stars.) I’m still (not so secretly) hoping I get a call from the Daily Show or Colbert Report to do a segment or to even just be an audience member. (They had Michele Rhee on, and she’s a fraud who recently resigned her position at Student’s First in disgrace, so why not me, right?)

But wow, that was a digression, wasn’t it?

Let me bring this back in.

What I can control is the content of my blog.

Let me state up front: I did not initially flag Common Core as a problem. I was concerned with charters, virtual schools, data, VAM, privacy, RSD, school based corporal punishment, accountability, dropout rates, shadow schools, massive layoffs, excessive discipline rates, data quality, TFA taking over LDOE, vouchers, MFP funding, Special Education and 504 issues, poor teacher evaluation systems, and so forth. You’d think that would be enough! J

It took some researching, numerous discussions and investigations and real world experiences for me to see the harm it posed and the great corporate specter behind its creation and implementation. When I looked at my daughter’s homework assignments, Math especially, I became very alarmed and disturbed and wrote about my experiences. A lot of people identified with my raw post, which also contained details about how Common Core was secretly (basically since no one really knew what they heck it was) adopted in Louisiana before the Standards were even published or finalized. But the story didn’t end there.

A lot of parents had problems across the spectrum of Common Core assignments and curriculum. Some parents in some settings had minimal issues, or didn’t care. Organizations like LaBAEO and Louisiana Stand For Children came out strongly in support of Common Core. Most folks didn’t realize these organizations are headed by former senior staffers from the Louisiana Department of Education, Kenneth Campbell and Rayne Martin. I’m not sure of Kenneth’s situation, but I know Rayne is not an educator nor a parent. She is highly compensated by out of state funders and supporters of Common Core. She is a “reformer” that was living in Chicago until former RSD superintendent, the nomadic and politically connected Paul Vallas (former Illinois Governor candidate currently running for Illinois Lieutenant Governor after being chased out of his Connecticut superintendent position he was determined by their court system to be illegally placed in) brought Rayne here a half dozen years ago, and now she runs an organization called Louisiana Stand for Children (of which she has none.)

I showed up to BESE meetings where cadres of redshirted Exxon “Common Core cheerleaders” showed up for a few minutes and testified en masse about how awesome high standards were for STEM careers (ahead of all the parents who had been waiting all day to speak) and then filed out immediately after – after cheering each other on.

I attended meetings and heard stories from parents who had tried to meet with officials from the Louisiana Department of Ed, their BESE members, or in some cases their local school boards, where instead of listening to their concerns, they were lectured. . . for hours, and commanded to sit passively and just listen. At the end these folks giving presentations, like BESE members James Garvey, Holly Boffy and regional leaders like Gayle Sloan could not answer questions and did not register, acknowledge or report parents’ concerns, after wasting so much of parents’ time and patience.

This went on for more than a year into the implementation, and goes on today. The implementation of Common Core in Louisiana was also likely sabotaged by John White on purpose, with dueling implementation dates, conflicting messages, and what looked like (to me) as intentionally mixed signals. It is not even a widely disputed fact that the Louisiana implementation and rollout was terrible, uneven and completely bungled in many cases. Rather than acknowledge the failings, address parents’ concerns, and address or acknowledge widely agreed upon shortcomings in the initial rollout and gaps in the standards, LDOE and so many groups inside and outside the state closed ranks and closed their eyes to the chaos swirling around them; that they created. Rather than address the deficiencies head-on and honestly they chose to ignore them, to point to deficiencies in the old curriculum (in a never ending circular he-said/she-said finger pointing contest), or point to their lofty goals which for which they had no evidence their Common Core standards and curriculum could achieve – even if the goal was something everyone wanted to achieve.

Look! It’s magic, and 100% evidence and fact free!

Parents had and have real problems and questions with Common Core, and all they get are fluff PR pieces like this willfully ignorant infographic. Many of those opposed to Common Core are professionals, Engineers, Programmers, Writers, Doctors, Lawyers, PHd’s, Teachers, University Professors, Scientists. We understand what the STEM careers demand, because we work in them, and we are not buying what the Common Core folks are selling.

I understand this was a very ambitious project. I understand the goals on Common Core (I just happen to not agree with them.) I don’t think the sole purpose of public education is preparing students for community colleges and introductory careers they are never able to grow out of. There may be a place for those, but our current education system allows (or allowed) students to acquire educations in a broad range of subjects, to become informed and responsible citizens and to hopefully learn to enjoy learning for its own sake, and not just for test score or accolade. The US has never been leader in test scores that the Reform movement implies we were; or should aspire to be. We got where we are in the world based on our freedom of thought and creativity, neither of which are quantifiable or test well. Some of our greatest minds were not that scholastically adept or persistent. Bill Gates, who is pushing the college and career ready curriculum dropped out of college to found one of the most important tech companies of the last century (Microsoft) and became the wealthiest person on the planet in doing so.

Add to that list these innovative college dropout billionaires:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_college_dropout_billionaires

Many of who are pushing the Reform agenda and urgent need for increasing test scores. I have to wonder if we’d even have computers (at least to the extent we have today) now if these guys:

  • Michael Del (Dell)
  • Steve Jobs (Apple)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle)
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft)

had been subjected to Common Core instead of being able to experiment in their electronics garage hobbies and electives and exercise their imaginations.

I’m not suggesting college is unimportant or that everyone should dropout and try their hand at creating a tech startup. I am explaining why it is hypocritical for folks like Bill Gates to demand this as the only path for everyone and I am suggesting if we forsake education for the sake of test scores we are doing ourselves a vast disservice. This is the ultimate tail wagging the dog situation. Tests were meant to give us a baseline to judge student performance. Tests were never meant to be the end all be all for education. That move is beyond just foolish, it is destructive and ridiculous. But to understand why these successful and smart folks think they know more than you do, in fields they’ve never experienced success but which their vast fortunes allows them access to alter the landscape in fundamental ways. You must understand these folks think in data points. If something is not measurable it is not valued. Many things in life are important but not measurable. Faith. Love. Spirit. Freedom. Imagination. Creativity. Education is one of those immeasurable things too. We can roughly measure how many words you know, or math problems you can solve, but we can’t measure everything you know or might think. Education is not just about numbers and words, not just about what we know, but what we can create with our minds and what we can learn in the future. Once we leave schools, we no longer take tests, but we must always learn to live, to grow in our relationships with each other, to take care of our children, neighbors, family and country, and to master the skills of the various jobs we will hold throughout our lifetime. After formal schooling I’ve learned numerous computer languages, software applications, reporting tools and even picked up an avocation or two that required a great deal of self-study, motivation and very little in the way of formalized recognition and rewards. The latter is learning and education for its own sake. What I have described will be the majority of life for everyone but eternal academics. Preparing students for endless Common Core testing (so we adults can feel better about providing measurably identical “educations”) is not preparing students for life – quite the opposite.

So when Bobby Jindal seemed to come to our rescue in the anti-Common Core camp, I admit I was overly trusting. I had been assured this move was coming for months ahead of time. Bobby Jindal seemed to speak passionately and say the right things (for the most part.) I tried to explain away the warnings I received from numerous sources claiming this was a carefully orchestrated ruse. I really didn’t give him enough credit to pull that kind of ruse off, but I had been told this was a ploy to take the heat off Jindal from the conservative groups, Tea Party groups, and to give Jindal a stance and platform to differentiate himself from other potential Republican presidential candidates. Victories have been few and far between but I liked to think that wasn’t influencing my hopeful thoughts. . . but the pieces weren’t adding up. Jindal donated and channeled massive amounts of funding to candidates that put John White in place. Surely that would give him some pull with some of those folks? But every one of those folks he helped elect not only refused to consider his demand to end Common Core, they voted to sue him. . . personally. . . claiming he was violating the state’s constitution. Not a light matter. But that wasn’t all. Jindal appoints three members to BESE’s 11 member Board. He recently appointed Jane Smith, knowing she was opposed to Common Core, which seemed like a positive move. But she only had two allies on BESE to give them a 3 to 8 voting bloc. Jane has been a valiant fighter, but she’s not enough to alter the basic power equation. Jindal’s other two appointees also ignored their boss who appointed them and also voted (or allowed the others to vote at times) to sue the Governor who has appointed them as his representative voice. I can understand having minor disagreements, but this is a major, big time, enormous departure! Jindal has never been shy about seeking revenge on those who cross him, including a previous BESE member named Tammie McDaniel who Jindal demanded resign after she voted a way he didn’t like on a single issue. Tammie was replaced by Connie Bradford, who remains untouched for her seeming brazen defiance. That was a head scratcher. For a list of some of the other folks Jindal has sacked for even minor offenses look here. So that doesn’t add up one bit. If they were really defying the governor they could be “Tegued” as the term Tom Aswell from Louisiana Voice has coined to describe the consistent (until now) phenomenon of how Jindal handles anyone who disagrees with him to even the slightest degree in public.

But the final and ridiculous last straw is how Jimmy Faircloth, Jindal’s “defense” attorney chose not to defend Jindal’s executive orders to prevent LDOE from purchasing PARCC tests in a partial ploy to exert pressure on John White and LDOE to reconsider remaining in PARCC and Common Core. For the ruling refer to this and pay attention to page 4. I’ve copied the relevant section below, but here’s the gist. Jindal’s team did not present any witnesses, like Kristy Nichols, to explain how the contract procedures are supposed to work. Kristy was available for media statements afterwards and did testify at BESE, just not under oath. Jindal’s team did not explain or refute the claim that the damage irreparable. It was illusory, certainly not irreparable, and any “perceived” damage could be easily remedied numerous ways. Jindal’s team did not even make the correct argument to judge Hernandez, the one that they explained outside of court. Jindal’s team threw this fight. Their argument and approach wasn’t the strongest to begin with, but this loss is not just inexcusable, it’s ridiculous and intentional. I would much rather have an enemy I know, than an enemy masquerading as a friend, that betrays you at the last minute after you had placed your hopes with them. The chaos we are experiencing was intentionally fomented by John White, Chas Roemer and Bobby Jindal to distract people and wear them out. This betrayal was planned.

Sadly, this is just another ruse perpetrated by those in power to avoid listening to parents’ real problems, and another reason parents are right to fear and fight Common Core. I expect this distraction to last until Jindal leaves office. John White and Chas Roemer were correct when they stated Jindal’s opposition to Common Core was politically motivated. The irony is that they were quite likely complicit in the deception from the get-go; to increase all of their profiles. That ploy has worked. Now we get to decide if their profiles are ultimately positively or negatively impacted by this fiasco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the Jindal Loss Was Expected Regarding La.’s PARCC Injunction

What Dr. Schneider explains is exactly what I was afraid would happen. I was one if the first folks to publicly support and thank Jindal for his seeming change of heart on Common Core. Many folks told me this was all a carefully choreographed ruse. One of the first moves Jindal did was invite a score of Common Core opponents/leaders over for a photo op. (For some reason I was not invited. 🙂 ) I wondered at the time if that was what this was all about. I was encouraged by his seeming vigor and persistence. However, this feeble attempt makes me second guess my earlier support. Common Core is still being taught in all our schools. The PARCC tests will be bought and administered. Jindal has allowed his own BESE appointees to vote to sue him without any form of reprisals (unlike Tammy Mcdaniel, a previous Jindal appointee to BESE who voted against Jindal’s will once (not even to sue him personally) and he demanded her resignation.)

Jindal could have acted before the legislative session was over, and chose not to. All he has done is sew chaos in our education system. That is all Jindal has ever done since he first came to power. I suppose it was naive of me to think his latest moves would be any different.

A pity.

A shame.

Another tragedy for Louisiana.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On August 19, 2014, District Judge Todd Hernandez ruled that the Jindal administration’s suspension of the Louisiana state testing contract was to be temporarily lifted until the pro-Common Core (CCSS) full case against Jindal and his administration goes to court. (For backstory, click here.)

I was surprised at the judge’s ruling because the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) spliced the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment into an already-existing “sole source” testing contract with Data Recognition Corp (DRC).

Pearson has been awarded the PARCC assessment contract, not DRC.

It is possible that Pearson could hire DRC as a PARCC subcontractor. As it is, DRC has been hired as part of a team to develop assessments for the other federally-funded consortium, Smarter Balanced. However, there is no way that DRC is the sole source for PARCC.

This means that Louisiana will fund an extra…

View original post 611 more words

Some Sad truths about RSD’s Grad Rate and Dropout numbers

Some Sad truths about RSD’s Grad Rate and Dropout numbers

I have been warning LDOE for years that something fishy is going on with the grad rate across the state. John White, Chas Roemer and Reformers would just have you believe that “raising the bar” and having “higher expectations” for students is the only thing that Louisiana lacks. They ignore decades of history and Louisiana’s extreme poverty as contributing factors. It’s no coincidence that those who tell poor people poverty is not a factor that impacts academic success come from the most affluent segments of our society. Both Chas Roemer and John White attended some of the most prestigious and expensive private schools in the country and have parents with long entries in Wikipedia. Just average folks, like you and me, ya know? These folks tell us all we need to do is raise our standards, our benchmarks, and “Believe”.

When you operate this way in good faith (let’s pretend that’s what they are doing) you might really think you are making a difference, that only belief and high expectations is all that are needed to overcome poverty, abuse, neglect, dilapidated buildings, disparate funding, corruption, waste, fraud and disabilities. You might ignore facts that deflate the bubble of belief you’ve surrounded yourself in. You might surround yourself with only facts and people that confirm your beliefs. This is a great psychological device taught to people fighting periodic or clinical depression, but it’s a terrible idea to operate this way when you are in a position of supervising policy, especially policy you’ve defined and are called upon to defend. This is the only explanation I have for why LDOE released some figures that show just how abysmally they have been running RSD and our education system into the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for this lapse that led to some real data being released that verifies what I have been saying for years, but it’s really the only explanation I can come up with for why they released it and didn’t notice the full implications of the data they claim drives so many of their decisions.


http://www.louisianabelieves.com/newsroom/news-releases/2014/07/11/louisiana-cohort-graduation-rate-continues-to-increase
http://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/data-management/final-exit-code-pre-reviews.pdf?sfvrsn=2

You see, under Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s first Reformer de jour of a few years back, Louisiana stopped investigating and auditing data . . . especially data coming from charter schools and RSD. At the department we knew full well that the data was both crappy in quality and dreadful in composition. Incidentally Paul Pastorek is back in Louisiana to start a new education endeavor. At the Department we knew him as Little PP (he’s like 5 feet tall) to Paul Vallas’s Big P (Vallas is 6’5″) or sometimes as LDOE’s Napoleon due to his small stature and imperious nature.

Paul preparing to command his TFA minions into battle with the “Status Quo”

I prefer to think of Paul as “Yosemite Paul” due to his infamous first rallying speech to the department, where he told us that solve Louisiana’s education problems we need to shoot fast and first, without aiming because:

  • we didn’t have the time to waste readying and aiming our Reform guns to fix what ailed our state
  • and because they had no clue to do and still don’t but Reformers always like to be seen doing something.

Former Superintendent of Louisiana and Chief of Change, Paul Pastorek, getting ready to Reform this mofo. BAM!

When Bobby Jindal met John White I’m told Jindal thought he would have a more pliable and less volatile and willful minion than Paul Pastorek and almost immediately gave PP his walking papers. Fortunately PP went to school with Sean O’Keefe who is the current CEO of Airbus (they went to school together) and Paul was able to land on his feet as a useless random lawyer at EADS, a subsidiary of a European aerospace company.

So what does all this have to with dropouts you might ask? Well Paul had stopped auditing data during his tenure and he left under less than friendly terms. It’s quite likely he did not reveal all the skeletons shoved into LDOE closets. It appears that John White and his staff unwittingly stumbled across a walk-in closet loaded with them. I’ve tried to show what was in these closets over the years with these posts:

Here is one of my posts from September of 2012
https://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/louisianas-dropout-numbers-dont-add-up/
one from January 2013
https://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/new-orleans-graduate-rate-miracle-or-make-believe/
And in this post I express my doubts you will ever get these reports, or many others, working again. . .

https://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/the-untold-data-crises-at-ldoe/
or this old nugget I wrote in March 2012 right after I left the department in February 2012.
https://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/louisianas-lack-of-an-accountability-system/

Recently LDOE did a partial audit of exit codes. In particular they were looking at some of the codes often used to hide “dropouts.” In practical terms, a student that does not graduate and stops going to school is a dropout. However, if the student, let’s say, transfers out of state, to a non-public school, goes the homeschool route, or dies. . .well we can’t really hold that school or any school we collect data on responsible for that, can we?

Exit codes were designed for schools to tell the state one of these situations has taken place. When this happens legitimately and is reported to the state in the form of an exit code, the state would no longer keep that student in the numerator or denominator. They are not a dropout. They are also not a graduate. They are a “legitimate leaver” in education parlance. When these legitimate leaver situations take place, records and documentation should take place. When a student transfers to a non-public school or homeschool the parents should fill out some withdrawal papers and the non-public school should make a “request for records.” Homeschooled students and parents also generate subsequent records, and students are required to take tests and provide updates about students’ progress. When a student transfers out of state the “receiving school” should have a record of the student, and that receiving school should make a request for records. These items go in students’ permanent files . . . if those documents are indeed generated, and really exist.

What often happens is this does not take place. What often happens is schools will “fix” their dropouts by simply coding all their dropouts as transferring out of state. They don’t graduate, although some districts simply code students with a graduate code too which really helps them out, but they don’t count against schools. Schools wanting to improve their images or escape accountability sanctions can freely “up code” their students from dropout to even graduates if they really want too, although the most common practice is to simply code them as “transferring out of state.” Historically this wasn’t a major issue, but as accountability has become more important, and as graduate cohort and dropout rates have become factored into as much as 25% of a school’s SPS score the incentive for up coding is enormous, the risk of getting caught or sanctioned very low, and this solution is easy breezy to do with plenty of people along the way able to claim ignorance and protected by plausible deniability if they ever do get caught.

What has happened to Louisiana and especially in RSD and probably charter schools and probably some traditional schools is that more and more schools have discovered the up coding secret and have used it to their advantage more and more every year. John White and LDOE made the mistake of actually doing a preliminary audit of these numbers and publishing them. Their “Reforms” are failures and their success is built upon lies. One of the metrics used to annually evaluate John White is the graduation cohort rate. Once LDOE realized just how bad this audit was his folks knew better than to turn over any more stones. But enough teasing, just how bad was it do you ask?

Try a 100% failure rate for RSD on for size.

I’m not kidding.

I think LDOE really felt all they needed to do was make the point that all direct run RSD schools will be closed this school year so it would finally be okay to release this type of info. Like, “hey, we know this is bad but we’ve released this report after closing them so there’s really nothing anyone can do and you should not waste your time worrying about them anymore.”

Believe me, this is not a one off, this is what all RSD info and stats look like when not masked or filtered. You might think hiding 14 dropout students is not a big deal, and you’re right in a sense. Of course LDOE should consider all students important, but RSD served thousands of students a year. . .what’s 14 out of 1400? The problem is this is just a very small sample that encountered 100% error rate. This is a small fraction of how many student RSD coded as transferring out of state without any documentation from this cohort. What’s more, this was done to make themselves look better than they were for many years, every year they were in existence, and they were always just about the worst in the state even with this help and the numerous instances of cheating I’ve gotten reports of and written about. Feel free to search my blog for examples.

So when I saw this report I asked LDOE if they wouldn’t mind giving me the schools behind these numbers, and the totals behind these partial audits. Much to my surprise they complied with my request. I still think they had no idea just how bad this info was. “Group Think” I suppose. They are victims of their own PR BS, and everyone left at the department is either a yes-man or knows better than to tell them they are wrong.

Here is the first report I received: Note: the obvious lack of charter schools on it. They were not audited (or even considered for auditing apparently.)

Data Notes: This report is for the May 2013 graduation cohort. Transfers out-of-state/country (exit code 10), transfers to private school (exit code 14), and transfers to home study (exit code 16) were included in the “legitimate leaver” review.
LEA

Site code

Site name

Total Verified

Total Legitimate Leaver Exit Codes Reviewed (Codes 10, 14, 16)

001 001007 Crowley High School

3

5

001 001021 Rayne High School

2

2

002 002001 Elizabeth High School

1

1

002 002004 Kinder High School

3

3

002 002006 Oakdale High School

6

8

003 003016 Dutchtown High School

11

12

004 004001 Assumption High School

2

2

006 006004 East Beauregard High School

2

3

006 006008 Merryville High School

3

4

006 006010 Singer High School

0

1

008 008001 Airline High School

8

11

008 008020 Parkway High School

7

10

009 009008 C.E. Byrd High School

6

9

009 009013 Captain Shreve High School

12

12

009 009025 Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy

0

3

010 010003 Alfred M. Barbe High School

14

15

010 010025 Sam Houston High School

4

4

010 010033 LaGrange High School

0

2

010 010052 Sulphur High School

16

21

010 010058 Washington/Marion Magnet High School

0

7

011 011001 Caldwell Parish High School

8

9

014 014009 Junction City High School

1

1

016 016008 Pelican All Saints High School

2

2

017 017010 Belaire High School

0

7

017 017088 Tara High School

1

6

017 017102 Woodlawn High School

5

9

019 019014 East Feliciana High School

1

2

022 022004 Georgetown High School

1

1

026 026010 Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School

2

7

026 026023 John Ehret High School

0

5

026 026051 Grace King High School

6

14

027 027006 Jennings High School

8

8

028 028002 Acadiana High School

4

9

028 028011 O. Comeaux High School

6

8

028 028019 Lafayette High School

8

11

029 029003 Central Lafourche High School

4

6

029 029026 South Lafourche High School

2

5

029 029029 Thibodaux High School

6

6

030 030006 LaSalle High School

3

4

031 031003 Choudrant High School

2

2

032 032024 Walker High School

6

8

032 032025 Walker Freshman High School

3

4

032 032042 Denham Springs Freshman High School

4

4

037 037036 West Monroe High School

8

11

040 040048 Tioga High School

4

6

049 049051 North Central High School

2

2

049 049052 Beau Chene High School

3

5

052 052013 Covington High School

3

8

052 052026 Mandeville High School

11

15

052 052035 Salmen High School

10

13

052 052037 Slidell High School

6

10

055 055015 Evergreen Junior High School

1

2

055 055020 Houma Junior High School

1

2

057 057001 Abbeville High School

10

10

057 057013 Kaplan High School

5

7

058 058006 Leesville High School

17

19

058 058009 Pickering High School

3

7

058 058012 Rosepine High School

3

4

060 060012 Minden High School

4

6

062 062001 Epps High School

2

3

064 064002 Calvin High School

2

2

067 067004 Zachary High School

6

6

069 069004 Central High School

3

7

318 318001 LSU Laboratory School

3

3

319 319001 Southern University Lab School

0

2

396 396004 Walter L. Cohen High School

0

2

396 396017 Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School

0

5

396 396026 G.W. Carver High School

0

4

396 396031 L. B. Landry High School

0

3

396 Is the LEA code for RSD New Orleans. This report shows the school LDOE audited were Cohen, Reed, Carver and Landry. They only asked for samples of 14 students at random and none of these students had any documentation to back up the transfer out of state. If you are curious about other districts and schools you can see their counts here. Some districts will legitimately have more transfers, like Leesville in Vernon Parish, which has Fort Polk. Some of these counts are dependent upon geography as well (Parishes bordering Arkansas and Texas have higher transfer rates, but not as many kids on the eastern part of the state like to move to Mississippi, the only state poorer than us. Go figure? However Orleans Parish had proper, code 036, had only around 30 transfers in the same exact geographic area. They don’t even show up on this report because the numbers are so low. I know this because I asked for the complete report of transfers, and I got that too! (At that point they cut me off realizing from my line of questioning how terrible the picture was that was developing.) I got my initial reports in a few days, and it’s been over a month since I’ve received any updates for my other inquiries. I was told those requests were sent to the “appropriate areas”, but I expect they will stay there until we get a Regime change at LDOE, BESE or the Governor’s office. Let me give you the second report so those who like to do their own analysis can do their own and confirm my findings if they choose.

The Louisiana Department of Education has modified and/or suppressed data reported to protect the privacy of students in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) codified at 20 U.S.C. 1232g. The strategies used to protect privacy vary and may include rounding or other techniques but do not substantially affect the general usefulness of the data. Because of the privacy protections, numerical and percentage totals may not add precisely to the sum of the row or column to which the total refers.
Data Notes: This report is from preliminary data, prior to data certification, for the May 2013 graduation cohort. All cells indicate a count/raw number of exit codes. Schools without transfers out-of-state/country (exit code 10), transfers to private school (exit code 14), and transfers to home study (exit code 16) were not included. Closed schools are included if they had legitimate leaver codes.
Site code

Site name

Exit Code 10 (Out-of-State/Country)

Exit Code 14 (Private School)

Exit Code 16 (Home Study)

Statewide Louisiana

4410

1042

1494

001005 Church Point High School

<10

<10

11

001007 Crowley High School

15

<10

22

001017 Midland High School

<10

<10

<10

001021 Rayne High School

12

<10

17

001034 Iota High School

<10

<10

<10

002001 Elizabeth High School

<10

<10

<10

002002 Fairview High School

<10

<10

<10

002004 Kinder High School

<10

13

<10

002006 Oakdale High School

<10

<10

16

002009 Oberlin High School

<10

<10

<10

002010 Reeves High School

<10

<10

<10

002014 Elizabeth High School

<10

<10

<10

003003 Donaldsonville High School

11

<10

<10

003005 East Ascension High School

32

<10

<10

003014 St. Amant High School

31

<10

<10

003016 Dutchtown High School

38

16

<10

003025 Ascension Parish Alternative School

<10

<10

<10

004001 Assumption High School

<10

<10

15

005004 Bunkie New Tech High School

11

<10

<10

005016 Marksville High School

16

<10

<10

005018 Avoyelles High School

<10

<10

<10

005025 LA School for Ag Science

<10

<10

<10

006002 DeRidder High School

38

<10

12

006004 East Beauregard High School

<10

<10

11

006008 Merryville High School

<10

<10

<10

006010 Singer High School

<10

<10

<10

006011 South Beauregard High School

<10

<10

13

006021 Beauregard Alternative School

<10

<10

<10

007001 Arcadia High School

<10

<10

<10

007002 Bienville High School

<10

<10

<10

007003 Castor High School

<10

<10

<10

007006 Gibsland-Coleman High School

<10

<10

<10

007008 Ringgold High School

<10

<10

<10

007009 Saline High School

<10

<10

<10

008001 Airline High School

83

<10

<10

008006 Benton High School

20

<10

<10

008009 Bossier High School

30

<10

<10

008017 Haughton High School

39

<10

<10

008020 Parkway High School

45

<10

<10

008022 LA New Tech at Plain Dealing

<10

<10

<10

008035 Butler Educational Complex

<10

<10

<10

008037 Charlotte Ann Mitchell Educational Center

<10

<10

<10

009008 C.E. Byrd High School

60

<10

<10

009012 Caddo Parish Magnet High School

23

<10

<10

009013 Captain Shreve High School

50

16

<10

009022 Fair Park College Preparatory Academy

14

<10

<10

009025 Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy

25

<10

<10

009031 Huntington High School

29

<10

<10

009042 North Caddo High School

17

<10

<10

009045 Northwood High School

15

<10

<10

009059 Southwood High School

26

<10

<10

009069 Booker T. Washington New Technology High School

16

<10

<10

009073 Woodlawn Leadership Academy

18

<10

<10

009076 Hamilton Terrace Learning Center

<10

<10

<10

009093 Shreveport Job Corps Opportunity Center

<10

<10

<10

009095 Hosston Alternative School

<10

<10

<10

009100 Academic Recovery and Career Discovery Center

<10

<10

<10

010003 Alfred M. Barbe High School

40

31

14

010004 Bell City High School

<10

<10

<10

010014 DeQuincy High School

<10

10

<10

010025 Sam Houston High School

14

23

10

010026 Iowa High School

<10

<10

<10

010033 LaGrange High School

29

18

10

010051 Starks High School

<10

<10

<10

010052 Sulphur High School

37

71

47

010056 Vinton High School

10

13

<10

010058 Washington/Marion Magnet High School

17

21

<10

010064 Westlake High School

11

<10

<10

010072 Calcasieu Parish Alternative School

<10

<10

<10

011001 Caldwell Parish High School

<10

<10

19

012003 Grand Lake High School

<10

<10

<10

012004 Hackberry High School

<10

<10

<10

012007 South Cameron High School

<10

<10

<10

013001 Block High School

<10

<10

<10

013005 Harrisonburg High School

<10

<10

<10

013011 Sicily Island High School

<10

<10

<10

013013 ASPIRE

<10

<10

<10

014002 Athens High School

<10

<10

<10

014004 Haynesville Jr./Sr. High School

<10

<10

<10

014007 Homer High School

13

<10

<10

014009 Junction City High School

<10

<10

<10

014011 Summerfield High School

<10

<10

<10

015002 Ferriday High School

<10

<10

<10

015006 Monterey High School

<10

<10

<10

015008 Vidalia High School

24

<10

<10

015014 Concordia Education Center

<10

<10

<10

016004 Logansport High School

<10

<10

<10

016007 Mansfield High School

<10

<10

<10

016008 Pelican All Saints High School

<10

<10

<10

016010 Stanley High School

<10

<10

<10

016012 North DeSoto High School

10

<10

<10

016022 DeSoto Career Academy

<10

<10

<10

017008 Baton Rouge Magnet High School

14

<10

<10

017010 Belaire High School

31

<10

<10

017016 Broadmoor Senior High School

25

<10

<10

017038 Glen Oaks Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

017045 Istrouma Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

017056 McKinley Senior High School

22

<10

<10

017063 Northdale Superintendent’s Academy

<10

<10

<10

017065 Northeast High School

<10

<10

<10

017079 Scotlandville Magnet High School

<10

<10

<10

017088 Tara High School

39

11

<10

017092 EBR Readiness Superintendent Academy

<10

<10

<10

017102 Woodlawn High School

47

19

12

017127 East Baton Rouge Laboratory Academy

<10

<10

<10

017129 EBR Acceleration Academy

<10

<10

<10

018002 General Trass High School

20

<10

<10

019013 East Feliciana Parish Enrichment Academy

<10

<10

<10

019014 East Feliciana High School

<10

<10

<10

020001 Basile High School

<10

<10

<10

020008 Mamou High School

<10

<10

<10

020010 Pine Prairie High School

<10

<10

<10

020014 Ville Platte High School

<10

<10

<10

020018 Evangeline Central School

<10

<10

<10

021007 Franklin Parish High School

17

<10

<10

021025 Horace G. White Sr. Learning Center

<10

<10

<10

022004 Georgetown High School

<10

<10

<10

022005 Grant High School

15

<10

<10

022006 Montgomery High School

<10

<10

<10

022011 Grant Academy

<10

<10

<10

023007 Delcambre High School

<10

<10

<10

023015 Jeanerette Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

023020 Loreauville High School

<10

<10

<10

023022 Westgate High School

24

<10

<10

023024 New Iberia Senior High School

30

<10

14

023037 Alternative Center for Education

<10

<10

<10

024010 Plaquemine Senior High School

14

<10

<10

024017 White Castle High School

<10

<10

<10

024025 East Iberville Elementary/High School

<10

<10

<10

024026 Iberville Parish Optional Education Center

<10

<10

<10

025005 Jonesboro-Hodge High School

<10

<10

<10

025007 Quitman High School

<10

<10

<10

025010 Weston High School

<10

<10

<10

026010 Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School

52

<10

<10

026017 Helen Cox High School

24

<10

<10

026022 East Jefferson High School

26

<10

<10

026023 John Ehret High School

42

<10

<10

026029 Fisher Middle/High School

<10

<10

<10

026031 Grand Isle High School

<10

<10

<10

026042 Haynes Academy School for Advanced Studies

<10

<10

<10

026045 L.W. Higgins High School

36

<10

<10

026051 Grace King High School

72

<10

<10

026068 Riverdale High School

21

<10

<10

026080 West Jefferson High School

33

<10

<10

026107 Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies

<10

<10

<10

026119 Martyn Academy for Career Preparation

<10

<10

<10

026120 Douglass Academy for Career Preparation

<10

<10

<10

026123 Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy

<10

<10

<10

027001 Elton High School

<10

<10

<10

027004 Hathaway High School

<10

<10

<10

027006 Jennings High School

10

<10

28

027010 Lacassine High School

<10

<10

<10

027012 Lake Arthur High School

<10

<10

<10

027014 Welsh High School

<10

<10

<10

028002 Acadiana High School

26

<10

17

028010 Carencro High School

20

<10

<10

028011 O. Comeaux High School

52

13

<10

028019 Lafayette High School

45

<10

<10

028027 Northside High School

<10

<10

<10

028046 Lafayette Charter High School

<10

<10

<10

028053 Early College Academy

<10

<10

<10

029003 Central Lafourche High School

15

<10

29

029026 South Lafourche High School

12

12

15

029029 Thibodaux High School

20

<10

24

029040 Virtual Academy of Lafourche

<10

<10

<10

030004 Jena High School

<10

<10

10

030006 LaSalle High School

<10

<10

<10

031003 Choudrant High School

<10

<10

10

031005 Dubach School

<10

<10

<10

031013 Ruston High School

23

<10

<10

031014 Simsboro High School

<10

<10

<10

031021 Lincoln Parish Career Academy

<10

<10

<10

032002 Albany High School

<10

<10

<10

032005 Denham Springs High School

26

<10

13

032008 Doyle High School

<10

<10

<10

032009 French Settlement High School

<10

<10

<10

032012 Holden High School

<10

<10

<10

032014 Live Oak High School

15

<10

11

032016 Pine Ridge School

<10

<10

<10

032017 Maurepas School

<10

<10

<10

032023 Springfield High School

<10

<10

<10

032024 Walker High School

21

<10

37

032025 Walker Freshman High School

<10

<10

<10

032042 Denham Springs Freshman High School

18

<10

<10

033002 Madison High School

14

<10

<10

034002 Bastrop High School

27

<10

<10

034022 Career Center

<10

<10

10

035009 Natchitoches Central High School

30

<10

<10

035026 Lakeview Junior & Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

035030 Frankie Ray Jackson Sr. Technical Center

<10

<10

<10

035032 Lakeview Annex

<10

<10

<10

036035 Warren Easton Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

036043 Benjamin Franklin High School

12

<10

<10

036064 Edna Karr High School

<10

<10

<10

036073 Priestley School of Architecture/Construction

<10

<10

<10

036079 Lusher Charter School

<10

<10

<10

036088 McDonogh #35 College Preparatory School

<10

<10

<10

036096 Eleanor McMain Secondary School

10

<10

<10

036163 New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics HS

11

<10

<10

037019 Ouachita Parish High School

36

<10

<10

037025 Ouachita Parish Alternative School Program

10

<10

<10

037032 Sterlington High School

<10

<10

<10

037036 West Monroe High School

56

<10

14

037046 West Ouachita High School

27

<10

<10

037049 Richwood High School

<10

<10

<10

038001 Belle Chasse High School

20

<10

<10

038013 South Plaquemines High School

<10

<10

<10

039003 Livonia High School

<10

<10

<10

040003 Alexandria Senior High School

24

<10

<10

040006 Bolton High School

18

<10

<10

040011 Buckeye High School

<10

<10

<10

040014 Glenmora High School

<10

<10

<10

040019 Learning Effective Attitudes & Discipline Ctr

<10

<10

<10

040028 Oak Hill High School

<10

<10

<10

040030 Peabody Magnet High School

15

<10

<10

040033 Pineville High School

38

<10

<10

040035 Plainview High School

<10

<10

<10

040037 Rapides High School

<10

<10

<10

040048 Tioga High School

21

<10

17

040055 Northwood High School

<10

<10

<10

040063 J.S. Slocum Learning Center

<10

<10

<10

041002 Red River High School

<10

<10

11

042001 Delhi High School

<10

<10

<10

042006 Mangham High School

<10

<10

<10

042008 Rayville High School

<10

<10

<10

043001 Converse High School

<10

<10

<10

043004 Florien High School

<10

<10

<10

043006 Many High School

<10

<10

<10

043008 Negreet High School

<10

<10

<10

043010 Pleasant Hill High School

<10

<10

<10

043012 Zwolle High School

<10

<10

<10

043017 Sabine Career Academy

<10

<10

<10

044006 Chalmette High School

34

<10

<10

045003 Destrehan High School

21

<10

<10

045005 Hahnville High School

22

<10

<10

046002 St. Helena Central High School

<10

<10

<10

047004 Lutcher High School

12

<10

<10

047008 St. James High School

<10

<10

<10

048001 East St. John High School

41

<10

<10

048013 West St. John High School

<10

<10

<10

048026 St. John Alternative School

<10

<10

<10

048027 Leon Godchaux Alternative Program

<10

<10

<10

049010 Eunice High School

14

<10

<10

049032 Opelousas Senior High School

16

<10

<10

049051 North Central High School

<10

<10

10

049052 Beau Chene High School

<10

<10

25

049053 Northwest High School

11

<10

<10

049056 Port Barre High School

<10

<10

<10

049057 St. Landry Accelerated Transition School

<10

<10

<10

049058 Magnet Academy for Cultural Arts

<10

<10

<10

050004 Breaux Bridge High School

<10

<10

<10

050008 Cecilia High School

<10

<10

<10

050017 St. Martinville Senior High School

13

<10

<10

050021 St. Martin Parish Juvenile Training Center

<10

<10

<10

051006 Berwick High School

<10

<10

<10

051007 Centerville High School

<10

<10

<10

051012 Franklin Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

051021 Morgan City High School

19

<10

<10

051024 Patterson High School

<10

<10

<10

051039 West St. Mary High School

<10

<10

<10

052013 Covington High School

45

<10

19

052026 Mandeville High School

39

15

<10

052029 Pearl River High School

23

<10

<10

052035 Salmen High School

48

<10

<10

052037 Slidell High School

60

<10

19

052039 Northshore High School

39

<10

<10

052052 Fontainebleau High School

26

<10

<10

052054 Operation Jumpstart West Alternative Program

<10

<10

<10

052055 Slidell Pathways School

<10

<10

<10

052061 Lakeshore High School

21

<10

<10

053002 Amite High School

<10

<10

<10

053009 Hammond High Magnet School

24

<10

<10

053012 Independence High School

13

<10

<10

053015 Kentwood High Magnet School

<10

<10

<10

053017 Loranger High School

11

<10

<10

053024 Ponchatoula High School

24

<10

<10

053029 Jewel M. Sumner High School

<10

<10

<10

053044 Tangipahoa Parish PM High School

<10

<10

<10

053045 Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Cntr.

<10

<10

<10

053052 Tangipahoa Alternative Solutions Programs

<10

<10

<10

054001 Tensas High School

<10

<10

<10

055005 H. L. Bourgeois High School

10

<10

<10

055013 Ellender Memorial High School

10

<10

<10

055015 Evergreen Junior High School

<10

<10

<10

055020 Houma Junior High School

<10

<10

<10

055031 Andrew Price School

<10

<10

<10

055034 South Terrebonne High School

<10

<10

<10

055036 Terrebonne High School

16

<10

<10

056002 Downsville Charter School

<10

<10

<10

056004 Union Parish High School

20

<10

<10

056010 Marion K-8 School

<10

<10

<10

056012 Spearsville K-8 School

<10

<10

<10

057001 Abbeville High School

11

<10

28

057006 Erath High School

<10

<10

11

057008 Gueydan High School

<10

<10

<10

057013 Kaplan High School

11

<10

16

057016 North Vermilion High School

<10

<10

<10

058001 Anacoco High School

<10

<10

<10

058003 Evans High School

<10

<10

<10

058004 Hicks High School

<10

<10

<10

058005 Hornbeck High School

<10

<10

<10

058006 Leesville High School

129

<10

11

058007 Leesville Junior High School

<10

<10

<10

058009 Pickering High School

45

<10

<10

058010 Pitkin High School

<10

<10

<10

058012 Rosepine High School

21

12

10

058013 Simpson High School

<10

<10

<10

058020 Vernon Parish Optional Program

<10

<10

<10

059006 Franklinton High School

19

<10

<10

059007 Mt. Hermon School

<10

<10

<10

059008 Pine School

11

<10

<10

059011 Varnado High School

<10

<10

<10

060005 Doyline High School

<10

<10

<10

060011 Webster Parish Achievement Center

<10

<10

<10

060012 Minden High School

11

<10

22

060018 Lakeside Junior-Senior High School

<10

<10

<10

060019 North Webster High School

25

<10

<10

060029 Hope Youth Ranch Alternative Center

<10

<10

<10

061001 Brusly High School

<10

<10

<10

061008 Port Allen High School

<10

<10

<10

062001 Epps High School

<10

<10

<10

062003 Forest School

<10

<10

<10

062005 Kilbourne High School

<10

<10

<10

062006 Oak Grove High School

<10

<10

<10

063003 West Feliciana High School

14

<10

<10

064001 Atlanta High School

<10

<10

<10

064002 Calvin High School

<10

<10

<10

064003 Dodson High School

<10

<10

<10

064009 Winnfield High School

<10

<10

<10

065002 Carroll High School

13

<10

<10

065014 Neville High School

31

<10

<10

065018 Wossman High School

25

<10

<10

065023 Sherrouse School

<10

<10

<10

065025 Career Development Center

<10

<10

<10

066002 Bogalusa High School

23

<10

<10

066013 Bogalusa New Tech High School

<10

<10

<10

067004 Zachary High School

26

19

<10

067009 Port Hudson Career Academy

<10

<10

<10

068002 Baker High School

<10

<10

<10

069004 Central High School

17

13

32

101034 Brentwood Hospital

<10

<10

<10

300003 Lake Area New Tech Early College High School

18

<10

<10

302006 Louisiana School for Math Science & the Arts

<10

<10

<10

304001 Louisiana School for the Deaf

<10

<10

<10

304002 Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired

<10

<10

<10

307001 Howard School

10

<10

<10

311001 AMIkids Southwest

<10

<10

<10

311002 AMIkids Baton Rouge

<10

<10

<10

311004 AMIkids Red River

<10

<10

<10

311006 AMIkids Northeast Louisiana

<10

<10

<10

318001 LSU Laboratory School

<10

10

<10

319001 Southern University Lab School

<10

<10

<10

323002 Grambling State University Lab High School

<10

<10

<10

333001 Avoyelles Public Charter School

<10

<10

<10

336001 Delhi Charter School

<10

<10

<10

343001 Madison Preparatory Academy

<10

<10

<10

343002 Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy

<10

<10

<10

344001 International High School of New Orleans

25

<10

<10

345001 Louisiana Connections Academy

<10

<10

13

361001 Crescent Leadership Academy

<10

<10

<10

362001 John McDonogh High School

18

<10

<10

369004 ReNEW Accelerated High School #1

<10

<10

<10

369005 ReNEW Accelerated High School #2

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377003 Pointe Coupee Central High School

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382001 Sci Academy

15

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383001 Sojourner Truth Academy

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384001 Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business

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389001 Abramson Science & Technology Charter School

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395005 Lord Beaconsfield Landry-Oliver Perry Walker High

24

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395007 Algiers Technology Academy

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396002 Joseph S. Clark Senior High School

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396004 Walter L. Cohen High School

29

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396007 Fredrick A. Douglass High School

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396011 John McDonogh Senior High School

49

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396017 Sarah Towles Reed Senior High School

39

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396022 Schwarz Alternative School

12

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396026 G.W. Carver High School

25

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396031 L. B. Landry High School

20

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396042 International High School

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396043 Greater Gentilly High School

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396044 Hope Academy

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396045 New Orleans Career Academy

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396202 Capitol High School

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396203 Abramson Science and Technology School

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396204 Istrouma Senior High School

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396207 Pointe Coupee Central High School

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397001 Sophie B. Wright Learning Academy

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399003 Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

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A02002 Riverside Alternative High School

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What this report shows is that out of about 1400 cohort members for the graduation class of 2012 (the 2012 cohort is basically composed of all students that entered in 9th grade in 2009, 10th grade in 2010, 11th in 2011 or 12th grade in 2012 – minus legitimate leavers from the cohort), at a minimum 29+49+39+12+25+20 or a minimum of 174 students or 12.5% of the entire cohort and a maximum of around 210 or 15% of the entire cohort. What would this mean in practical terms? Try lowering the RSD’s grad rate to by far the lowest in the state.

http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/education/9697755-171/new-orleans-area-high-schools

Did the rate really dip in 2013, or did RSD just cheat less?

According to my figures their rate should have been closer to about 52% when correcting for invalid and undocumented exit codes or approximately 20% below the statewide graduation rate.

Wow.

If the cheating stayed the same (which is almost would have had to since this takes place over 4 years and can’t be stopped in just one) the graduation rate for RSD in New Orleans could be as low as 45% or probably the worst in the nation. What’s more is this is only half of the story, but I will have to document the rest in future posts . . . but it’s bad. Really bad. When I realized just how messed up this situation was, I admit I lost it when I was communicating with the department. I demanded they tell me what they were doing to find these kids, to help them, why they didn’t audit the rest of these numbers. I talked to Darryl Purpera, the legislative auditor, to notify him of this situation, and found myself withdrawing and recoiling in horror. My background is in accounting and auditing, and Darryl and I both know what it means when you do an audit and find 100% failure rate, and then don’t increase your sample size. You already know the answer and don’t want to confirm it.

I found myself paralyzed for a while with a little self-loathing for not doing more to help these kids sooner. . . hundreds, perhaps thousands of kids, discarded like some much garbage, and masked by a few unaudited pieces of data. I hoped I was wrong, that LDOE would tell me they were sorry and actively trying to contact these kids and families to find out what happened. I was hoping a new report would be forthcoming and prayed that it would, but it has not. I sent another entreaty to LDOE earlier this week to please give me something, because this is so horrible. I told them what I would be writing if they didn’t give me something to mitigate my report. . .but still nothing. And this is only the half of it. The situation could be much worse.

What’s more, LDOE did not even bother to audit John McDonogh even though they had 49 students exited form the cohort has transferring out of state, or roughly 50% of their cohort for that year. The newspapers reported a high graduate rate for John McDonogh before they were handed over to Steve Barr and Future Is Now, but before that charter operator failed them, they were massively failed for years by RSD, and they can’t or won’t even try to find out how bad that situation is. The community is asking that John McDonogh be given back to the Orleans Parish school system which boasts an 89% graduation rate, one of the highest in the State, and virtually no students transferring out of state (let alone fictitiously doing so.)

RSD has failed. They have failed worse than we may ever know, but so much worse than has ever been reported to date. The charters schools in Orleans are mostly D and F schools, and are not being audited or properly overseen by the state. There is no credible reason not to return John McDonogh back to the community. RSD turned this school into the worst school in the country, many times over and in worse ways than we will ever fully know. RSD has closed, but their undue, undemocratic dictatorial influence carries on.

And let me explain something else. LDOE adjusted cohort counts for students found to be undocumented in the audit. They did not adjust dropout figures and have no intention of doing so.

Jason –

 The review was about verifying that legitimate leaver codes were used and to determine if the necessary supporting documentation was maintained. For the 2014 cohort, all LEAs will be reviewed on legitimate leaver codes. This review was not about dropout rates.

LDOE will not do a full audit for the 2013 graduate counts. The first full audit won’t be done until 2014, long after RSD is closed and basically unauditable because they will have no school personnel and no records to review. But this is only a portion of the story, which has statewide implications. What I want you to carry away from this article is that RSD was not just a failure, that should never been touted as a success or duplicated, but that Louisiana’s graduate and dropout numbers are inflated and deflated respectively. I will show how in a more complex post than this one. I also want those debating the future of John McDonogh to understand this school must be given back to the New Orleans community. RSD is a fraudulent and irresponsible organization that discards children with arcane data and incompetence. They are closed but they are not without influence. I have asked RSD and LDOE a half dozen times over the last month what they plan to do about the hundreds of discarded children, fraudulently coded as transfers out of state, and they have refused to answer.

I would like to know the department’s reasoning for not investigating more fully the most extreme offenders. ..not just in RSD but Calcasieu,  EBR, Jefferson, Monroe and so forth.  Especially when you get such high error rates, like 100% for RSD, you have to be concerned if any of that data is valid, and what actually happened to those kids??  RSD is directly run by LDOE. Those kids disappeared on your watch. Is anyone trying to contact these kids and families to find out what happened?

We know the answer. LDOE and RSD are the least accountable education entities in the state and they must not be entrusted with our children anymore. Disband the RSD and give back John Mac. Anything else is child abuse, and anything less is sanctioning it.

The RSD has failed, but from the ashes an Education Mecca has been born

The RSD, the New Orleans Recovery School District that was formed just prior to Katrina and used as an excuse an opportunity to wrest control of local schools and school districts from Orleans Parish and school systems across the state, has failed but without much fanfare in the local or national media. Katrina and RSD were lauded by many folks, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as the greatest thing to ever happen to New Orleans. Arne probably read about this or wrote this for the Common Core history books that have been produced to go alongside the Math, ELA, and Science texts. (If you thought Common Core ELA and Math were bad, wait until you get ahold of the History and Science Common Core curricula. Local historians need not apply but that’s an article for another time.)

What happened in New Orleans is not that dissimilar to what we have done in other political enterprises. It’s a very common tactic called bait and switch in sales lingo. A salesman or store advertises a ridiculously low priced good or service, but once you show up at the store you find they are all out of that special deal, but you are in luck, they have something even better in store for you, and you will get first dibs on it! You are made to feel special and lucky and hopefully forget all about the original reason for your visit. If this is done well, you don’t realize you’ve been had and that the original advertisement was just meant to lure people in for the real sale where they offload a substandard product or something much more expensive and that you perhaps don’t really need.. If this goes poorly you write about it on blogs and Facebook, tell your friends not to shop there, and perhaps make a stink about it and maybe the vendor will give you a rain check or dust off a few of the special deal they had tucked away for persistent (bitchy) customers.

If you want to think of a political situation (without getting too political about it) consider the recent Iraq war that was sold to the nation on the pretext of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction.) The US public was told there were weapons that could kill them and their families. They were told that these weapons were about to be handed over to terrorists with a penchant and expressed desire to use them. This invasion was not long after we had been already attacked on 911 so we were primed for this message. We were told by many media accounts that this would be a quick and easy war and that it would ensure our safety and prosperity for generations to come with minimal losses. We were told we would be met as saviors and liberators (not unlike many Reformers tell their fresh recruits before sending them into poverty stricken warzones in the States.). We were also primed by our recent early successes in Afghanistan to accept this idea. We were also historically conditioned to believe this was true from our first war with Iraq (although with much different strategic objectives.) To be fair, Saddam Hussein did himself no favors by trying so hard to conceal his actions from inspectors and doing his best to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear technology at every chance he got. But we were still wounded as a nation and spoiling for another war, and the Bush Administration was more than willing to sell us one. When it didn’t pan out the way they had planned, they simply switched from eliminating the threats of WMDs to effecting a regime change and planting the flag of Democracy in the Middle East. As we can see from the rise of ISIS, and the slaughtering of Christians and other minorities at their hands, and the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and many thousands of dead Americans and allied troops, this was not an easy war and we did not ultimately “win.” (At least not in my opinion) The “new mission and goals” that we scrambled for at the last minute to create an exit strategy for one of America’s most serious foreign policy blunders of all time, did not last. Some folks will say we should have stayed longer, but how long would have been enough? Decades? Centuries? These ethnic groups have been fighting for Millennia. All we accomplished by getting involved was to give them something to unify against to fight. Us. The US. But the point I am trying to make here is that politicians frequently change their goals once their original plans have failed. Some will lie to you on purpose, upfront, to get you go along. They know you would never fall for (or agree to) the real plan and objectives if you knew what their real goal was upfront.

This is exactly what happened in New Orleans with RSD. I can’t be sure which camp the folks behind RSD fall into. Did they know it would be a failure at the outset and simply sell the public on the idea of RSD so they could secretly usher in an era and invasion of charter schools? Did they finally realize having Statewide entities run local community schools was as horrible an idea as it sounds? Who can say? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. What I can tell you is that RSD failed as it was originally sold to Louisiana. RSD was sold as a way to temporarily take over public schools and get them on a solid academic footing before handing them back to their home parishes. RSD has never handed any schools back in the 11 or 12 years they have been in existence. Many, if not most of their schools, became worse than the schools they took over. In some cases much worse, and had to simply be closed as happened to many schools taken over in EBR that just hold empty desks now, or in New Orleans like John McDonogh. John Mac failed as an RSD school, and became arguably the worst school in Louisiana under Future Is Now and Steve Barr’s leadership. What has happened in New Orleans was not a great rebirth of public schools, but an unmitigated slaughter in favor of charter schools. RSD still controls the approval process and construction for new schools, but they don’t run any, anymore thankfully. Even RSD finally agreed that they were incapable and incompetent in those roles. Now that the invasion is complete, and the city has been conquered, and all the former teachers disbanded much like the US government backed Shiite Iraqi Government disbanded the largely Sunni Army to their ultimate dismay. Reformers claiming victory from the failure of their original plan now tell this was their plan all along. This is what they were hoping to achieve, a completely privatized education Mecca that all Reformers in the US and around the world can turn to 5 times a day and wave dollar bills at in homage – to the sanctity of what they built there.

Already the cracks and strain is showing. Parents are left to wait for days in the sweltering summer New Orleans heat in the name of choice – as choice is shown to be false; a heat inspired mirage. Some details still leak out from time to time. In my next post I will show you some. . .

If your state is considering something like the RSD, tell them no. You tell them it was a complete failure in Louisiana and RSD got out of the business of being RSD in New Orleans. At least make them admit their real goal is to close all public schools and open them as charter schools. Make them tell you what their real plan is, but don’t let them tell you that the RSD plan is a template for anything but failure. If I had to five RSD a letter grade, like the state gives all schools and districts in the state, I would give them an F. But I can’t. They are so bad, they don’t even exist. The RSD was a lie and charter schools were the switch. And just like the result of most bait and switch tactics, charter schools are more expensive, they aren’t what we needed or signed up for and probably won’t last very long before we need to replace them with something else even more expensive – but the salesmen are pretty happy.