Why I am voting for Mary Lynch for School Board in East Baton Rouge district 1

I am voting for Mary Lynch on November 4th. Mary is mother of 2 and public active school parent. She is a certified long-term substitute teacher and has been helping out our schools in that capacity for years. She is an active school volunteer and current EBR School Board Member and voted against the reduction in school board seats which has diluted public representation and made it easier for Lane Grigsby and out of state privatization forces to manipulate our local elections and school boards for their own interests.

Lane Grigsby, the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce and out of state interests are trying to destroy our school district for profit. It took me a little while to figure out who to vote for because the Chamber of Commerce put pressure on our existing School Board to reduce the number of seats in the parish just before this election. EBR voted to reduce their seats from 11 to 9, but the measure only passed by one vote (6/5). The maps were redrawn to put multiple incumbents that were against the measure against each other. They were redrawn to improve the chances of Lane Grisgby and the Chamber in this election gaining control of the EBR school board so they could continue to force charters upon East Baton Rouge, even though the majority of such charters have been resoundingly rejected by parents and the community and most lay abandoned and ruined and the children that previously attended them are bussed across the parish to create overcrowding situations in on our remaining public schools. The new maps would have required a review process prior to the Supreme Court’s overturn of some of the provisions of the unanimously approved Voting Rights Act. Now it will require lawsuits, after the fact, to have them reviewed. By then the damage will be done, our schools will be sold off to the highest bidders, along with our children who will be treated like miniature cash cows in charter school barns.

Mary’s opponents are Mark Bellue and Jennifer Andrews, a Republican and Democrat on paper and at the ballot box, although neither have been endorsed by their respective parties. District 1 was gerrymandered to allow these two puppets to run against Mary. Mark is the horse the money is backing. He is getting dollars roll in from out of State PACs, (Like Stand for Children Louisiana which is actually funded from Portland Oregon and Future PAC which was created this summer based in Athens Georgia.)


Future PAC, logo, not at all creepy or scary

Because we really need PACs outside of Louisiana building our schools to their liking


If you are a Republican favoring local control, I’m not sure you had out of state millennials picking your school board members in mind as your idea of local control.


Here are a list of Mark Bellue’s contributions and theoretical dates. I say theoretical because it seems like I saw signs up for much longer than mid-September. These reports came in in the last 30 days and last week so it was hard to get a handle on his support until now.







10077 E. Pomona




PO Box 104




16710 Gingerwood Ave




7521 Saint Edmond Court




2929 Svendson Dr.




PO Box 104




1125 Ingleside Drive




854 Main Street




PO Box 83280




PO Box 98082




2351 Energy Drive




1735 Sharp Road




16710 Gingerwood Ave




564 Laurel Street




58249 Mount Pleasant Road




10721 Sandringham Ave




59331 Spring Valley Road




406 Thorngate Drive




1732 NW Quimby St.






Better Schools Better Futures is of course a Lane Grigsby PAC and shares the same PO box with Grigsby. Grigsby and his allies also donated to David Tatman (who is running for School Board unopposed) so Tatman could then donate to candidates on Grigsby’s behalf.

Jennifer Andrews submitted a statement that she has raised no contribution of more than 200 dollars and has no sizable expenditures. She is an APEL Executive Director and friend with Stand for Children executives and her sole contribution to this campaign is the “D” beside her name to draw the low information voters away from Mary Lynch, who is running as an Independent.

Please help Mary by voting for her. If you can volunteer to help her canvass this Saturday please give her an e-mail at marylynch.ebrschoolboard@cox.net or a call at 225-324-7658. She is canvassing this Saturday; a final push tomorrow. She is asking volunteers to meet her at her house at 9:00am 12495 E. Milburn Ave, 70815 at 9am. If you help her inform voters about who is on their side, and who is on the side of Lane Grigsby and out of state PACs we might be able to preserve schools in EBR from being turned into unaccountable charters that no one wants except people who don’t send their children to public schools.

LDOE does not follow public records law (Letter from BESE Rep. Lottie Bebee)

Letter to the Editor– from Lottie P. Beebe, Ed. D., BESE Representative for District 3

Often I receive complaints from parents and citizens stating that the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is not following the Public Records Act of Louisiana. The law requires government agencies to provide access to public records as requested by citizens within three business days of the request.   The statute’s intent is to ensure transparency in government.

But the complaints I receive indicate the LDOE is slow to respond – if it does at all – to citizen requests for public information. I am aware of at least two lawsuits filed by frustrated citizens who were compelled   to take the LDOE to court in order to gain access to public records. The court agreed with the citizens and required the LDOE to adhere to law and to pay for court costs.  Citizens, or a BESE member, should not have to take legal action to force LDOE to give them access to information that is publically available; nor should citizens’ taxes be used to pay for unnecessary and expensive legal fees due to the LDOE’s lack of transparency. 

Unfortunately, not only is the LDOE resistant to providing public information to citizens, but so is BESE.  In July, 2014, I filed a formal request for public records and did not receive any response until I added an item to the BESE agenda and voiced my frustration.  At the October 14, 2014 BESE committee meeting, I proposed that the LDOE report to BESE at each of its formal meetings on the number of public records requests and the status of each.  The majority of my BESE colleagues thought this reporting requirement would be too cumbersome for LDOE staff; the committee instead voted to require LDOE to report only once in 2014 regarding the number of unanswered public records requests.

I was not satisfied with such limited oversight of LDOE’s compliance with the public records law and objected.  Unfortunately, the committee recommendation for a one-time report on LDOE’s unanswered public records requests was rejected at the October 15, 2014 BESE meeting.  Therefore, BESE – and the public – will not have any knowledge of how many public records requests the LDOE is ignoring and whether lawsuits are filed to obtain the records, and the cost for settlement.  This lack of transparency from LDOE – and intentional lack of oversight from BESE – is troubling.

In closing, it is evident the BESE majority’s response is no accountability for White and the LDOE!  Too cumbersome for staff members…yet, citizens, school districts, and other agencies are expected to be compliant with state law. Why not the LDOE?  


Lottie P. Beebe, Ed. D., BESE Representative –District 3


Anti-Common Core Forums and Town Halls Feed John White a Healthy Helping of Crow

Anti-Common Core Forums and Town Halls Feed John White a Healthy Helping of Crow

Despite what John White claimed a few weeks ago in the American Press newspaper, a local paper serving the Lake Charles area, opposition to Common Core and Eureka is not confined to a few isolated communities that only appear numerous because they take photographs from small rooms. It is a vast, broad and growing coalition of parents across most parishes and the political spectrum.

“They tend to show up at school boards in numbers that are not large relative to the size of the parish,” White told the American Press editorial board Tuesday. “But they’re large relative to the size of the room where the school board meeting is held.”

The only supporters of Common Core appear to be paid henchmen of corporations, affiliates of LDOE, LDOE and Teflon groups like Stand For Children and LaBAEO that get their funding from outside corporate forces are led by former LDOE executives. (Check it out, mainstream news media. I dare you.)

I honestly can’t go to all the town halls I’ve been invited to speak at. They are occurring just about every other weekday and sometimes on the same day. Fortunately these groups all have their own local champions. I would invite the media to contact the organizers of these townhalls and verify my claims for themselves. Some are even being hosted by legislators who have received so many calls from constituents the only way to talk to them all is in giant forums. Tonight, for instance, there are actually two forums, one in Vermillion Parish and one in Tangipahoa. These are new parishes coming to the public Common Core fight, although resentment and anger has been building and simmering for months, if not years.

Vermillion, Abbeville, 10/28/14

There will be a town hall meeting Tuesday to talk about Common Core.

The public is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at Magdalen Place, downtown Abbeville.

It will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Those putting on the meeting are encouraging parents and teachers to bring questions.

Sen. Jonathan Perry and Rep. Bob Hensgens, and Rep. Brett Geymann will be on hand.

Also, BESE Board member Jane Smith and Anna Arthurs, a grass roots Common Core activist.

“The people were left out of the process in the adoption of Common Core,” said Rep. Geymann. “This town hall meeting is an opportunity for their voices to be heard and a way for them to learn how they can be involved in taking control back, regarding the education of our students.”

Rep. Hensgens added, “Brett is correct. The BESE Board went around and asked for the crowds grass roots help on exiting Common Core and protecting Louisiana’s sovereignty in education.”


Tangipahoa 10/28/14

Tangipahoa Parish Library

Central Ave., Amite Louisiana, 70422

630 – 8:00 pm


Here is a small 2 mile long room of anti-common Core activists in a parade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb8Tc9-wtS0

And here is a small room of 800 people, in Calcasieu.


Today’s radio show on WBOK covers latest release of SPS scores

Michael Deshotels will be on the New Orleans Imperative WBOK  AM1230 show on Monday October 27, 2014 at 10 am to discuss the recently released SPS scores.  Below is a description of the program: 

How history defines the privatization of schools in New Orleans

You can also go to their website to listen to the live program online.


Another Data Fiasco at LDOE, and Another Reason Charters Pose a Danger to Our Children and Communities

It’s been a few weeks since this story first broke, and I expected more folks to cover in more depth than it has been. I have been focused on election related posts and research and let this one go in the hopes someone else would pick this up and explain the implications, but so far that has not happened. What’s even more disturbing is that this is a crisis in motion and the public has not been truly informed about what happened and what is going on.

Mercedes Schneider does a pretty good job summarizing the story by Danielle Dreilinger. LDOE released the news on Friday, October 10th, hoping it would be lost in the weekend news cycle, which it largely has been. Hundreds of laptops were surplussed, with hundreds Social Security numbers and quite likely, disability records, home addresses and phone numbers. The only reason this was discovered was when some recent purchasers of the equipment notified the department.

According to Patrick Dobard, the RSD has never verified any of the equipment they’ve surplussed, over the entire existence of RSD, has been wiped of very sensitive, very valuable student data.

The Recovery system oversees about 50 charters in New Orleans, plus more in Baton Rouge. Every year, a small number of charters have closed. Dobard said his office has trained charter staff on property-disposal procedures but not checked up on devices until now. “We relied on the operators actually following the protocol,” he said.

The RSD has been in existence since 2004. It has taken the state 10 years, and a concerned citizen, for the department to realize student data needs to be protected, and that charter schools that have been disbanded and have no employees are not the best custodians of data or the future of our children.

The former spokesman for Future Is Now, which was running John McDonogh, when it was shut down by the State, said it best and in a way so obvious it makes you wonder how RSD could not have foreseen problems with its approach. Namely, to expect charters that no longer have employees to follow protocol is ludicrous.

Former Future Is Now spokesman Gordon Wright said the organization had no response, because it no longer exist[s]. [emphasis mine]

Many charters, like Future is Now/John McDonogh, have been shut down for acting irresponsibly. This school is a saga all in and of itself, and was closed before its charter was officially up for review. How ridiculous and irresponsible is it to expect poorly run, or irresponsible organizations to follow proper protocol when they may not have money to pay salaries or any employees to follow said protocol and have not exhibited the best judgment when they were in operation?!?

Dozens of charters have closed down and changed hands, and even more RSD direct run schools have come and gone. By their own estimates, RSD has lost control of over 1600 items, including laptops. Those are the items they lost or miscoded in the last 4 years. They have lost so many items over the 10 years they have been in operation there is probably no way to account for them all.

A 2013 state audit faulted the Recovery School District for not being careful enough about handling property. It said 1,633 items had been lost or stolen over a four-year period, totaling $2.7 million. Dobard said at the time that 70 percent of those items were miscoded and still in use elsewhere.

This does not include the many thousands of items they have intentionally auctioned off to anyone with an IP connection and a computer or cellphone. One of the easiest ways hackers can obtain information is from lost or stolen computers, or computers that have simply been handed over to them, courtesy of, John White, Patrick Dobard, and the State of Louisiana.

Over the course of the existence of the RSD, they have spent over a billion dollars of taxpayer money. This year alone they will be running no schools and will be funded with close to 20 million dollars that goes to the mostly 6 figure salaries of RSD personnel. Their only job is to oversee the schools they’ve chartered to dozens of entities, many with shaky backgrounds, like they’ve done so well with laptops over the past 10 years. Patrick Dobard is the head of RSD, and he needs to be fired immediately for allowing this to happen. The entire RSD organization should be shut down and a reputable firm should be contracted with to handle oversight of the RSD schools, which specified duties and consequences and liabilities for failure to perform those duties, like not handing over hundreds of thousands of SSN’s to hackers annually.

As bad as all this sounds, this situation is much worse than most people realize. While the most obvious data people would find on these laptops belongs to the students served by these schools, there is much more potentially at risk here. Schools have access to the entire roster of food stamp recipients in the state. This is called the FNS file or the “SNAP” file. It comes from Social Services every year and lists every food stamp recipient. It gets matched by schools and school districts to their student rosters. (Of course I know about this because this was just one of the many programs I oversaw at the state.) Almost every school district, and charter school, downloads a complete listing of this roster every year. These files are used to determine which students qualify for Free lunches without the need of filling out a Free Lunch application. This roster contains, First name, Date of Birth and the SSN of every citizen (not just students every man, woman and child) in the State of Louisiana that received Food Stamps in the past year.

We never had entire school districts suddenly cease to exist before, so the chances of this falling into the wrong hands was minimized by these files only being known to a few experienced individuals that would remain employees of school districts. In the charter school churn era, there is no question in my mind that hundreds of thousands, perhaps as many as a million, of Louisiana citizens have had their information turned over to hackers for years now because of the lax regulation of charter schools, and the intentional charter school churn. This churn, to date, has not resulted in most charter schools doing any better than traditional public schools, and many charter schools have done much worse. Charter schools and the Recovery school district have left school facilities they took control of that were in perfect working order, in condemned states when they leave. They abandon the kids they were unable to serve in worse educational straits than when they found them. And now we have clear evidence they act without any regard for student privacy or safety in regards to handling student data. What’s more, we LDOE and RSD failing to take even the most basic step to safeguard our children, and even our adult citizens of this state. It is time for the failed experiment that is RSD and LDOE led school reform to come to an end.

DOA is sending employees around the state to wipe the laptops from just the last batch of auctions. They have been working around the clock, nights and weekends, to fix the absurd failings of the RSD and LDOE. Unfortunately their work will only scratch the surface. These laptops and desktops and servers have been sold for as many as 10 years without anyone bothering to ensure they did not contain millions of SSN’s of ordinary Louisiana citizens. This is what happens when you put people in charge that worry more about their 6 figure salaries and accommodating charter schools than protecting Louisiana children and citizens. Where are the organizations that pretend to stand for children, like Stand For Children, when children really need them? They are standing with the charters that abuse our children. They are standing with the charters that discard our children and their data. When real danger rears its head, when children are really put in danger, these groups fail to respond. That’s when you know what they are really all about. . and what they are not.

Patrick Dobard, admitted RSD never verified any of the equipment they’ve surplussed has been wiped. Dobard acknowledged he can’t even keep track of the items they theoretically still possess.

We have clear evidence charters are not wiping their equipment, leaving thousands of student records complete with, name, SSN, DOB, discipline, disabilities, grades, addresses and phone numbers.

Millions of student and adult records have been getting exposed for years by an irresponsible RSD that is immune from criminal and civil prosecution.

Current measures will only address the most recent exposures, doing nothing to address 10 years of negligent neglect.

RSD had plenty of money (over a billion dollars) but no common sense and no duty to act unless forced to by outside forces.

This is another clear example that charters schools are only tied to our communities as long as they are receiving a paycheck, and not one second longer.

This is a systemic problem.

RSD and LDOE are refusing to acknowledge how big a disaster this really is. The threat inBloom posed our students was significant, but also theoretical to some degree. This is an actual, verified threat, one that has been going on for a decade, and one which will probably continue under the current management and RSD structure.

The current approach by LDOE is to bury this story on a Friday and get the most recent laptop purchasers to sign affidavits they didn’t use the data for illegal purposes. If these are criminals that have already used this data, would this matter to them? What about the thousands of purchasers over the years. Will anyone be visiting them?



Defenders of Public Education Recommends Candidates for the City of Baker School Board

Contact: Michael Deshotels

Defenders of Public Education

Phone 225-235-1632


22505 Fairway View Dr.

Zachary, LA,  70791

Defenders of Public Education

Press Release

Defenders of Public Education Announce Their Support for City of Baker School Board Candidates

Defenders of Public Education Finalize Their Selections for the November 4th City of Baker School Board Elections

Baker, LA, October 21, 2014:  The Defenders of Public Education (DPE) have announced their candidate selections for the November 4th City of Baker School Board races.  DPE is a non-partisan group formed in 2013 that is comprised of thousands of public school educators, parents, and advocates from across the State of Louisiana.  Our mission is to promote quality public schools and qualified and committed education leaders that will always put children before profit and will fearlessly represent the voters in their districts.

DPE submitted a survey to all candidates in the City of Baker School Board race and based on the records of candidates and their responses to our survey, DPE has chosen the following education leaders to recommend to voters:

District 1: DPE recommends Elaine G. Davis  Ms Davis stated: “As a member of the Baker school board, I voted to convert one of our elementary schools to K-8 magnet. That school is now a B school.”

District 3: DPE recommends incumbent Troy Watson who opposes school taxes going to profit making charter school operators: “Charter schools using public funds should not be profit institutions/organizations” Ms Watson pointed out in her questionnaire.

District 4: DPE recommends, Jerrie Davenport-Williams who supports the full implementation of the teacher bill of rights.

DPE did not make recommendations in races where candidates did not fill out the questionnaire.

Defenders of Public Education Release Recommendations for East Baton Rouge School Board Races

Defenders of Public Education

Press Release

Defenders of Public Education Announce Their Support for East Baton Rouge School Board Candidates

Defenders of Public Education Finalize Their Selections for the November 4th East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Elections

Baton Rouge, LA, October 21, 2014:  The Defenders of Public Education (DPE) have announced their candidate selections for the November 4th East Baton Rouge Parish School Board races.  DPE is a non-partisan group formed in 2013 that is comprised of thousands of public school educators, parents, and advocates from across the State of Louisiana.  Our mission is to promote quality public schools and qualified and committed education leaders that will always put children before profit and will fearlessly represent the voters in their districts.

DPE submitted a survey to all candidates in the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board race and based on the records of candidates and their responses to our survey, DPE has chosen the following education leaders to recommend to voters:

District 1: DPE recommends Mary Lynch.  In stating her opposition to BESE takeover of local public schools she stated:  “Our tax money should be spent on EBR students, not funneled elsewhere.”

District 2: DPE recommends Vereta Lee who opposes school taxes going to profit making charter school operators: “All education dollars should go to benefit our children, not outside managers.”

District 4: DPE recommends Tarvald Smith, who stated, “I will continue to fight the forced imposition of charters and vouchers in our district by outside interests.”

District 5: Based upon their equally strong support of the proper management of all public schools by our elected school board, the Defenders recommend both Jerry Arbour and W. T. Winfield.

For the sake of simplicity DPE did not make recommendations in races which were uncontested.

Is Opposition to Eureka Math and Common Core really limited to a few isolated troublemakers, like John White told the American Press?

Recently John White made the claim that only a few isolated pockets of parents in a few parishes are upset about Common Core and Eureka Math.

Small groups of people in several isolated areas of Louisiana, including Calcasieu Parish, are voicing loud opposition to Common Core State Standards, said state Superintendent of Education John White.

“They tend to show up at school boards in numbers that are not large relative to the size of the parish,” White told the American Press editorial board Tuesday. “But they’re large relative to the size of the room where the school board meeting is held.”

I’ve been getting reports from folks from across the state since that statement was made. I would like to put together a spreadsheet/inventory of just how widespread opposition truly is, but I need your help. Please provide information so I can counter John White’s claim that only a few folks from a few isolated communities are upset about Common Core and Eureka Math. My pastor actually made an offhand reference about Common Core Math during one of his sermons a few weeks back and was met with a room full of groans of disgust and frustration. What was remarkable was most of the folks in this service were not parents, but just grandparents, and they had had enough of Common Core. This was not an assembly of gathered for any other reason except to worship, but Common Core, and the math associated is so dreadful it provokes groans of disgust from an entire congregation. I attend church in the middle of Baton Rouge. I’m pretty sure this hatred is thorough and not the least bit isolated.

To help me document this for mainstream media types which don’t have the time or inclination to do this research themselves, please provide what curriculum you use in your parish. If there is organized resistance to it, let me know. If there is a contact person or name you would like to provide, please let me know that as well. I will update this list/post periodically as information comes in. I hope this post will also help connect groups in different “isolated areas of Louisiana” feel less isolated and work together going forward.


Please provide your feedback in the comments below. I will transfer summarized data to this spreadsheet. If you wish to be contacted by folks that might research this topic please leave your contact information in your comment as well. if you wish to provide an anonymous update please send your info to crazycrawfish@yahoo.com



Curriculum Used by School District for the 2014-2015 School Year (as reported by parents) 

Last updated: 10/25/14

Produced by Jason France 




Math Curriculum 

ELA Curriculum 

Notes & Contacts (official and Anti-CC)


Acadia Parish





Allen Parish 





Ascension Parish 


Core Knowledge 

 Board members staunchly in favor of CC and Eureka

Lorraine Wimberly (opposed?)


Assumption Parish 





Avoyelles Parish 



 Avoyelles Against Common Core


Beauregard Parish 

 Go Math (HMH)

Treasures (MMH)



Bienville Parish 





Bossier Parish 





Caddo Parish 





Calcasieu Parish 



multiple forums, parades,SB meetings against Common Core and Eureka 


Caldwell Parish





Cameron Parish 





Catahoula Parish 





Claiborne Parish 





Concordia Parish 





DeSoto Parish 





East Baton Rouge Parish 

 Go Math (HMH) + EngageNY




East Carroll Parish 





East Feliciana Parish





Evangeline Parish 





Franklin Parish 





Grant Parish 





Iberia Parish 



Iberia Asst. Supt of Instruction: Carey Laviolette calaviolette@iberia.k12.l1.us 337-364-7641


Iberville Parish 





Jackson Parish 





Jefferson Parish 


Core Knowledge 



Jefferson Davis Parish 

My Math (SMH)




Lafayette Parish 



Numerous groups opposed to Common Core


Lafourche Parish 





LaSalle Parish 



 LaSalle Parish Against Common Core


Lincoln Parish 



Lincoln Chief Academic Officer: Mike Milstead mmilstead@lincolnschools.org


Livingston Parish 



Anti-CC forum being held 10/16/14

Livingston SB contact Director of Curriculum: Dawn Rush



Madison Parish 





Morehouse Parish 





Natchitoches Parish 





Orleans Parish





Ouachita Parish 





Plaquemines Parish 





Pointe Coupee Parish 





Rapides Parish 


Journeys (HMH)

anti-CC forum/townhall 10/21/14

SB agenda item Nov 5th

Opposition contact: Stephanie Hooke Riley parent of 2

petition to remove over 700 names


Red River Parish 





Richland Parish 





Sabine Parish 





St. Bernard Parish





St. Charles Parish 





St. Helena Parish 





St. James Parish 





St. John the Baptist Parish 





St. Landry Parish 

 Go Math (HMH)




St. Martin Parish 





St. Mary Parish 





St. Tammany Parish


 Core Knowledge

multiple SB meetings resulting in removal of Eureka before end of 2014-2015 School year

Anti-CC townhalls Oct 22 and 27


Tangipahoa Parish 



Opposition leader: Terra Orgeron



Tensas Parish 





Terrebonne Parish 

Eureka + Envision


 Some stirring of org, no formal anti-CC


Union Parish 





Vermilion Parish 



Vernon Parish 



Facebook activity/groups (staunch opposition)


Washington Parish 





Webster Parish 



P Susan Willis Addington (pulled grandson out of public and put in private school)


West Baton Rouge Parish 



 Parents are complaining on Facebook

Crystal Bass Bell, parent

Nov 1,anti-CC townhall


West Carroll Parish 





West Feliciana Parish 





Winn Parish 





City of Monroe School District 





City of Bogalusa School District 





Zachary Community School District 





City of Baker School District





Central Community School District 





Special School District 





RSD-UNO New Beginnings Schools Foundation 





Louisiana School For Math Science & the Arts 





LA Schools for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired





Louisiana Special Education Center 





LSU Laboratory School 





Southern University Lab School 





New Vision Learning Academy 





V. B. Glencoe Charter School 





International School of Louisiana





Avoyelles Public Charter School 





Delhi Charter School 





Belle Chasse Academy, Inc. 





Milestone SABIS Academy of New Orleans 





The MAX Charter School 





D’Arbonne Woods Charter School 





School For A New Millennium, Inc. 





Community School for Apprenticeship Learning, Inc. 





Voices for International Business & Education 





RSD-Lagniappe Academies of New Orleans 





RSD-Spirit of Excellence Academy 





RSD-Morris Jeff Community School 





RSD-ReNEW Schools 





RSD-Shreveport Charter School, Inc. 





RSD-Crestworth Learning Academy, Inc. 





RSD-Arise Academy 





RSD-Success Preparatory Academy 





RSD-Benjamin E. Mays Preparatory School





RSD-Pride College Preparatory Academy 





RSD-ADVANCE Baton Rouge 





RSD-100 Black Men Capitol Charter Initiative 





RSD-Advocacy for the Arts & Tech in N.O., Inc. 





RSD-Intercultural Charter School Board, Inc.





RSD-Akili Academy of New Orleans 





RSD-Advocacy for Science and Math Education 





RSD-Sojourner Truth Academy, Inc. 





RSD-Miller-McCoy Academy for Math and Business 





RSD-New Orleans College Preparatory Academies










RSD-Broadmoor Charter School Board 





RSD-Pelican Educational Foundation 





RSD-Dryades YMCA 





RSD-Friends of King 





RSD-New Orleans Charter Schools Foundation





RSD-Choice Foundation 





RSD-Treme Charter Schools Association 





RSD-Algiers Charter Schools Association (ACSA) 





Recovery School District-LDE 





RSD-SUNO Institute for Academic Excellence 





RSD-Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) N.O.





RSD-FirstLine Schools, Inc. 





Office of Juvenile Justice 




The Louisiana Eureka Rebellion

The Louisiana Eureka Rebellion

Across the state parents and teachers are confronting their school boards and curriculum leaders with the same universal complaint. Eureka Math sucks. (That seems to be a nearly universally agreed upon fact by most parents not paid by LDOE or financially biased Common Core proponents.) Now however, complaints have shifted from the blindly adopted Common Core “standards” to the precise curriculum used to pound those standards into helpless children.

For those of you wondering how we got here, let me give you some backstory. Common Core was adopted sight unseen by Louisiana’s BESE board in in the summer of 2010 at the urging of US DOE and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan before the standards were even finalized later that Fall. Parents were given no education about these changes and no opportunities to review them, comment on them or reject them. One of the only former teachers on the State’s BESE board actually works for CCSSO, one of the two organizations that created these standards. These “Standards” weren’t finalized when they were adopted so no one could research them or review materials that implemented these changes. It took years for these materials to be developed and presented to the public. When they were, many groups in support of these “standards” told parents it was too late to say anything. They had missed their chance to comment; according to Common Core supporters (when there was nothing concrete to comment on.) In the future I imagine this will ensure parents object to all changes; because they won’t get a chance to comment or modify anything later based on their experiences with the Tyrannical implementation of Common Core.

In 2012 and 2013 LDOE directed LEAs to implement Common Core but without any real support or direction. (It was even theorized this was done on purpose.) This lack of direction in the name of “empowering educators” led to much confusion and poor product selections. One of the worst math products LEAs adopted during this time was a “free” math curriculum called EngageNY (Sometimes parodied as EnrageNY because of the trouble it created for New York school districts when they tried to adopt it in their schools.) To use EngageNY one had to print out everything or use it online (which didn’t help much for completing classroom or homework assignments.) Districts that adopted this last year in Louisiana like East Baton Rouge Parish, had to spend loads of cash – and probably burned through plenty of printers and toners cartridges to implement it – and it was not well received. (I actually wrote a little blog post about one of my daughter’s first grade assignments that, for good or ill, is probably my most popular piece to date.)

The commercial version of EngageNY is known as Eureka. In an attempt to address the concerns brought up by me and countless others about the poor roll-out and implementation of Common Core (I actually theorized this was done intentionally and with forethought in this post.) LDOE offered to review all textbooks for the following school year, and make recommendations, out of the kindness of their hearts. . .and for $500 per subject per grade level for most vendors that I have yet to see an accounting of where that money went. This year I’ve been told most publishers are considering refusing to submit their materials to LDOE because of how they were shafted last year. My understanding is the only Tier 1 selections Eureka for Math and Core Knowledge for ELA were exempted from paying the $500 fee per grade level per subject and these two products are linked to our current Superintendent of Education, John White.

This brings us to where we are today. Despite much ado from Governor Bobby Jindal about removing Common Core – which has turned into what kids are calling “Epic Fails” these days – Louisiana finds itself barreling headlong into a full-blown Common Core bonanza. At the forefront if this bandwagon-train is Eureka Math, the top pick of John White and his Teacher leaders and LDOE designated Louisiana Core Advocates which made up most of the selection committees.

These days the only thing that riles up parents more than Common Core is Eureka Math. School Boards across the state are being hammered by parents underwhelmed by the “rigor” of Eureka and overwhelmed by the typos and pointless exercises. I have reports of nearly armed revolts from parents in some of the largest districts in the state that foolishly “Believed” in John White and his Teacher Beliebers.


From a teacher (Crying parents, teachers and kids)

We had an inservice on Eureka Math in Rapides Parish Yesterday (9-29). The teachers had concerns about Eureka, lots of them! We were told by the presenter that they did not want to hear ANY negative comments. There were teachers crying at this meeting. They told us this math was WONDERFUL and that lots of teachers liked it and thought it was great. I really want to see these teachers because I don’t believe they exist. It is like a dictatorship in Rapides Parish. I was so shocked and disgusted that they wouldn’t let us speak that when I left the meeting I called our local news channel and told them about it. I was afraid to give my name, so I didn’t. They are not listening to us and don’t want to hear us. It is so sad. They also told us that we didn’t have to give the test that come with series. We could give a multiple choice test instead. Doesn’t that defeat the point. If this math is so great, why can’t the students pass the end of the module test? It is because they are not conceptually ready for the concepts. It is also crazy because they want the student to “go around the world” to get an answer to a simple problem. They also told us to look at the end of the module test and only teach the standards that are on the test and to teach them as they are presented on the test. Isn’t that teaching the test? I am beyond shocked. Are teachers in other parishes experiencing this too?

From a parent:

I am a Rapides parish parent. My 6th grader is a Magnet student with an impressive record. He boasts only one “C” on his report card in his entire school career, and a high school reading level. You can imagine our shock that he is currently failing math! And he is not alone. According to an administrator, an estimated 25% of his grade at the magnet school is failing math as well. I am hearing horror stories all over the parish! Kids melting down, crying themselves to sleep, hating school (all of these we have personally experienced). We want this curriculum out of our parish, and a group of us intend to petition the board to do so! Can you please tell me which Tier 2 math curriculum EBR switched to? Also, ANY help you can offer in direction for the upcoming school board meeting would be very appreciated! I would like to contact the media. However, the local station is very biased toward the school board. Any suggestions there would be greatly appreciated as well. The teacher from Rapides parish who commented above is NOT exaggerating! I have spoken with high level district personnel who have told me that the school board has no authority in this. The curriculum was chosen by the Superintendent and assistant superintendents out of the need for our students to “be able to pass the statewide assessment at the end of the year”. The entire demeanor of the Rapides parish administration is that they are in control and we need to sit down and shut up. They obviously don’t know me very well…




Over 800 turn out for a town hall to vent their frustrations over Common Core in general and Eureka Math in particular.


Brandi Sharpton, a parent and local high school math teacher, said she has done her best to work with the Common Core standards, but her research and experience tell her she cannot support the initiative. “As an expert in my field and an involved parent, I feel like it’s important for others to hear my opinion,” Sharpton said. “I’m definitely a supporter of raising standards, but raising them this way will only serve to make the gaps bigger and frustration levels higher.”

Sharpton went on to discuss the Eureka Math curriculum, which the Calcasieu Parish School Board adopted this year and the state Department of Education identifies as a superior quality curriculum. She pointed out that, even with a degree in math education, she would spend hours each night trying to determine how to help her second-grade daughter with her math homework.

“My daughter has an excellent teacher and an excellent school, but this curriculum is developmentally inappropriate,” she said. “My child cries almost every night, and I cannot allow this curriculum and these standards to set a negative tone about learning that will affect her for the rest of her life.”

Local fourth-grade teacher Shawna Dufrene agreed with Sharpton. Having taught math for more than ten years, Dufrene said casting Eureka Math as “the Cadillac” of math curricula is wrong. “I can appreciate a Cadillac, but I know a lemon when I buy a lemon,” Dufrene told the panel.

Tiffany Hebert, a parent and former teacher, said in a statement to Breitbart News, “Highly educated parents with graduate and post-graduate degrees should not have to go to ‘Parent University’ to help their elementary kids do math homework.”

I’ve heard a meeting is taking place tonight in Calcasieu where the standard operating procedure by the State seems to be to fill the Board room with Teacher Leaders to support John White’s Eureka agenda by heckling parents trying to testify about their problems. I heard this occurred in St Tammany. I strongly urge supporters of Eureka and Common Core not to do this going forward. Parents and teachers need to work together and that type of behavior will make this a very personal fight that only charter school operators will win.



I received this comment and researched it myself:

Had a conversation with a Caddo elementary principal about the new math curriculum. According to her every school in the parish is struggling with it. Her school is high ranking, with selective admissions and lots of gifted kids, but math is a problem for them this year.

Offline I was informed by multiple sources that Caddo uses straight up photocopied EngageNY, which is Eureka on crutches. I’ve heard from others that their schools are struggling with it. I can easily understand why. Even the trainers LDOE provided at their summer conference to provide professional development struggled with Eureka and even failed to complete their presentations. Wow. I’m not sure how that didn’t make it into the news at the time. . .


St Tammany


In St Tammany there was so much concerted uproar the School Board decided to vote to drop Eureka for next year just 2 months in.


After more than three hours of passionate debate, the St. Tammany Parish School Board voted Thursday night to remove the controversial Eureka Math materials from the district’s classrooms by next school year.

At Thursday’s meeting and a special meeting held last week, a steady stream of parents pleaded with the board to remove Eureka Math from the parish’s math curriculum.

To learn some detailed tips about what dirty tricks transpired at St Tammany’s School Board meetings and how to be aware of them and fight them, please refer to this blog post by ThePeopleLLC.


Eureka is giving a face to the Common Core fight, and it’s not a pretty one. I’ve been asked to make a recommendation, but unlike some folks, I recognize I am unqualified to make that recommendation. Unlike LDOE and a number of members of BESE, I defer to experts in their area of expertise. I rely on teachers with decades of experience to counsel me on education issues. What appears to have happened in Louisiana is that large multi-national corporations told very inexperienced folks like previous Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek with his law degree and zero years of teaching experience and current Superintendent John White with his 2 to 3 years of dubious teaching experience that Common Core was the panacea for all education ills, and they bought into it, with our tax dollars and our children as guinea pigs. (From what I hear, John White has never met an education proposal he hasn’t wanted to spend your money on.) Once they decided what they wanted to do, they simply sought out folks that agreed with them. That’s the exact opposite way to do things, but this is Louisiana, this is Bobby Jindal’s administration, and doing the opposite of what you should be doing seems to be our trademark traditionally and the hallmark of Jindal’s administration. If we learn nothing else from the Common Core and ongoing education reform fiasco, I hope we learn to ask questions and engage parents first. Shooting first, without identifying a target or aiming, is the exact opposite of what we should be doing, although the exact mindset that Louisiana’s first, chief, Common Core adopter – former Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek – worked so diligently to foster at LDOE.

Planning is for no good long-eared varmits! Pow! Pow! Eureka!

Local School Board Races

I just realized I’ve been neglecting what I have been telling others to do, get involved in local school board races.

I’m not a walking sack of money, like Lane Grigsby, but I can do my part to make candidates that actually support public schools and democracy more visible to voters. (Grigsby wants candidates that will replace public schools with irresponsible charter schools and that will listen to him, not voters or constituents.  I feel his goals are tyrannical and destructive to our communities and Democracy and his tactics of supporting candidates through multiple companies he owns to circumvent contribution limits an affront to our laws and a measure of his character and the character of the candidates he supports. )

EBR recently voted to reduce the number of school board seats from 11 to 9.  After this shakeup I wasn’t exactly sure which district I was in, nor whom the candidates were I had available to vote for.  If you are a candidate in a local school board race inside EBR or outside and would like to get your message out and speak to constituents that might have questions for you please contact me at crazycrawfish@yahoo.com

I will also be contacting candidates on my own to see if they would agree to be interviewed for possible endorsements and to report their answers publicly.