How John White Will Use His Own Failures to Sink Governor Elect John Bel Edwards (If he stays on)

I have been writing for years about the numerous ways John White has been lying about the “progress” his agenda has brought the state of Louisiana.  White has inflated the graduate rate, inflated the matriculation rate, depressed the dropout counts, flipped the LEAP and End of Course test scores to show Louisiana students are doing better,  while they are actually doing much worse, sheltered RSD and charter schools from investigations, wiped out the Special Education department and forced his employees to commit fraud to keep their jobs on a routine basis and violated federal laws and policies in regards to funding allocations, shared data illegally with third party vendors and researchers that only favor his agenda while withholding data from independent researchers (for years) costing the state many thousands of dollars in litigation fees.  These are just a few of the underhanded and unethical practices John White has engaged in on a regular basis.  White even has one of his former lieutenants in place on the State’s board of Elementary and Secondary Education.  All of this bodes ill for John Bel if he is not able to remove John White promptly, and properly audit, recalculate and re-report the previous years’ fraudulently prepared education data.

John White has quietly amassed an enormous power base in Louisiana.  He has legislators, superintendents, super Pacs, LABI (Louisiana Association of Business and Industry run by a Grigsby figurehead), APEL  a pseudo teachers union run by a LABI/Grigsby promoted figurehead, The Times Picayune editorial board, The Advocate editorial board and management, Teach for America (who also has a BESE member, Kira Orange Jones that will support White unquestioningly), Stand for Children (run by a former White/LDOE staffer) ,CABL, BAEO (run by a former White/LDOE staffer), DFER (Democrats for Education Reform), and Lane Grigsby in his back pocket. That’s just to name of few of his instate supporter power players and organizations.

White also has the ability to draw down millions of dollars from out of state ed reform minded billionaires to wage war on John Bel Edwards on his behalf.  Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Jim and Alice Walton, that spent millions defaming BESE candidates across the state (for unpaid positions) in the recent elections.  Unless John Bel wants to turn his entire education agenda over to these groups, he will be unendingly assailed by them throughout his term.  He will probably be attacked even then because:

  • LABI would like to find a way to remove him and put someone loyal to them on every issue.
  • John Bel have to renege on his promises to do something about John White, Common Core, and the corruptions and malfeasance at LDOE.

The latter would alienate many of the folks  I rallied to support him based on the belief JBE would have our backs.

LABI and these other groups would still angle to remove John Bel with outrageous lies and misrepresentations, like they did for so many of the BESE candidates in the last elections.

The most diabolical aspect of this is; John White could simply agree to everything John Bel asks him to do, he could cooperate in every way, and he could even release the actual data starting from day one of John Bel’s term.  Unfortunately, this would prove disastrous.

John White has built an enormous and unfounded success data bubble.  If this pops only during John Bel’s term in office, and the scores are not properly recalculated for previous years, it will be an easy claim to make and support, that:

  • John Bel ruined education in Louisiana.

I expect White and his staff, along with Lane Grigsby and Bridgette Nieland with LABI, are working on some plan like this right now at LDOE to propose to John Bel and his leadership team.

This will be a poisoned olive branch, much like the Common Core compromise turned out to be for actual anti-Common Core BESE candidates this fall.  LABI’s candidates also claimed to be against Common Core, and for Louisiana Standards.  They sent out mailers proudly proclaiming their disdain for Common Core, support for high standards, and embracement of the Common Core compromise.  Some BESE candidates, like the re-elected Holly Boffy, even ludicrously claimed to have led the fight against Common Core, while actually getting paid by CCSSO to support and promote it as a paid consultant.

Truth has no meaning to these people.  Lane Grigsby actually met with me and told me he was tired of all the education politics and was going to be sitting out getting heavily involved this year.  Instead he raised millions of dollars to launch misleading, continuous, and deceitful attack ads on his opponents while also donating and having all of his friends and family donate the maximum allowable amount to the candidates he supported.  Based on the similarity of all the produced commercials and mailouts for all 9 candidates he supported it is very likely he had a hand in running both candidates actual campaigns as well as the Super Pac that also promoted them.  This type of coordination is theoretically a no-no, but I have yet to hear of anyone ever sanctioned in any way for doing this.

I would recommend getting knowledgable and outspoken critics of John White and Common Core placed on the board as his appointees – from different political parties.  Fortunately there are quite a few great candidates for these jobs available – still sore from the lies John White and his allies used to assail them.  Motivation for counter-attacking and applying pressure to John White should not be an issue for these folks, as they already have lengthy track records in putting  students, teachers and parents before corporations and firsthand experience at how these shady folks work. I would also recommend putting someone like me in charge of education policy or LDOE’s IT department, which is now a division of DOA and not beholden to John White – thanks to Jindal’s statewide IT reorganization.  The governor has complete authority over DOA.  Once John White is removed, most of his unclassified executive staff should be jettisoned as well.  I would also recommend putting someone in charge of RSD who is not Patrick Dobard or his second in command.  I have had reports that Dobard’s mission is to acquire as many schools from as many districts as quickly as possible so they can be turned over to charter operators.  He has even expressed dismay when traditional public schools run by local school districts improve, because that puts a wrench in his plan to acquire them.  John White’s and Patrick Dobard’s mission is to eventually take over all public schools in Louisiana and run them from a statewide agency as a charter portfolio.

Baton Rouge is actually slated to be their next target for mass charter invasion and takeover.  It has been reported to me that before Edwards assumes office, on the December 2nd 2015 agenda, BESE is expected to vote to approve New Schools for Baton Rouge (run by a former LDOE executive staffer) as a type B1 charter authorizer.  This means the state board will vote to completely bypass local EBR school board authority in charter decisions and hand it over to a private, unelected organization to approve as many charter schools as they want, anywhere in the city, as New Schools for New Orleans does in New Orleans.  Next up will be New Schools for Lafayette, New Schools for Lake Charles, New Schools for Shreveport, and finally New Schools for Louisiana as they finally bypass local school boards entirely.

These folks never sleep.  It is important to get ground game going as soon as possible, because 4 years will go by before you know it.


Kathy Edmonston Needs Your Vote

Tomorrow Louisiana goes to the polls to elect their new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, but also BESE members for districts 6 and 4.

Kathy Edmonston is running to represent the people and children of district 6.

Her opponent, Jason Engen, is running to represent business and industry, as he explained in his own words.

The Hayride first asked Engen why he’s running for BESE. He says he’s in the race because no one represented the business side who he calls the end user of the education system.

And business and industry are supporting Engen to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of which is used to smear his opponent and to mislead the public about his views.  Engine claims he is against Common Core and for local control.  Engen even claims he wants to reject the status quo in his advertisements, but when you ask him what that means. . .

The Hayride asked Engen what are the major issues he was running on in this campaign. “To me the most important one is we’ve seen some reforms kick in over the last few years that I think we need to maintain and to the extent possible we need to maintain.” said Engen.

. . . it means maintain the status quo . A status quo that has seen our NAEP scores plummet for the first time in more than 20 years.  A status quo that doesn’t only promote, but even worships Common Core and embraces all of its glaring flaws as “rigor”.

To Jason Engen, local control means forcing Common Core and PARCC tests upon homeschool parents.

The Hayride asked Engen about homeschooling and whether he supported further regulating them. While he supports homeschooling, he supports subjecting them to high standards similiar to what public and private schools are subjected it.

Jason Engen contacted me via text message last month because he wanted to complain about my blog posts about him.  At that time I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.  Some he answered and vehemently denied, some he chose not to answer.  I will leave you to determine what that means.

Did Grigsby promise to pay for your kids to go to private school if you do his bidding? I know he told you that John White stays, regardless of what he’s done. . . [Me]

Have a good day.  The point was to leave each other’s kids out of it. [Engen]

Will there be magical scholarships from a mysterious benefactor?  You will be ruining public schools so you won’t want to send your kids there under your “leadership” [me]

Just tell me  he didn’t make White’s staying a condition of his support.  When he brags about it to folks later it might make you look bad. . . [me]

Engen’s backers are intent upon taking rights away from parents and destroying public schools.  Based on his ethics report filings Engen does not seem to make enough money to enroll his 3 children in private school by his this wife, and 4th child by an earlier wife, on his lone salary.  (His current wife does not work.)  Engen’s primary benefactor of both his campaign and the SuperPac that supports him is Cajun Industries CEO and LABI chairman, Lane Grigsby, whom I spoke with earlier this year.

Lane explained to me at that time that he was a great champion of  poor kids and that he “personally paid for a number of scholarships for those people that can’t seem to take care of those kids they keep making” to attend private schools.  In his opinion this meant he cared more about education than anyone else and he must be making the right decisions for the right reasons about education.

I figured, what would a few more scholarships be to a guy who pays for so many already?  But Engen refused to respond to this question so I left him with these thoughts and a promise.

I know this is all fun and games and career advancement opportunities to you, but you are not leaving my kids out of it.  Supporting this agenda, driving off their teachers, bankrupting their school district, forcing ridiculous PARCC tests down their throats. That pisses me off.  That pisses a lot of people off.  You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, but I think you may very well find out Saturday night. [Me]

Don’t expect me or other parents to ever stop defending our kids from you and your ignorance and recklessness. [Me]

Kathy Edmonston needs your vote to send a message to all the Engen’s and Grigsby’s out in the world that some of us can’t be bought.

Kathy needs your vote to protect our children and save our schools.

Kathy needs your vote to be one of our lone voices on BESE.

Please do what you can tomorrow to ensure Kathy wins and Engen fades back into obscurity.

Your vote tomorrow is what I expect at the very least. But what we need is for you to make sure all of your friends and relatives vote for Kathy tomorrow too.  Please do your part to help Kathy.  Help us defeat those like Engen, who will trample on our rights and do irreparable harm to our children and communities in the years to come.

We need you.

(P.S.  if you live in district 4, the Caddo/Shreveport area, please do the same to help Mary Harris. Her opponent, Tony Davis, is every bit as deceitful as Engen and we need them both on BESE to replace the great champions for public education and Louisiana children, Carolyn Hill and Lottie Bebee, that we lost in October.)



A Vote for David Vitter is a Vote for John White and Common Core

As you go to the polls tomorrow, I want you to keep this thought fixated in your mind.  A vote for David Vitter is a vote for Common Core.  Vitter has recently been proudly endorsed by all the John White and Common Core supporters in our state, the ones that rigged out BESE elections statewide.  LABI and Lane Grigsby have endorsed Vitter.  Grigsby, who has run the most despicable and deceitful ads against BESE candidates opposed to John White and Common Core  recently even sent an e-mail to all of his employees at his various companies telling them they had to vote for Vitter.

Stand for Children, stands with Vitter.  They are the ones responsible for running a fake newscast ad (WBRD instead of WBRZ) against Carolyn Hill accusing her of having committed crimes and having outstanding bench warrants for her arrest – none of which were true, but which was just enough to elect LABI backed Jada Lewis over Carolyn Hill.




Stand has been creating fake polls showing complete support for Common Core by parents and teachers statewide.  One of the people on the short list for Vitter’s education policy director is none other than Stand’s very own self-styled “data freak”, Keith Leger, who was also Holly Boffy’s campaign chairperson. You can clearly see his priorities from Holly Boffy’s own campaign materials and his personal twitter account as shown below.




If this was not enough, consider that one of Vitter’s close employee’s and campaign managers, Michael Wong,  has a wife named Jamie Wong, who is working as one of John White’s executives in charge of all Special Education in the state.

To gain this support Vitter has pledged to adopt the unchanged and rebranded standards as “Louisiana Standards” and help sell them to you, the public.

David Vitter was for Common Core long before he was against it.

Vitter still is still against teachers, as he always has been.

If you want to know what’s wrong with Louisiana public education, just look at what’s going on in many Louisiana public schools today. Or rather, what’s NOT going on–namely, learning.

In East Baton Rouge, Vermillion, St. Martin, and other systems, the children are being told to stay home–no school, no learning. Why? So that their teachers can be granted a “professional development day” to lobby the legislature AGAINST education reform.  (David Vitter, 3/14/12)



Much like the African leopard, David Vitter has not changed his spots in regards to keeping his promises or pledges.  Perhaps he is no longer frequenting prostitutes as often as he used to, but that’s only because he has become one himself, beholden to special interests and not to Louisiana.

I will be voting for, John Bel Edwards, the guy who has always been on the side of teachers, the guy who is married to a teacher, the guy who was never in favor of Common Core, the guy who is not supported by LABI, Carolyn Shirley Roemer, Stand For Children, Keith Leger, or Lane Grigsby.  I will be voting for John Bel, the guy that met with me and discussed the dangers of Common Core long before most people knew what Common Core was, the guy who pledged to get rid of John White.  Please help me help him do that.  If you value my opinion and my work and want it to continue and be meaningful, we need to make sure John Bel is elected, and not David Vitter.

The people supporting David Vitter from the education arena are our arch-enemies and you know what that means.  We will have no voice in a Vitter administration and we already have had our voices silenced by billionaires who have installed their puppets on our State Board of Education. If education is a top priority to you and if you support my work; please help me, help us, stay in the fight by electing John Bel Edwards tomorrow.

Thank you.

Those Lying Jason Engen Eyes

Those Lying Jason Engen Eyes

I was just notified that Jason Engen had the audacity to file an ethics complaint against Kathy Edmonston for producing literature he is not against Common Core.

As proof of his opposition all we have is his word and an ad he produced claiming he was against it.  On the other side of the equation is a preponderance of the evidence that shows he is lying about this, and numerous other issues that I will cover in upcoming posts.  As Megan Trainor singes, “His lips are moving and he lies lies lies.”

While just about every single claim Jason makes in his own literature is a lie, I will focus on the one he has filed a complaint about Edmonston for because among other things, I have his own words to indict him.

You see, I was a candidate against Engen in the primary, where he was supported almost solely by Lane, LABI and their various PACs they formed to get around ethics restrictions for donation limits from single sources.  LABI formed 4 political action committees called WestPac, EastPac, NorthPac and SouthPac.


Lane Grigsby, owner of Cajun Industries and chief contributor and director of LABI, (The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry) also has control of several more, one of which is named Grigsby’s Empower PAC.  Lane Grigsby has been one of Common Core’s staunchest defenders in this state.  I met with him earlier this year and he mocked me and parents for being against Common Core.  I explained some of the specific issues about Common Core to him, face-to-face, and he waved me off and said “it doesn’t matter, it’s about using standards to test teachers and hold them “accountable” and Common Core is the only solution that will do that.”

Earlier this year Engen’s biggest supporter sent pink stuffed unicorns to every single legislature at the state capital while they were in session, from yet another one of his PACs (ABC pac), with a note that said “Unicorns are not real.  And neither are most of the problems you’ve heard about Common Core.”

When I organized some parents to send some stuffed crawfish to legislators with a message that the problems with Common Core were real, like crawfish, he countered with an elaborate hardback glossy book with a giant unicorn centerfold and quotes from Ronald Regan, Grigsby and his PAC claimed showed that even the deceased Ronald Reagan supports Common Core.

This is the unicorn the put on Brett Geymann’s house seat to taunt him, and other parents and teachers who are against Common Core, last Spring.


The push is led by the Alliance for Better Classrooms political action committee, or ABC PAC.

The same group, with Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby as one of its leaders, played a key role in the 2011 races for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Organizers of the effort have distributed stuffed pink or white unicorns to state lawmakers that include tags that say “Unicorns are not real. And neither are most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core State Standards.”

This is Jason Engen’s primary support.  Last I checked 98% of his funds came from Grigsby, his allies, and his various PACs.  Of course, Engen filed his own ethics paperwork late during the primary, and failed to disclose a number of things he spent money on, like even how he paid for his $900 filing fee, although he believed enough in himself to loan himself $900 so he could get even that refunded by Grigsby.

Scores of people have reported they’ve tried to ask Engen some specific questions about Common Core, like when he started finding problems when it, what he finds problematic specifically, but he deletes those comments from his Facebook campaign site and then blocks those people from coming back.  His behaviors is boorish and churlish and unbecoming of a representative of the people.  You can expect this behavior to only get worse if you elect him to anything but gazing at his own navel.

When I met with Grigsby he made it clear he didn’t want to support people that listened to the public, he only wanted people that listened to him.  I refused his support, as did BESE member Lottie Bebee.  Those that accept Grigsby backing do so with that understanding that his views are the only ones that matter.

But let’s get to that more personal look at Engen’s beliefs I alluded to earlier, shall we?

Engen texted me from his personal cell phone to complain about some claims I made on my blog he felt were unfair.  I claimed he has another 12 year old child that does not appear in his commercials where he talks about his 3 other children by his current wife that went to private schools and that he went to private schools his whole life.  Jason told me this was untrue, and that he was actually a public school student and so was his daughter.  I asked him for specifics and he provided the name of elementary school he spent at least one day at growing up.  I asked Engen about the private school he listed he was a graduate from on his own webpage and instead of confirming he was being misleading said

“That’s where I went to high school.  You said I never attended public schools.  That’s an incorrect statement.”

I thought he was claiming to be some sort of engineer, not a Bill Clinton type lawyer arguing the letter of the law, but sobeit.  However the most interesting thing about this conversation is how he started it off with me.  It was never about Common Core, I never brought it up in my post, but look what he wrote me.

“Jason, Jason Engen here.  In the interest of accuracy I would like to clarify a few things. My “inconvenient truth’s” name is “[redacted]”. She has been in public schools here entire life.  She’s currently a student at [redacted] Middle School in [redacted], [redacted] where her mom lives.  They have been using Common Core for years and she’s a straight A student.”

Now why would he bring that up if he was against Common Core?  Does that sound like a Common Core opponent to you, or a proud proponent?

Engen is a liar and a coward who hides behind his lies and his children to provide him cover.


Engen pimps his children in his commercial’s and literature and incessantly uses them as his reason for running and primary qualification, but doesn’t want anyone else to bring that up.  He probably also doesn’t want to bring up that his current wife is actually his third wife.

In the spirit of accuracy and fairness I would ask that Engen add his 2 other wives and 12 year old so we have a more honest picture of who we’re dealing with here.

However, I have found one thing I can finally agree with Engen on:

“My opponent has made false statements regarding my position on key issues,” said Engen. “To mislead the voters is not acceptable behavior for anyone seeking to serve in public office. I’m concerned that if my opponent cannot tell the truth on the campaign trail, then why should the people of District 6 believe she would tell the truth if elected.”

Engen has a bizarre aversion to the truth.  He claims he is for local control in his own literature, while simultaneously telling a forum full of people he believes he should have the power as a state representative to take over local schools if he doesn’t like they way they are performing.  Local control also means overriding local school board decisions at the state level to impose charter schools on A and B districts to Engen. He also told them he wants to be part of the process of where the state and BESE take control of all local daycare and pre-school programs and impose more restrictions and requirements on families that homeschool their children.  But Engen proudly prints “Local Control” on all his literature.  You couldn’t be more big government than comrade Engen.

If Engen is against Common Core, and LABI and Lane Grigsby (his primary supporters) have changed their tune in the last day, well maybe unicorns really are real?


By the way, if you have been trying and trying to reach Engen and he keeps deleting you and blocking you and you have a few minutes, why not simply just call him up with your questions?  He does want to be your rep on BESE so let him start listening to you now.  Call Engen at 225-405-0026 and ask him when he first started hating Common Core, what his problems are with it specifically (other than it’s not Louisiana based) and what he would like to see changed.  I imagine that won’t be a very long conversation.  Report your answers back to Kathy Edmonston so she can refer them to her lawyers.


Now the fun begins. . .

Now the fun begins. . .

The last year and a half has not been all that fun for me personally.  You see, I started my BESE campaign about that long ago.  I was told I would enjoy the experience, make new friends, and  have an opportunity to guide the conversation.  Maybe that’s true in other states, but not Louisiana.  I actually lost a number of friends who felt I had sold out to corporate interests.  My health declined, and I had to disappoint my children and family during the ordeal.

I was happy being an erstwhile blogger.  I actually became a candidate at the request of some allies (who later turned on me, sadly enough.)  I suppose there are worse things that could have happened, and I did make some great new friends along the way, but “friends” who become enemies without warning and continue to participate in my campaign and spy on me?  Not cool.

I rose to moderate prominence because of my blog, the one you are reading now.  In the campaigning process I had to give up more of my controversial and saucy subject material in favor of more bland and positive fare.  This of course sapped much of my interest in continuing my blog.  I found it difficult to strike a balance between going after wrongdoing, and not alienating potential voters.

I also found I had very little time to maintain my blog as campaign activities overtook all of my free time, forcing me out of Karate with my kids, boy scouts with my son, and family vacations (I stayed home and campaigned while the family went away without me.)  I did all of this for the opportunity to serve on an unpaid board, BESE, which would not only take all of my free-time but also my vacation time as well.  Unlike candidates and re-elected BESE members like Holly Boffy or Kira Orange Jones (who work for organizations where serving on BESE is considered part of their jobs) I work as a normal nine-to-five stiff, outside of education circles.  I don’t pay my house mortgage with my contract job (like Holly Boffy has said she does with her CCSSO position) with an organization that directly profits from my service.

Had I been elected to BESE, for the next 4 years a minimum of 12 of my 18 vacation days would be needed to serve on BESE.  Those 18 days also include sick-leave, doctor visits, taking care of sick children or trying to attend field trips with my kids.  Additionally BESE often has unscheduled “emergency” meetings which would have taken up additional time.  For the next 4 years I would have probably had to take unpaid leave to serve, and miss out on a lot of time with my own kids and family to help out all Louisiana families, but I was willing to do it.  Sometimes it’s important to take a stand and sacrifice for what you believe in, and I wanted to lead by example.

So losing the election is not that great a loss to me personally.  Actually, the way things fell into place I could not lose.  Either I got to keep all my free-time, vacation time, time with my kids and family, and work on my own health (I developed diabetes and high blood pressure during my campaign) or I would serve on an elected board for the betterment of Louisiana, (and perhaps the nation, as I planned to prove how misguided and deceitful our education reform movement has become in Louisiana.)  In truth, I personally got the better end of the deal.  Nevertheless, I tried my best and greatly appreciate all the donors and volunteers who believed in me, donated to me, or just urged me on throughout the ordeal.  Without that support I would have given up my quest long ago.

All that being said, now the question becomes, what do I do now? I have already been helping out the campaigns of the two remaining FlipBESE candidates.  One of the problems with running a campaign of your own, is not being able to help others with theirs.  It may be that my best move would have been to stayed out of the race and taken on a more supportive role.

I am free to do that now.

Here are some of the things I wanted to accomplish with my BESE run, so you can deem for yourself if I was successful.

  • I wanted to pull  a team of folks together from across the state to run candidates against the education reform backed candidates.
  • I wanted people to see that if a little known blogger can run for a BESE seat, so can anyone else.  I believe bizarre attacks launched against me by the puppets annointed by the status quo showed that I was seen as a real threat to their plans.
  • I wanted to drive Chas Roemer from his post as BESE President.  Chas declared he was not running hours after I formally qualified to run. (Perhaps coincidence, perhaps not.)
  • I wanted to finally clear my conscience of feeling responsible for knowing about all the false claims and reports and the illegal, unethical, actions of John White and the Louisiana Department of Education.
  • I wanted to face these lying cowards down face to face and call them out for the deceitful, ignorant, puppets that they are.  (That one was fun.)

Now I am set free.  I’ve contacted everyone I could (including reporters at the New York Times).  I’ve told parts of my story in front of a live studio audience.  I’ve created a blog and helped launch a movement.  I’ve even run for a political office to try and impact change directly.

All that my enemies have accomplished is making me stronger by moving me beyond their reach to critique.  They should have done more during the campaign, but now it is too late. They foolishly chose to strike me down too soon. The millions of dollars they spent over a month’s time span to lie their allies into BESE won’t protect them from me over the next four years.  I was playing nice before, but now I’ve come to see all the pieces on the playing field.

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Obi-Wan Kenobi

And this time. . . I’m coming for the puppet masters, and their allies too.


The BESE Battle Continues. (Please support Kathy Edmonston and Mary Harris)

To everyone who supported and believed in me and the other FlipBESE candidates you have my utmost respect, thanks, and gratitude.  With your help we terrified our opponents into outspending us in the 100’s to one range, to fabricate and promulgate lies about us, and to actually adopt OUR platforms to defeat us. 

None of the LABI backed candidates ran on platforms claiming Common Core and PARCC were outstanding or that the state should confiscate and run all of our schools, because they knew those claims would cost them the elections. So while LABI and their allies claim education reform got a mandate in Saturday’s election, nothing could be further from the truth. You won’t see LABI’s remaining lapdogs doing anything to promote the agenda they claim they have a mandate for in their runoffs.

That means it is crystal clear (even to our opponent’s highly paid political consultants) that it was FlipBESE that won Saturday, October 24th, NOT corporate ed reform and Common Core.

Now that LABI has most of the BESE seats, and has deceived and bribed their way into unseating two of our greatest champions (Carolyn Hill and Lottie Bebee) it is more important than ever to rally around our remaining champions.

We NEED Mary Harris and Kathy Edmonston to defend our teachers, parents, and students.

For this reason I am proud to endorse and support Kathy Edmonston for the BESE district 6 runoff race against LABI owned Jason Engen.

Please support her as you would have supported me had I made the runoff. She will need all the help she can get for the evil that is coming.

Kathy has assured me she will remain steadfast and confident in her role as one of the lone voices on BESE against Common Core, and the deceitful state Superintendent John White. 

Kathy has recommitted herself to the fight and has steeled herself to be ready for anything her opponents will try to throw at her, but she can’t do this alone.

Please consider a donation to get Kathy through these final weeks.  Her donation page is:

Please also consider donating to Mary Harris of district 4. Her donation page is:

Thank you again for all you’ve done, and all you will do.  While some of our candidates may have lost their races due to the unscrupulous tactics of our opponents and out of state billionaires using their obscene wealth to play god with other people’s lives, our ideas actually carried the day. 

The general public does not realize they just voted to enshrine Common Core and PARCC testing, and to continue the destruction of our public schools, the maligning of our  teachers, and the mental abuse of our children. The public will understand soon enough, and when they do we will need Kathy Edmonston and Mary Harris sitting on the board to explain why.  We will need Kathy and Mary to hold these liars responsible, and to inform the media what is really going on.  Please make sure our folks get to where they are needed.

Thank you, and good luck Kathy and Mary.

Jason France’s Leadership in the Common Core Fight in Louisiana and Why He is the Best Candidate in District 6

One of the re-occurring questions I get on the campaign trail is my position on Common Core.  So let me say this in no uncertain terms – Common Core is a disaster for Louisiana.

I was one of the first people in the state to raise the alarm bells about Common Core, starting about 3 years ago.  Before being against Common Core became cool, I was one of the lone voices against this federal overreach, and one of the earliest leaders in the movement and I received a lot of ridicule in those days. 

Before Governor candidate John Bel Edwards had formed an opinion on the subject Lee Barrios (running in BESE district 1) and I met John Bel to educate him on the topic in a CC’s coffee house a few years ago.  Edwards had not made up his mind at that point, but we did our best to set him on a path to asking more questions. 

I was a speaker at the two largest rallies against Common Core in Baton Rouge (one held on the steps of the Claiborne building, September 28th 2013 sponsored in part by the Greater New Orleans Tea Party, and another on the steps of the capital on June 14, 2014, sponsored by the Libertarian Party of Louisiana.


Me at Claiborne Rally

Me at the First anti-Common Core rally on steps of Claiborne building (I was a speaker and tied this banner to the staircase – September 28, 2013. 

Before the national consciousness was awakened, I was fighting and writing about Common Core on my blog.  I wrote a piece as a parent that received national attention and was used an example in national articles alongside comedian Louis C.K.  My signature piece also won the notice of Motoko Rich, from the New York Times, (who came down to Louisiana to meet with me and parents I recommended) Aljazeera America, NPR, among others. 

I am not just a statewide recognized opponent of Common Core, I am a nationally recognized one.

Here is a piece by New York Times education writer Motoko Rich where I am quoted and referenced:

Others who oppose the Common Core in Louisiana said the governor’s actions were more political theater than anything else. “If his intent was to stop it, it was very ineffective,” said Jason France, an education blogger who plans to run for the state education board next year. “All it’s done is lead to chaos.”

As noted in the preceding article, Common Core is one of the reasons I decided to run for the state school board.  I announced my intentions in April of 2014 and identified Common Core as one of the issues I wanted to address.

Here is one of my more popular pieces on Common Core that gained nationwide and even international attention with many tens of thousands of views and republications.

That piece starts with an intro of the situation in Louisiana most people were unaware of.  Louisiana’s BESE board adopted Common Core in 2010 before the standards were even completed and without following the Administrative Procedures Act or providing a chance for the public to provide input.  In fact, the public could not easily have provided input because the standards were not even finalized!

If you would like to see 60 or so more essays/articles from me dealing with Common Core and PARCC exam problems, why not visit my blog?

Believe it or not, that’s not all of them. 

I also wrote Op Ed pieces for various Louisiana newspapers on Common Core and the opt out movement.  The newspapers that dared publish my pieces received heat from the business community most of them were removed from being displayed online.  However I posted one on my blog that I sent to the American Press in the Lake Charles area.  I think it’s a pretty good piece and helped spur one of the greatest opt-out movements in the state.

To PARCC or Move On:

Frankly I doubt anyone in this state has written or published more about Common Core than yours truly. 

  • I am the fighter you want in your corner on the BESE board for this issue and countless other ones. 
  • I have been following and writing about this issue intensely for years. 
  • I am the only candidate in district 6 with kids in the public school system.  (The other Jason talks about his kids under 4 in commercials, but what he doesn’t talk about is his 12 year old daughter named Lille who’s only ever been in private school or that he never attended public school either. )


I have cute kids too, but unlike Engen, mine are actually in public schools. I also don’t need to exploit them in commercials and mail outs for votes or to make myself seem qualified – unlike somebody else I know. . .

I guess Engen’s 12 year old didn’t make the cut – since she would be an inconvenient truth that he is only interested in this position for big business:


You see, Engen is backed by Big Business.  That’s why he can afford to spend hundreds of thousands on commercials running round the clock (for an unpaid position. Engen even decided to run because he felt no one was looking out for big business’ interests

The Hayride first asked Engen why he’s running for BESE. He says he’s in the race because no one represented the business side who he calls the end user of the education system.

Engen did not decide to run to help out Louisiana families, but to plug children into a business pipeline (he said this at the Leaders with Vision forum on October 6th) for his employers and his single significant backer, LABI/Lane Grigsby.

In contrast, I am backed my dozens and dozens of small donors.  I have no PACs supporting me, no corporations, no out of state billionaires, no unions, no big businesses, no real-estate firms, no technology vendors – no one but folks like you. 

I am your candidate and I hope you will be my voters.

October 24th is less than a week away.  I hope for all our sakes, and the sakes of my children in our public schools, that you understand I’m not just the right choice, but the only one that’s already been there for you when you needed me most. 

Will you be there for me now? 

Please help me help you with your vote this Saturday, October 24th.  I am Number 45 on your ballot.


Jason France

Candidate BESE district 6 (Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Washington)


P.S. Take a look at a few of my other projects over the years in the fight to rid our state of Common Core.

Common Good

Me presenting at the Common Good Preserving Public Education Conference (Diane Ravitch recommended me and gave my intro to conference) talking about the dangers of Common Core and need Liberals and Conservatives to work together to kick out Common Core. 


Acadian patriots meeting common core

At the Acadian Patriots meeting, talking about the false PR campaign for Common Core and the tactics used by the LDOE to trick parents and teachers.


common Core mardi Gras

Part of campaign I started to raise awareness of the dangers of Common Core during Mardi Gras last year.


Common Core bible

A graphic I had commissioned for a blog post explaining the dangers of Common Core with a shout out to Matthew.


My Common Core billboard

One of several large billboards my blog was featured on (bottom left corner) and recommended for parents to research the dangers of Common Core.