inBloom, Ed-Fi, Cloud Computing, China, Nazi-Germany and the new Eugenicists

inBloom, Ed-Fi, Cloud Computing, China, Nazi-Germany and the new Eugenicists

Believe it or not, these concepts and words are all related. inBloom and Ed-Fi are two vendors that use cloud computer to store massive quantities of student data (the Louisiana is currently doing business with.) The information these vendors plan on storing will be used to classify, sort and allocate children by their skills and early proficiencies, much as they do in Communist China. It’s no coincidence that many education reformers point to China as an example of education success and something to emulated, not shunned despite what many Chinese themselves thinkEugenicists advocated the conscious elimination of “inferior” human being from the gene pool and promotion of the superior specimens. Eugenics is generally considered a discredited and bankrupt philosophy and social movement, pioneered by a cousin of Charles Darwin – seeking to apply his relative’s research in what he considered a productive manner, but which most of us would consider abhorrent and unconscionable, except when dressed up in a pretty package or advocated as a social need such as is occurring in China. Perhaps one of the most infamous eugenics campaigns was undertaken by Adolph Hitler. Hitler undertook perhaps the largest eugenics campaign in the history of mankind. Hitler had plans and delusions of creating master Aryan “super-race”

Those humans were targeted who were identified as “life unworthy of life” (German: Lebensunwertes Leben), including but not limited to the criminal, degenerate, dissident, feeble-minded, homosexual, idle, insane, and the weak, for elimination from the chain of heredity. More than 400,000 people were sterilized against their will, while 70,000 were killed under Action T4, a “euthanasia” program.

Hitler also actively engaged in genocides, tracking down and exterminating millions of Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Poles and Ukrainians or anyone else who disagreed with him. However eugenics campaigns were not limited to countries like Nazi Germany.  The inspiration for Germany’s heinous program actually started here and was sponsored by a philanthropic organization, just as the Education Reform movement is sponsored today.

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it was spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals. By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California’s.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele [perhaps the closest thing to Satan in human form ever to walk the earth] worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

“You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws. In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler’s 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the “science of racial cleansing”. Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the “common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics.”

Even today, China is one of the few countries with both an explicit and implicit eugenics policy. The explicit “One Child” policy has exceptions that can be purchased or granted based on political connections or, individuals can ignore the policy if they have the wherewithal to pay the fines. The implicit policy involves testing children for sex (male children are more desirable leading to numerous female baby abortions) or aborting children for deficiencies and in many cases forced abortions.  Is it any coincidence China is often cited as prime example of what our education policies and programs should look like?  China classifies students as either college bound or menial labor bound from an early age using assessment data that determines which path is most suitable for a child.  This path ultimately determine how far in society a child will be able to progress, how often they will be allowed to procreate, how much education they will be allowed to receive.  This is the “Reformer” vision of the future of US education.

Current US law has outlawed the use of genetic testing for placement of employees, pricing of insurance, or admissions to primary schools or colleges. However test scores, and background checks have long been used and upheld as a way to discriminate against employees and enrollees. High test scores and grades can even be used to give discounts on auto-insurance and prior to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (more commonly known as Obamacare), insurers could discriminate and price products based on pre-existing conditions, age, gender, etc. Life insurance products are currently priced based on general health, blood pressure, medical history, whether a person is or has ever been a smoker, gender, age, etc.  For the time being, instead of using children’s actual DNA, which would be costly to store, evaluate and classify, the government is seeking to collect student’s educational DNA.  This ed-DNA will be used to start classifying students based on what computers and researchers believe are children’s potential.  It will be linked to income tax returns to see how much money children make, criminal databases to see how often they tangle with the law, doctor’s records to examine how often they avail themselves of health services and what types of diseases and conditions they develop.  With the recent decision of the Supreme Court that ruled DNA information is not patentable, expect bazillions of fly-by-night genetics testing providers to spring up offering discount rates on gene testing and storage.  This will initially be a boon for patients, but also for future government eugenics programs, and embryonic screening of children for desirable traits and exclusion and abortion of children with less desirable ones. (For an interesting window into the possible future of this type of genetic screening and profiling of children based mathematical projections and expectations I’d recommend watching the movie Gattaca.  We’re not as far removed from this future as you might think and this inBloom database LDOE is pushing is a necessary first step towards this future.)

Today instead of the Rockefeller Foundation funding eugenics programs with have the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation funding inBloom, a database that can be used to capture information on potential test subjects. We have Pearson conducting field tests on millions of children without their parents’ permission or knowledge. We have Michael and Susan Dell running a rival database called Ed-Fi that operates identically now, to the way inBloom is trying to operate in the future. We have the Walton family, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortunes, funding a pared down pauper’s education to the masses, so they are easier to control and convert into future Wal-Mart employees and customers. The Koch brothers have influence over PBS (the Public Broadcasting System) which in theory is a media watchdog that only theoretically keeps watch over our liberties and infringement upon the same. All other media sources are beholden and censored by corporate and government interests, save independent bloggers who are now under siege by these government and corporate interests seeking to silence us so you only get a single “sponsored” narrative.

Gun control opponents fight tooth and nail against the regulation of firearms sales, and electronic documentation of gun ownership, for fear of what the government can do with such a list and such information. Unbeknownst to them, the State (their states and the United States) are sponsoring a much more insidious data collection that will start with their children and follow them throughout their life. A federal database, called EDEN, is the first step toward knowing everything about you, forever. Currently EDEN does not collect personally identifiable information, but The US Department of Education is pushing national database collections SDLCs like inBloom and Ed-Fi because they will be able to quietly change a few policies and suck in all their information these providers collect. FERPA, the Familiy Educational Right Privacy Act, specifically exempts federal agencies from having to comply with it. Federal agencies that can request information at any time without parental notification or consent: 

 to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the U.S. Secretary of Education, and State and local educational authorities for audit or evaluation of Federal or State supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs;

The Federal government will be able to tie this information into the all the other databases they use to keep tabs on you at all times. As recent leaks about PRISM by Edward Snowden reveal, the NSA (National Security Administration) gathers everything on you that search engines like Google possess, anything you post on Facebook, anything you do with your cellphone and anything you save on your cellphone. Google actually physically drives their Google-mobiles through everyone’s neighborhood photographing your actual houses, sucking up your local network names, your cars’ license plates, and any signal they can. This information gets included in Google maps, but also gets tied to a profile of you. From census information you are required to report every 10 years, the government gets more. Google was recently fined for their privacy invasion tactics to the tune of just 7 million dollars, or less than 1/3rd of a day’s profits. (My guess is this is because the Federal Government wants this data, perhaps even requested Google compile this data, but needed to issue a token enforcement in response to the public outcry.)

While I think we were all impressed with how quickly the Boston bombers were identified and brought to justice, on some level most of you probably had a slightly queasy feeling. The amount of technology brought to bear, the speed with which that data was analyzed and actual pictures isolated and released, the subsequent identification of these bombers through a convenience store camera, the infrared heat signal tracking . . . it was all a bit spooky to me. Not long after there was the strange lethal shooting of the unarmed interview subject related to this case by the FBI, in the presence of 6 FBI agents, including what may be once in the back of the head.

So in addition to the criminal types and unscrupulous corporations that will have access to your children’s data as I covered here, you will have to worry about the Federal government getting a hold of your data and using for whatever suits their fancy. But let’s get to the meat of this initial matter, the handing over of student data to external data storage providers using Cloud Computing.

Here are some of the key things to keep in mind when your DOE comes knocking with a proposal to use a cloud storage provider like inBloom or Ed-fi for handling all your data storage and dissemination needs.

  • Most IT pros do not trust cloud services with sensitive data. (There’s a reason banks don’t conduct financial transactions using cloud computing and the military doesn’t store top secret weapons designs on something called CloudNuke.)

    Some 86% of those polled by Lieberman Software said they do not trust the cloud for their organization’s more sensitive data, and 88% said that they believe that there is a chance that the data their organization keeps in the cloud could be lost, corrupted or accessed by unauthorized individuals.

  • Clouds consolidate data, making it easier for criminals and governments to access this data, especially secretly. Vendors have a vested interest it concealing whether your data has been compromised, and as recent and historical events have shown, even the US government spies on its own citizens and allied nations.
  • Clouds make your data a bigger, tastier target, in much the same way shopping malls attract patrons, gold rushes attract miners, and dung attracts flies.
  • Storing data on inBloom and Ed-Fi Clouds adds an addition level of risk. These vendors are not suggesting they will replace your internal data systems, they are “in addition to” your existing systems. Sharing student data on Clouds is like passing out your spare house key to everyone on the block, including ones you don’t know well or at all, instead of just a single well known neighbor – in case of an emergency.
  • Storage of student data is expected to cost 5 dollars per student, but could be more. With 700,000 current students in Louisiana that comes to 3.5 million dollars per year. If this figure includes all students that total surges to 15 million dollars per year, or roughly the cost of this year’s entire Voucher private school expansion that was recently ruled unconstitutional to fund from the public school MFP formula by Louisiana’s Supreme Court.
  • LDOE has not proposed any specific use for this data, or this 15 million dollar annual expenditure. Wouldn’t this money be better spent on students, pre-k education programs, teaching supplies, professional development, anything else?
  • FERPA was weakened by USED to allow vendors to use data for non-educational purposes. Just as your iPhone terms and conditions change almost daily, so could the terms and conditions under which these vendors operate. They claim they will not share this data initially, but they also indicate they will provide discounts to states that provide date to third party vendors from whom inBloom will “recapture costs.”

    “As a non-profit organization, inBloom is exploring cost recovery partnerships with select vendors, which are contracted by states and districts, for the services that it provides. These recovered costs will ultimately be passed on to participating districts through lower annual fees.”

    (This is fancy schmancy talk for selling your data but instead of money changing hands they will give “discounts” in much the same way sleazy car salesmen and fly-by-night furniture sellers mark up their prices before offering 30-50% discounts on everything in their store!)

But don’t take my word this.  Ask LDOE and BESE at tomorrow’s BESE meeting (June 18th), about what they feel it is necessary to spend upwards of 15 million dollars to endanger your children’s futures and allow the federal government, hackers and pedophiles easy access to your children’s private information and future.  They will tell you to make things easier for school districts to work with 3rd party vendors, they will tell you to take advantage of teacher dashboards not teachers unaffiliated with this administration are asking for, they will tell you this is to take a step into the future.


But I ask you, is this a future you want for yourself or your children and grandchildren?


Where we are nothing more than what our DNA and data says we are?















Shadow Schools, the many victims of their success, and why US ED is useless

Shadow Schools, the many victims of their success, and why US ED is useless

If you are a journalist. . . beware trying to cover this story. This may be a story only a blogger can handle because of all the high profile political players involved.  Just asking questions about this subject is liable to get you fired as one reporter unfortunately found out.

Some of my earlier readers of my blog may have heard me talk about a situation I called Shadow Schools. A shadow school looks just like a normal school from the street and to parents and children attending it, but these schools don’t actually exist, at least not in an accountable, reportable way. Imagine if you had children and never applied for Social Security cards for them, and the hospital never issues birth certificates for them. Your children would exist, hopefully you named them and feed them, but to the state and federal government they would be invisible and if you decided to home school them and never file a tax return claiming them as a dependent and never added them to your health insurance policy it would be very hard for anyone who didn’t actually know you and them personally to know they existed.

That’s what shadow schools are. These are brand new schools that have been built, enroll students, hire teachers and principals, pick their mascots, form PTA committees and put up websites advertising they are open for business. However these schools are never reported to the State or the US Department of Education.

I will of course forgive you if you don’t believe this situation could exist. I was a bit incredulous myself when I first found out about them. You see, I just assumed our various state and federal agencies would prevent such a situation from occurring. We have so many levels of bureaucracy in our government, so many folks that would have to collude or turn a blind eye to just ignoring the existence of entire schools (for what is going on 6 years now) I had a little trouble believing it a first. I found out about them while working at the Louisiana Department of Education. I was told about them by other employees, parents, other district coordinators, and software vendors trying to figure out how to send us data and even people who drove by these new construction projects on their way to their work and asked about them.

I have uncovered evidence that two Parishes currently employ Shadow Schools, St James and Iberville, but it’s probably pure folly to believe they are the only ones. In the past Jefferson Parish used them as a way to avoid some accountability sanctions, and at one point East Baton Rouge asked to employ this technique with Baton Rouge High School. Jefferson was told to stop the practice, and I’ve been told they have done so.

East Baton Rouge was told they could not turn Baton Rouge High into a shadow school, publicly. Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s then State Superintendent of Education even went on TV to reveal this plot and to denounce it, successfully. East Baton Rouge did not create a shadow school, and East Baton Rouge has had numerous schools taken over by the state and turned over to the RSD, the Recovery School District. The reason I draw attention to this fact, is that this is ostensibly the reason to create high performing shadow schools, to avoid accountability sanctions and school takeovers that the state department of education has the power to do, and which the US Department of Education encourages.

Here is a comment from Tom Spencer, former head of Accountability for the Louisiana Department of Education during the time of the shadow schools were created that appeared on the The Lens which attempted to cover this topic most local media organizations were cowed away from reporting.

“I was at the LDOE nearly 10 years. He’s telling it straight. Thing is – Jefferson Parish had several of these shadow schools, but the way they were recorded allowed tracking and Paul Pastorek, former supe of ed, made the LDoE change how scores were calculated. This was because EBR was openly requesting to set up similar situations. PP had the ball rolling to take over schools and didn’t want any magic to prevent his heavy-handed activity. John White is the only individual I know who lies more than Pastorek.” – Tom Spencer

To date, Mark Moseley with The Lens is the only journalist able to get to successfully cover this story to any degree. Sue Lincoln at LPB attempted to cover this story, the story never aired due to interventions by John White, and she was recently fired so LPB could go in “another direction.” I suppose straight to Hell is the direction LPB is aiming for these days.

What is the motivation and was DOE aware of this? A former DOE accountability employee reported this:

It’s probably not just about the magnet schools. Plaquemines and White Castle both have SPS in low 70’s. Without the scores routed back, they will not do well. EBR and Jefferson, however, aren’t afforded the opportunity to do the same thing.

Shadow schools exist and even have their supporters such as Mike Deshotels, a fellow Louisiana Education blogger did a story on them suggesting this was “true reform.” I usually agree with Mike on most things education related, but I find this deception too much, despite the reasoning behind the subterfuge.

The Academy program is not classified as a school. Therefore all student LEAP and iLEAP scores go back to the student’s home school. Everybody benefits from the high performance of the Academy students. Cancienne believes that students in the home schools are motivated to perform better by opportunity to attend the Academy. Link

Everyone most certainly does not benefit equally by this scheme. I will get to some of the victims and how they are victimized in a bit. There is no question that these schools or “academies” exist in an intentionally grey area and that the Louisiana Department of Education is fully aware of them. One of the reasons this was done was shared by one of my commenters, but it mirrors what I heard when I worked at LDOE and inquired about them:

A little bird told me that East Iberville and MSA East are the same school, but the reason for this is because East Iberville’s scores are so low that if the schools were not joined together, East Iberville would be taken over by the state. Since the scores for MSA East are high, they compensate for East Iberville’s low scores.

While the Reform movement is a bankrupt and bankrupting philosophy, I don’t feel the ends justifies the means here. When we abandon the moral high ground and resort to trickery we risk becoming as bad, or worse, than the faux reformers we fight in the name of truth and justice – and the children suffer. It is wrong to sacrifice poor children to improve the lot of others. Despite what Reformers would have you believe poor children are not less valuable than rich kids. They are not disposable batteries like Iberville uses them for. They should not be abandoned because wealthier kids are easier to reach. This is exactly what is happening overtly with Shadow Schools, but covertly nationwide when schools for poor kids are closed and the kids are shipped across the school district to hide the problem, hide the individual struggling students among the masses.

Out of their sites, out of our minds.

That’s the way of the Reformer. It’s the John White way so it’s not surprising he crafted policy to take advantage of this situation on a case by case basis to support his allies.

(6) Alternative Schools

• Background:

○ Alternative schooling and programs vary widely in structure, purpose and quality across the state.

• Issue:

○ Despite the wide variance, the LDOE’s past practice has been to tightly define these learning environments as (a) alternative

schools or (b) alternative programs. This removes decision-making authority from educators closest to kids and, further, fails

to clarify the differences between the sites.


○ Rather than the LDOE, districts will designate alternative programs and/or schools.

Programs = Scores will count at sending school and the site will not have a site code

School = Scores will be assigned based on the new Full Academic Year definition

○ Any students sent to an alternative school for less than 45 days will be considered to be enrolled in an alternative

program within the alternative school, and their scores will be counted at their sending school.

You can even read Erin Bendily’s, Assistant Superintendent, Policy and External Affairs at Louisiana Department of Education, response when I brought Shadow Schools to her attention several years ago.

From: Erin Bendily (DOE)
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:05 PM
To: Jason France
Cc: (redacted); (redacted); Joan Hunt; Jennifer Baird
Subject: RE: Unreported Sites

This still doesn’t answer the question of why IPSB is communicating to parents and others externally that these are SCHOOLS, and why they are segregating data for them.

That was an excellent point, Erin. It still is. I wonder what, or who changed your mind? A FOIA request might reveal those answers.

State law is pretty specific on this issue as we all discussed with Chief Legal Counsel, Joan Hunt, and as we can see from Bulletin 111.

Part LXXXIII. Bulletin 111―The Louisiana School,
District, and State Accountability System

§301. School Performance Score Goal

A. A School Performance Score (SPS) shall be calculated for each school. This score shall range from 0.0 to 120.0 and beyond, with a score of 120.0 indicating a school has reached Louisiana’s 2014 goal.

B. Each school shall receive its school performance scores under one site code regardless of its grade structure.


§3301. Inclusion of New Schools

A. For a newly formed school, the school district shall register the new school with the Louisiana Department of Education to have a site code assigned to that school. A new school shall not be created nor shall a new site code be issued in order to allow a school to avoid an accountability decision or prevent a school from entering the accountability system. Before a new school is created, the local education agency must work with the Louisiana Department of Education to explore ways the new school can be included in the accountability system.

Shadow Schools exist and they were funded from a 31-mill special property tax parish voters approved in 2008. The tax is expected to generate $10.5 million per year for 20 years in Iberville. I’m not tackling the issue of whether they exist or not in this post. If you are interested in seeing some of my previous discussions on why these schools were created, what they allow you to do, or where some the current ones are 1, 2, 3, (and what the grounds look like from an aerial view) you can refer to these previous posts.

The sad part is this has never been a well-kept secret. Iberville Parish and St James Parish built new schools, called them academies and programs, and that was the extent of the deception!

Without the collusion pliant local and state school boards, a corrupt State Department of Education a useless US Department of Education, and compliant media that dutifully reports anything handed to them without delving any deeper than the press releases that get handed to them on a silver platter, this situation could not exist. A former, wishing to remain anonymous, LDOE staffer writes this:

That superintendent in Iberville was in St. James a few years ago. Seems that’s where the ‘process’ started. EBR tried this and Pastorek wouldn’t allow it. He also stopped Jefferson – who was doing it in several schools. When Tyler was in Caddo, she tried to do it with overage 8th graders (low performing) and the LDE doesn’t allow it. Cancienne also invented the practice of leaving poor performing students in 8th grade while they were working toward a GED, so they wouldn’t enter the high school graduation calculations. As you pointed out – with scores as low as they are in Iberville as a whole – how pitiful must the schools be when considering all the ‘propping up’ that occurs. ERIN BENDILY is the governor’s superintendent of education. Whitey is just the mouthpiece.

I’ve been researching this topic on and off for a few years now so I have pretty rough timeline of what occurred and who the primary players were in this setup, corroborated from multiple independent sources.

Apparently around 2006 or 2007 or so Linda Johnson, a state school board or “BESE” member, found out about some shadow schools that were operating in Jefferson Parish. Rather than worrying about shutting them down, she decided she liked the idea and wanted it to spread to other parishes under her oversight. Edward Cancienne was the Superintendent of St James Parish at the time and had just set up an “Academy” there that was actually split between 3 schools. Cancienne came to Iberville in 2007 and proposed opening up two more shadow school academies and funding them through a tax millage increase, which passed. While the schools were being built, Canicenne opened up the Academies in temporary accommodations.

Now the schools are built and they draw children from miles around, even outside of Iberville Parish as this press release found on Iberville’s website helpfully describes.


Last school year, 32 such students applied to the academies in a parish with about 4,000 school age children. At the Jan. 15 application deadline, 273 parish students who attend school outside the parish and private school students in the parish were in a pool of 1,000 seeking entry into the academies for next school year, school system officials said. One of those former private school students is Kristin Ellis, a Plaquemine resident who attended school in Ascension Parish her entire life. She was admitted this year into the west side Math, Science and Arts Academy at the E.J. Gay campus in Plaquemine. Ellis, 16, is an achiever with a 4.2 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale due to her enrollment in honors courses. Leaving her Ascension Parish private school for the arts-intensive, technology-rich academy program in Iberville Parish made sense to Ellis, she said, because the academies push students to achieve.

The cumulative totals are even more staggering as Mike Deshotels reported:

In fact parents on both sides of the river are so impressed that in just 3 years a total of 780 students have transferred from private schools back into the public school system. For years the Iberville public school system had been plagued by the flight of serious top students (both black and white) to private schools. Now the kids are back, and the new concept Academies have a waiting list of over 400.

This all sounds fantastic! So what’s the problem do you ask?

For starters, with as many as 1000 high performing students transferring into a parish of only 4300 students as of 2011 the parish has only shown anemic growth. If you read any report about how awesome MSA East and MSA west are, you’d have to believe those are the best schools and kids on earth. It’s very likely, almost certain that the schools left behind are declining; the students are failing and dropping out in the shadows.



2007 District Performance Score

2008 District Performance Score

2009 District Performance Score

2010 District Performance Score

2011 District Performance Score

Letter Grade

024 Iberville Parish







At a recent seminar on race I attended I happened to have an Iberville teacher at my table. I mentioned knowing about the Academies but not that I was a blogger that knew “quite a bit” about them. She told me that almost all the good students and teachers were drained from the other schools to support the Academies and that the actual reported “schools” had all the new teachers and lowest performing students. I also asked about the “lottery” system which I was told by a number of parents was a joke, and she confirmed that it was well know that if you were well connected, you got in, if you were a poor local parent there was no waiting list, and you might never get in. Many of the kids going to the Academies are from other parishes that don’t even pay the millage tax actual parishioners passed. I learned that all the schools have finally been remodeled and all students now have laptops, for what that’s worth, but the impacts of those investments is not showing up for local children. In all likelihood they are suffering worse than before the MSA’s came into existence. A parent relates this about the “lottery.”

Thanks for responding. The whole situation is sad and the kids are the ones who suffer. Mr.Cancienne even went to the extreme of contacting neighboring parishes once North Iberville was closed asking them not to accept those students forcing them to attend Plaquemine High or private school. Those parents had to sign temporary guardianship to a family member or friend for their child to attend school in another parish. However, students from WBR parish just have to provide an address in Iberville parish and they are eligible to attend. I know a honor student from North Iberville that has been # 10 on the waiting list for 2 years.

I know they’ve enrolled more than one kid at the MSA’s in the last 2 years. You do the math. A fictitious lottery allows school districts to pick and choose who they admit and who they don’t. People can claim it is “random” and who can prove otherwise? This is probably what’s going on with the State’s voucher “lottery” according to reports I’ve gotten from staffers who no longer work there.

Another teacher wrote in to tell me about how this Shadow School situation looked like from the inside:

I worked for Eskridge last year. Noone even told me about MSA. It took me a month to figure out where the other “half of the school” was.

They even wear different colors!

MSA had lab-tops, East Iberville didn’t. Oops they’re the same school? WHAT A CROCK

two totally different schools. it makes me sick to see that it is even claimed

At one point USED informed us that this was a very bad thing going on. I was not allowed to confirm that we actually had this situation until after I left. When I tried to report this issue to EDEN, the federal data collection agency I never received even the courtesy of an out-of-office response. I sent e-mails to dozens of federal employees letting them know this was going on, and I never received a conformation or response of any kind. When I worked at DOE this was the response we got right away.

From: Osmonson, Kara (Contractor) [] On Behalf Of EDEN Submission System
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 1:48 PM
To: [Redacted]
Cc: Jason France
Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school #171302

Hi [Redacted]

PSC asked ED how they would like this situation to be handled and ED sent the following response.

“The situation that is described in the e-mail is inappropriate. If something meets the definition of a school, LA needs to assign it a state site code and report it as a school to EDFacts.

As far as the LEAs go, LA SEA needs to be clear that the LEA are expected to report schools and students accurately and completely. The SEA could consider requiring a certification of some kind from the LEAs, that the data are reporting accurately and completely.

LA SEA could elaborate to the LEAs that while the LEAs might get by with misleading reporting for a while, eventually they will get caught. Then send them copies of the articles about Atlanta Public School District.”

Please let us know if you have any further questions regarding this issue. Thank you.


Kara Osmonson

EDFacts Partner Support Center

Telephone: 877-457-3336 (877-HLP-EDEN)

Fax: 888-329-3336 (888-FAX-EDEN)

TTY/TDD: 888-403-3336 (888-403-EDEN)

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 5:56 PM
To: EDEN Submission System
Cc: Jason France; [Redacted]

Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school #171302


Please answer these questions and send back to Kara.



From: Osmonson, Kara (Contractor) [] On Behalf Of EDEN Submission System
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 4:15 PM
To: [Redacted]

Cc: Jason France
Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school #171302

Hi [Redacted]

I have a couple of follow up questions for your concerning this.

1) Is this a common practice in Louisiana?

2) How does Louisiana treat/report these types of schools? Is there an established/common practice in Louisiana for these types of situations, or does the state not have a written rule and would like for ED to weigh in?

Once I have these response I will be able to look into this more accurately for you. Thank you.


Kara Osmonson

EDFacts Partner Support Center

Telephone: 877-457-3336 (877-HLP-EDEN)

Fax: 888-329-3336 (888-FAX-EDEN)

TTY/TDD: 888-403-3336 (888-403-EDEN)

From: Osmonson, Kara (Contractor) On Behalf Of EDEN Submission System
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:30 PM
To: [Redacted]

Cc: Jason France
Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school #171302

Hi [Redacted]

Thank you for sending this to PSC. We will look into this question for you and get back to you with a response. Thank you.


Kara Osmonson

EDFacts Partner Support Center

Telephone: 877-457-3336 (877-HLP-EDEN)

Fax: 888-329-3336 (888-FAX-EDEN)

TTY/TDD: 888-403-3336 (888-403-EDEN)

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 11:16 AM
To: EDEN Submission System
Cc: Jason France; [Redacted]

Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school


I found the definition of school in the workbook. Jason has asked a question below that I would like PSC to answer.



From: Jason France
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 10:14 AM
To: [Redacted]

Subject: RE: federal/Eden defintion of a school

What if an LEA has a “school” for all intents and purposes, except a site code and send their students as enrolled at another school to improve accountability scores at failing schools or to evade detection as a failing school by sprinkling their students among more successful schools so as not to have to report a failing “school”? Do the feds have an ruling/guide on that?

Apparently USED is not interested in discovering any more Atlanta situations. In the Georgia case the fraud was committed by dozens of teachers and principals by changing a few test items. In Louisiana this fraud is being perpetrated by the State Superintendent of Education, BESE members, and local superintendents and possibly Governor Jindal.  These folks have been hiding entire schools for going on 6 years,(during the entire Jindal Administration.) If you try to cover this you don’t get accolades, unlike the Atlanta scandal, you get fired even for asking questions.

Now it looks like Iberville is looking to expand its Shadow School program. I’ve heard reports that principals and parents of students in the schools for the poor kids have discussed trying to break away from Iberville to form their own school district, much like South East Baton Rouge is doing, except the geography is identical and in this case it’s the poor kids trying to get some decent experienced teachers and attention. Cancienne is using these poor kids like disposable batteries, to strip their funding to supply the MSAs with the best teachers and facilities money can buy.

Hello, I came across your blog on the MSA Academy in Plaquemine and I was shocked at some of the information you posted. I went to my first school board meeting this month for the first time in years and I would describe it as a circus. IPSB wants a Virtual Academy at the old North Iberville High School. They only want to open the library to house 30 students, however all the other schools have access and same advantages to the same courses. The school board hasn’t voted on the approval nor was a presentation of the cost analysis was given. I witnessed a company there last Monday installing wiring for internet. The school will be named MSA North Iberville (wow)! Let me go further to say the gpa requirements has been changed to 2.75 effective 2013-2014 school year. How can this be done when they are not a true magnet school?

Melvin Lodge sold North Iberville High out along with Daigle. East Iberville got to keep their school with a low enrollment plus an academy. Now they want to form their own school district saying they are tired of being treated like the “step child”. How about that for the latest in Iberville Parish news? The parents don’t know because they don’t educate themselves. This school has been given so much praise. The borderline students are being forced out back to their home school to make room for students coming in from private school and OTHER PARISHES; West Baton Rouge in particular. I made a mistake taking my kids out of private school. There is a meeting on the Virtual Academy at North Iberville this Thursday. One of my local board members that is in favor of this school requested Cancienne to come and hasn’t informed the parents. I have taken the initiative to do so and try to expose them. Thanks Again for your blog!

Despite what John White, and Edward Cancienne would have you believe, this is really what Iberville Reform looks like.

And if you don’t believe me, well now there’s a fired reporter to prove it.

If you believe in the Freedom of Press, you will make this go viral. If you value your freedom you must not tolerate this intimidation. Government agencies interfering and punishing the press is a clear cut violation of the First Amendment.

The Free Press Clause protects the freedom to publish. In Lovell v. City of Griffin (1938), Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes defined “press” as “every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.” This right has been extended to media including newspapers, books, plays, movies, and video games.

A landmark decision for press freedom came in Near v. Minnesota (1931), in which the Supreme Court rejected prior restraint (pre-publication censorship). In this case, the Minnesota legislature passed a statute allowing courts to shut down “malicious, scandalous and defamatory newspapers”, allowing a defense of truth only in cases where the truth had been told “with good motives and for justifiable ends”. In a 5-4 decision, the Court applied the Free Press Clause to the states, rejecting the statute as unconstitutional. Hughes quoted Madison in the majority decision, writing, “The impairment of the fundamental security of life and property by criminal alliances and official neglect emphasizes the primary need of a vigilant and courageous press”.

But just like anything else, our “rights” are illusory if we don’t defend them. If you are someone that feels “criminal alliances” and “official neglect” are the American Way, then feel free to ignore this story, while you can. Just don’t complain when your property is expropriated, your children “disappeared” and no one cares.


Shadow Schools: Why They Exist and What They Enable You To Do

Shadow Schools: Why They Exist and What They Enable You To Do
Abandon Every Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here

While I was working at the Louisiana Department of Education I had a number of sources tell me about what I have decided to call a Shadow School. A Shadow School is just an unreported school that has its own students, teachers, principal, and building but which goes unreported to the State and Federal Government.  (I actually investigated the claims and have documentation of two of them which I will release once I put a decent post together.  If anyone actually pays attention to me I expect much of the evidence to disappear.)  A Shadow School offers many advantages over a regularly reported school. Here are a list of some of the advantages.

A Shadow School can allow a school district to evade federal desegregation orders. Shadow schools can have any ethnic makeup they want.

You can build a brand new school building for wealthier areas of your county or parish and staff it with the most qualified teachers and the most advanced technology while keeping your poorer or darker skinned kids in the older less well staffed schools so you wont have a desegregation order declared for you. No one would have the data to show you are doing this.

Schools with low SPS scores – which are determined by a combination of test scores, attendance and dropout rates – can be taken over by the state. If you have an alternative school with low performers you can “close” your school on paper with the state by reporting all your students to schools that are in no danger of being taken over. School districts have two or more sets of “books” to do this, just like the Mafia. If you have undisclosed academic magnet schools you can send those students to your borderline terrible schools and boost their scores above the takeover mark.

Schools with excessively dangerous events like murders, gun offenses and rapes have to be reported to the Feds as persistently dangerous and students have to be offered enrollment options elsewhere in the parish. By dispersing/reporting your alternative school discipline students across other schools you can escape this reporting requirement and keep your schools as dangerous as you like without anyone the wiser.

Special education students that are suspended out of school for 10 or more days must be reported to the Feds. Schools with high rates of these instances can be investigated and Special Masters can be assigned at School district expense, to oversee, monitor and correct these situations. By spreading SPED students around a Shadow School can have much higher rates of non-compliance without raising any red flags.

One of the statistics the Feds like to keep tabs on for NCLB (no child left behind) is highly qualified teacher percentages through their Edfacts EDEN data collections. They monitor this at the school level. Obviously when you don’t report a school you can’t report a percentage. And when you are reporting teachers and students at schools they never set foot in all your other numbers are questionable as well.

Sometimes Special Education students can require lots of special accommodations to allow them to attend school with qualified teachers in the least restrictive setting determined on their IEP. With a Shadow School arrangement you can report a special education student anywhere you want, while actually keeping them in a broom closet at an undisclosed site. All you have to do is decide that broom closet is a “program” and report the student at a home based school. You could tell the state the student was attending an academic magnet with your most Highly Qualified teachers, have an academic assistance teacher drop off some homework one a month outside the broom closet and no one would be the wiser.

I suppose the possibilities are endless. It’s a shame it got so political that it became clear anyone who tried to investigate or report this would be fired. I was told BESE would take up this issue in December of 2011, but I never saw anything in regards to this. I guess these things just take time. It’s only been 4 years since one of the Shadow schools I found opened up. I mean, it took almost two weeks to completely dismantle most of the public school system in Louisiana and replace it with unaccountable charter schools and non publics. I should probably just give them another day or two. . . I’m sure this issue is on the top of their to-do list.

I do have to wonder though. If this is what BESE, LDOE, and Legislature let public school systems get away with, what cool new things can we expect to see from our hundreds of new virtually unregulated and unmonitored non-public and charter schools?

Yeah. We’ll probably never find out.

Shadow Schools: Does Your DOE Know Where Your Children Are?

Shadow Schools: Does Your DOE Know Where Your Children Are?
I know we provided funding for them. They must be around here somewhere. . .

Probably most of you haven’t given much thought to how state department’s of education collect their data on schools, teachers and students. Well having been in the biz for quite a few years, I do.

LEAs (Local Educational Agencies) aka School districts submit their data to the SEA (State Educational Agency) based on requirements that the state sets. (Not everything that is stored at the local level gets sent to the state. They can keep their bus route info for instance.) From that pool of data that states collect, states send data to various federal programs and agencies such as the Office of Civil Rights, EDEN, etc. However all of this sending is becoming more and more based on the honor system. States assume, or are being forced to assume due to budget cuts, that data being sent to them is honest and accurate. It’s not that you can continue do more with less indefinitely; when you cut budgets every year and increase requirements, goals and responsibilities.

What ultimately happens is you really just do less, in less obvious places.

Before the Reform era, and the STEM era (Science, Technology, English and Math) and this insane overemphasis on tests results in just Math and English, state agencies had people on staff who would deal with federal and state compliance (not to mention other subject areas but that’s a whole other article.) Compliance: you know, making sure the data being sent was accurate, making sure Special Education students weren’t being locked up in closets or confined to windowless rooms without receiving educational services, making sure first grade students weren’t being chained to desks, etc.

With the laser-like focus on improving Math and English scores, to the detriment of all else, the Louisiana department of Education has steadily cut back on compliance, audit and data collection personnel and spurned their oversight responsibilities. The past two Superintendents of Education, John White and Paul Pastorek, have made it clear in many a meeting and directive that they are not interested in obtaining quality data, in making sure LEAs understand and obey federal and state law. Their goal is in increasing test scores, and I don’t think they care how it gets done.

In last last meeting I attended, to paraphrase only slightly, John White informed us that if our role in the organization was not one that was leading to a direct and meaningful impact on an individual student’s math or science score, then our services were not going to be needed going forward. We were told that we should consider leaving, or we would be having a conversation with senior staff and some point in the near future and they would discuss our future, or lack thereof.

It was during this meeting that I realized it would be time for me to leave.

While I was making my preparations to leave, John White was cataloging the duties of every staff member at LDE. (I am told he is planning on laying off many of my former coworkers in the second week of April.) I was told by several sources that anyone who did not indicate they had a significant role in improving Math and English scores was on the chopping block, that much of IT would be outsourced, and that many staffers in non-core educational roles would be sent to other agencies such as DHH (Department of Health ad Hospitals) or Social Services.

Now you may be asking yourself, why should I care?

Well for starters, lets get back to the Shadow Schools I mentioned in my title. You see, many politically appointed people at LDE have know for years of the existence of schools that do not appear on our books. These are schools that have mascots, their own principals, buildings, and websites touting their “school” as a great place to be. Only problem is, those schools don’t exist; at least not to LDE or to the feds.

These schools come in two categories:

  • Magnet (High Performing)
  • Alternative (low performing career/ second chance / career / or discipline centers)

Since the purpose of my article is not to embarrass the specific districts, and since i don’t know every case where this is being done, it would unfair to name names at this point.

One of the ways the districts can get away with this, at least the reason LDE will try to float if asked, is that Louisiana doesn’t have a precise statute that defines a school, nor one that defines a program. The laws leave these definitions up the individual school districts to decide. Of course, nothing could stop LDE from clarifying their stand on these issues, or making rulings in some of the more obvious and egregious cases, or bringing this up as a policy issue for BESE to consider tightening up the rules, etc.

Of course i never said it was a good reason, just the one they would use.

Now why would this situation exist do you ask? Another good question!

Well from the LEA side its fairly simple. LEAs don’t want their schools taken over for having low SPS scores. The Alternative schools are filled with students with a history of academic difficulties. They will have lower attendance, lower graduation rates, higher dropout rates and lower test scores. Money is distributed to LEAs on a per pupil basis. If you distribute those pupils among all your other much better performing schools (well call them home based schools or schools where they might never have set foot in, but theoretically would have been enolled in if the alternative school did not exist.) This lowers the SPS scores of lots of schools just a little, so the district gets the money, keeps the school (which actually doesn’t exist to us) and the state isn’t stuck taking over a hopeless school. Win – Win.

The second situation is a little more tricky, so stay with me. Now lets say you have some really high performing magnet schools, but you have some really low performing schools about to be taken over by the state. If you just never report the magnet schools up to the state, but send the magnet students to the state as if they were enrolled at your low performing schools on an as needed basis you can boost those schools above the takeover line! I’m not quite clear on why the state has allowed this to continue, but I’m assuming it’s something political. . . perhaps a quid pro quo for not opposing all the tenure and charter changes.

I have to wonder how the state can rely on any of its data for teacher performance when the state really can’t be sure which teachers are teaching which kids. How can the state continue to take over schools when they haven’t even tried to ascertain which are schools and which are programs? That seems like a pretty big flaw to me. I have to wonder if LDE would be held in such high esteem with Arne Duncan if he knew of the shenanigans going on there.

I sure hope nobody tells him.

But meanwhile, and by all means, get rid of the rest of the data, compliance, finance and program people that might observe these sorts of things and try to do something about it. The were are just getting in the way of the “Reforms” we were going to implement anyway. The Reform Movement has much more important existential ills to cure and taking time to actually know where your kids are or preparing them to succeed would only slow them down. This movement has always been about greed and abuse of power. And lets face it, it looks like the wealthy and powerful have won. When the dust settles, and our education system is laying at our feet in a twisted, chaotic, dysfunctional mass; at least our kids will have learned one thing:

The Reform Movement won.