- Dirty Secrets or White Lies?
SHADOW SCHOOLS CONTENT
St James Science and Math Academy is part of both Lutcher and St James High Schools
St James Science and Match Academy is a shadow school split between two other high schools. This post includes Maps, addresses, info from website and the summary of why LDOE is probably letting some schools get away with this while preventing the larger “markets” such as Jefferson, EBR and Caddo from doing this. Orleans would have been treated likewise if it hadn’t already been wiped out. Orleans served as the gateway from Hades, letting all the charter school demons and devils into the state in the first place.
Iberville: MSA West + White Castle = White Castle
MSA West and White Castle are the same school according to the admin folks at Iberville. Their website had them operating as an independent site since 2008. White Castle would have already been taken over if not for this charade, so to that extent they were successful.
Iberville: MSA Eest + East Iberville = East Iberville
MSA East is the exact same school housed entirely within East Iberville (like a program in Ruston) according to Iberville. However I have the pictures of the school grounds and directions to and from the two separate campuses. (Google maps has the addresses a little messed up, but I found the correct schools by scanning the area.) This school has also been operating since 2008 according to their own website. East Iberville would also have been taken over by now if left on its own.
I think it’s worth noting that parents of students as East Iberville and White Castle seem confused as to why the test scores are going up, but the schools seem to be terrible. One parent reported that a teacher told her son he didn’t need to study because he was smart and could get by. I trolled a few opinion sites related to White Castle and East Iberville so it was interesting reading. None of the parents posting on the school review sites seemed aware that these magnets were being merged with the schools their kids were attending.
Some of my original expose’ work on MSA East and West.
This post includes charts from LDOE, excerpts from Iberville’s website, as well as some background on what happened at LDOE when i first discovered these schools and how the issue was swept under the rug (again.) Apparently this is a recurring issue.
Excerpted definition of a shadow school (haven’t finished my log of issues to address yet)
I started a log of various education issues that need a champion in our state. I haven’t had a chance to document them all, but everyone has to start somewhere. I have sketched out the topics and started an entry for the shadow school situation.
Shadows schools is a term I invented so don’t go looking for in anywhere else. I discovered “shadow schools” while working at the Louisiana Department of Education but I have reason to believe what i discovered is just the tip of a very large and growing iceberg. A shadow school is a schools which operates from the shadows, off the official books reported to the state, federal government and judicial agencies. That’s not to say the school districts don’t know what’s going on at these shadow schools. Like the Mafia, they have two sets of books (or possibly more.) This allows the school district to manage personnel and students at a building level, but report those same students and teachers from other schools that are defined. Some people have been confused as to why someone would want to do this. Is this really a big deal, if the student and teachers all get reported? Louisiana’s former superintendent of Accountability actual made this argument in a meeting I was in, in front of a political appointee that appeared to want to sweep this situation under the rug. He knew full well what this meant/means but he also knew if he made a big deal about it he would be gone. He’s still gone (that was going to happen anyways) but by ignoring issues like this he was able to avoid making waves and stayed a bit longer than most.
Answer to – why create shadow schools?
Why indeed? Once word of how this works gets out all our school districts will realize they only need to have one school, and all the current sites can be closed and relisted as programs underneath the single district “school.” That will prevent the state from taking them over and giving them to charter operators that don’t take care of the properties or the students in their care.
Shadow Schools introduced – excuses DOE would make on their behalf
I bet they might even make an argument that what Iberville is doing doesn’t hurt anyone so why not let them do it? Please ask them how much crack they have been smoking if they make that argument.
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT = BEATING CHILDREN WITH LARGE WOODEN CLUBS
John White is afraid to release this data because then he would be forced to deal with it. He’s hiding this to protect allies in the northern part of the state. Just ask him for it. I’ve prepared a file to do the asking. I think everyone should send it. Corporal punishment Data Request Spreadsheet all ready to go!
John White wants schools to beat children, especially the disabled ones. He wouldn’t have to do it if those deaf kids would just listen the first time.
Virtual Schools Truancy Fiasco
Some interesting decisions from everyone’s favorite LDOE group, Parental Options. This describes how LDOE knows kids are not logging in and producing any work but won’t let the virtual charters drop them. Take our money please! Kids can get a free computer and internet connection to surf the internet and never go to school again. Well, it’s not exactly free. It will cost taxpayers about 10-15 k year to pay 90+% of MFP amount, plus the costs of educating or incarcerating these uneducated kids once LDOE finally allows them to drop out and they have no employment options.
Accountability; and the Lack thereof due to political meddling
Loaded with great ideas like using a Special Education test to test “voucher” students to show how well they do and labeling failed/taken over schools as “T” (rather than a nifty letter grade) and perpetually assigning them to new charter operators until one of them succeeds – without ever revealing how poorly they are doing. This post also describes lying about school sizes so evade reporting responsibilities, manipulating data and terms to circumvent the ESEA/NCLB waiver.
It’s not how well you do, but who you know that leads to real school improvement, at least as far as SPS scores and letter grades are concerned. Why else do you think they hide the formula that calculates these scores and all the special “adjustments” they make behind the scenes. If you are a favored LEA, meaning you kiss John White’s. . . well lets just say you can get a “special adjustment” if you know how and who to ask.
The little 504 secret LDOE doesn’t want to address
Namely, that we have lots of data on 504 kids. From that data we know that a number of districts shirk their responsibilities under section 504 of the American’s with Disabilities Act. That law’s only been around since 1973 so I’m sure they will get around to enforcing or addressing the inequities sooner or later. Since we still don’t see any reports on this data I’d wager it will be much, much later.
Our Persistently Dangerous School definition is a joke
As part of the NCLB act states were supposed to develop a definition of a “persistently dangerous school.” Students enrolled in such schools are eligible to transferred out upon request. Many of our alternative schools are very very dangerous by most accounts and statistics. This definition was crafted so no schools can every meet the definition. There is no profit to be made in identifying dangerous schools, and there are additional regulatory responsibilities for LDOE to take on in regards to monitoring these schools – so me made sure there will never be any such schools defined. We almost had a few one year, so the definition was changed retroactively. I wonder if John White would consider this an adult issue or a children’s issue?
Dropout Number Farce
Louisiana has been reporting a decrease in dropouts year over year, but only because they have decreased their auditing to stop districts from exiting students to undocumented non-dropout reasons like transfers to non-publics or out-of-state. Our population has been increasing and very little increase in grads, while half as many dropouts year over year is not possible. LDOE knows this, but doesn’t want to spoil a good thing. Additionally LDOE adopted a loophole in the dropout definition, over my protestations, to allow student attending adult education centers to be excluded from dropout calculations while they are attending. LDOE does not verify this is occurring, leaving this up the school districts to report. Districts are supposed to report when these kids stop attending adult education centers, but they don’t. I estimated this would lead to about 5000 unreported/accounted for dropouts every year. Based on the stats I’ve, I may have underestimated that total by quite a bit.
SSN’s cannot be required. If everyone stops providing them this could cause the Value Added system to collapse
This is something local superintendents and parents can do to fight back. Value Added is a steaming pile of statistical junk. It can reveal trends and tendencies when looking at large sample sizes and quantities of data. Whomever came up with the idea of using VAM to evaluate teachers should have been strangled or at least had their statistical credentials revoked. Corporations are pushing for this so they can take over school systems and Republicans are pushing this so they can destroy teachers unions. Value Added does not help children, and actually hurts them by removing and demoralizing really good teachers.
Value Added (what they are using to evaluate teachers) is massively flawed
Value Added is junk math and was only barely suitable for generalizing teaching programs on average, not individual teachers. It leaves out many variables and mostly punishes good and great teachers along with some bad ones. It is erratic and unreliable. It is designed to decimate public schools, so charters can come in and fill the void and so states can ignore the single greatest indicator of student performance – poverty. This will also lead to a drastic teacher shortage and force school districts to increase class sizes to make use of the available teachers, or to resort to virtual schools which have virtually no limit on class sizes, or profits for their owners.
John White embraced the agenda of Gene Mills to exclude bullying reason codes. Act 861 removes any obligation for charter schools to report or address bullying. Even before this legislation passed Erin Bendilly, head of Parental Options and support staff and an early Jindal appointee, repeatedly told the charter schools they did not have to report or comply with the law – over the advice of our chief legal counsel. I guess she gets her wish, and meanwhile children die at charter schools from bullying and John White makes more false claims about how he cares about children.
What LDOE knows of the charter practices for excluding less desirable students from charter schools
You’d think LDOE would try to address some of these things, but by ignoring them they make it easier to make a case that public schools are failing and charter schools are succeeding – even if the data actually hasn’t backed that assertion up to date. Instead much of the research they had me do confirmed these accusations and suspicions, but was kept hushed up and confidential while they worked to settle the lawsuits. Why taxpayers should have to foot that bill rather than the charters who are discriminating against students with disabilities is a good question. Ask Jindal in a few years when he returns to our state for a hurricane or when Bayou Corne finally blows up. Once they get a public school entirely composed of disabled and 504 students they may finally have the proof they need that public schools do worse than charter schools.
I have more, but this seems like a good start for anyone interested in how messed up public education is with John White at the helm of LDOE and Jindal in charge of BESE.