Tag Archives: John White

BESE Board Inches Closer to Making Itself Irrelevent by Joining in Lawsuit Against Governor Jindal Over Common Core


BESE President Chas Roemer (Associated Press)

BESE President Chas Roemer (Associated Press)

By Danette Clark

In a special meeting on Tuesday morning, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 6 to 4 to sue Governor Bobby Jindal for attempting to remove the state from Common Core and PARCC testing.

BESE will join a lawsuit against the Governor filed last week by seven parents, two teachers, and a New Orleans charter group. The suit currently claims Jindal has overstepped his authority by going over BESE’s head.

Superintendent John White and several members of the BESE board, who support Common Core despite wide spread public opposition, have posed this same question in open meetings in recent weeks — who ultimately holds constitutional authority over state education matters, the Governor or the State Board of Education?

BESE President Chas Roemer says the board is “trying to retain their constitutional authority over education”.

As a Louisiana resident and one of many parents fed up with being either completely ignored or ridiculed by the powers-that-be because we oppose Common Core, I would like to comment and ask this constitutional question of BESE — who the hell do you think you are? And I mean that quite literally. Who are you?

Your very existence was made necessary by the United States Constitution and is defined by the Louisiana State Constitution as a body created to develop, implement, and maintain (in accordance with Louisiana law) educational policy at the local level.

Your reason for being is to manage and maintain education within the state so that the constitutional and God-given rights of Louisiana parents to have a say in their children’s educational future is preserved and protected.

As shown again and again, from state to state to state, the Common Core State Standards Initiative — by definition as a national standard and living document (to be revised), with NCLB waivers attached, and contracted by an MOU that recklessly and boldly acknowledges the federal government’s intent to change education laws as it sees fit — is a gross federal intrusion into the educational lives of Louisiana children and the affairs of local government.

Therefore, BESE and Superintendent White, it seems you have failed miserably in your core constitutional duty to the people of Louisiana by willingly relinquishing your authority to the federal government and outside interests.

To the few BESE members siding with the people — Walter Lee, Lottie Beebe, Carolyn Hill, and Jane Smith — thank you for your brave efforts. They will not be forgotten.

As I stated here and will reiterate (and ask others opposed to this vicious initiative to please do the same), there are thousands of us in Louisiana who have done our homework and remain dedicated to winning this crucial battle for our children. We know the responsibilities and duties of our local officials to the people of this state, and we fully intend to hold them accountable for failing in those duties and failing our children.

Perhaps its time for parents to consider joining in a lawsuit of their own.

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Lawsuit Filed to Stop Common Core in Louisiana


Thank you to these Louisiana State Reps!

From KATC.com (in part):

“Seventeen state lawmakers asked a judge on Monday to end Louisiana’s use of the Common Core education standards in public schools, saying education leaders didn’t properly enact the multistate benchmarks.

Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, who opposes the standards, said the lawsuit was filed in Baton Rouge district court, seeking an immediate suspension of the standards in schools.

“Unless an injunction issues herein by the Court, needless time and resources will be expended in the teaching, testing, learning, and financing of Common Core, all to the detriment of the citizens of Louisiana,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit alleges the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, and the state education department did not follow Louisiana’s Administrative Procedures Act for rolling out the new standards in classrooms.

The act requires public notice, a 90-day comment period and legislative oversight, provisions that have been followed prior to other changes that have been made to education standards in Louisiana, the legislators said.

Education board President Chas Roemer and Education Superintendent John White planned a conference call to address the claims.

Without following the Administrative Procedures Act, the lawsuit says citizens “were denied their procedural due process rights to have their comments and concerns heard” before adoption and use of the standards.

The lawsuit was filed by 13 Republicans, two Democrats and two legislators without party affiliation.

James Armes, Terry Brown, Henry Burns, Brett Geymann, Johnny Guinn, Lance Harris, Joe Harrison, Kenny Havard, Bob Hensgens, Cameron Henry, Paul Hollis, Barry Ivey, Sam Jones, Rogers Pope, Dee Richard, John Schroder, and Lanar Whitney are the lawmakers who signed the petition.”

Read full article here.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Moves to Remove State from Common Core Standards


By Danette Clark

Yes! I’m late to the party as usual (darn day job), but great news late is still great news.

From Breitbart.com:

“In a press conference on Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced actions to remove his state from the Common Core standards and the aligned Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.

Much of Jindal’s focus during the press conference was on the legality of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) decision to adopt the PARCC tests without first placing the state test out for bids. He said he wanted Louisiana to develop its own standards and, by law, to look at other options for tests.

“PARCC does not allow a competitive bidding process which is required under Louisiana law,” the Governor said. “BESE didn’t follow the rules.”

In a letter to PARCC officials the Governor asked the organization to immediately withdraw his state from the test consortium. Jindal also issued an executive order that instructs the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) to begin a competitive bidding process to purchase a new assessment and called on the DOE and BESE to develop Louisiana standards that can be approved by the state legislature in the next session.

The Governor said the state is no longer committed to implement the PARCC assessment in the coming school year and rendered the state unable to comply with the terms of the June 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Louisiana and PARCC due to its failure to allow for a competitive bidding process.

“It’s time for PARCC to withdraw from Louisiana,” Jindal said. “We won’t let the federal government take over Louisiana’s education standards. We’re very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators.”

“Common Core has not been fully implemented yet in Louisiana, and we need to start the process over,” Jindal continued. “It was rushed in the beginning and done without public input.”

A summary of the action taken by the Governor is as follows:

1. Issued an executive order that instructs the Louisiana Department of Education to conduct a competitive process to purchase a new assessment and which prohibits the expenditure of funds on cooperative group purchasing organizations and interstate agreements;

2. Suspended the rules adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from May 2014 to ensure that the Louisiana Department of Education is able to comply with Louisiana competitive bid law;

3. Instructed the Division of Administration to conduct a comprehensive accounting of all Louisiana expenditures and resources on PARCC, what services or products have been received in return for such expenditures, and copies of all contracts in place or in negotiation for the purchase of an assessment;

4. Issued a Request for Information to PARCC requesting information about the procurement processes utilized by the consortium, by the Fiscal Agent state, and by the Lead Procurement State to ensure that these processes complied with Louisiana law;

5. Notified the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governor’s Association (NGA) of Louisiana’s termination of participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

State Superintendent of Education John White and BESE president Chas Roemer, both of whom are ardent supporters of the nationalized standards, held a media briefing immediately after Jindal’s press conference in which they repeated the words of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who said Tuesday that Jindal’s turnabout on Common Core was motivated by “politics.”

Though White said during the media briefing that he would never tell school districts to “ignore” Gov. Jindal, a statement on the DOE website, dated Wednesday, contradicts the Governor’s announcement and indicates that both BESE and the DOE have reaffirmed that Louisiana “will implement the Common Core State Standards, as well as grade 3-8 test forms and questions developed by states within… PARCC for the 2014-2015 school year.”

“This is what the constitutionally elected bodies of our state agreed to,” White said during the press briefing. “The Governor’s announcement today comes at the bottom of the ninth inning.”

White and Roemer added that the laws of Louisiana are on their side.

In response to Gov. Jindal’s announcement, state Rep. Brett Geymann (R) told Breitbart News, “It is a day for all parents in Louisiana to celebrate. We are very pleased in the move by the Governor to remove us from PARCC and Common Core.”

“The Governor shares the same concerns that many of us have with the one-size-fits-all standards, the federal government’s overreach into our education decisions, and the lack of parental involvement in the process from the start,” Geymann added. “In addition, it’s significant we have not used the public bidding process to purchase our state test.”

Anna Arthurs, an organizer of a grassroots parents group that is opposed to Common Core, told Breitbart News that Jindal’s announcement is important for both Louisiana and the nation.

“Proponents of the Common Core initiative try to deny a federal overreach into education. However, this overreach is undeniable with PARCC (and SBAC) testing,” Arthurs said. “The federal government exclusively funds the test consortia. It provides curriculum frameworks to assist teachers in curriculum development. This is in direct violation of the General Education Provisions Act.”

“In the cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and PARCC member states, it mandates that the participating states ‘make student-level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis,’” she added. “They have even developed an oversight committee which has a role in overseeing test question development.”

“Since teachers are forced to ‘teach to the test’ with high-stakes assessments, the federal government will have more control over the resulting curriculum than the local school districts,” Arthurs said. “Gov. Jindal is taking the lead in rejecting untested, unproven standards that have yet to live up to their claim as being ‘rigorous.’”

Grassroots organizer Sara Wood told Breitbart News that Jindal “acted on behalf of the parents to restore and protect a piece of our state sovereignty and individual freedoms as parents.”

In response to White and Roemer’s comment that in passing the controversial Common Core measure the state legislature was doing the will of the people, Wood said Jindal is “carrying out his executive obligation to support and uphold our Constitution because the legislature failed.”

“With all the pushback by parents and now action by governors nationwide, it is safe to say that Common Core was sold to state leaders as one thing in 2009 but ended up as something else in 2014,” she continued. “That violates the spirit of the Constitution and three federal laws.”

“The Common Core was sold as ‘just higher standards,’ but through the initiative that surrounds it, we are taking a great leap toward unprecedented federal intervention and eventual control of education, creating common mediocrity nationwide,” Wood said.

Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the Massachusetts-based Pioneer Institute, said, “Gov. Jindal has come to realize what more and more governors and states are learning – Common Core and the national testing consortia are Obama administration initiatives with numerous federal bureaucratic strings attached.”

“If Common Core was genuinely ‘state-led’ and ‘voluntary,’ as its DC-based advocates like to claim, then why does the U.S. Secretary of Education immediately threaten or scold any state heading for the exit door?” Gass asked.”

Common Core in a Nutshell


Bill Gates & Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White
From LAPACC.COM

 

Louisiana Ed Department Recommends Lesson on Pluralism From Former Obama Advisor Who Compares Christians to Al Qaeda and Has an ‘Affinity’ for Terrorists


EbooPatel

By Danette Clark

In one of the most conservative states in the nation, the Louisiana Department of Education has risked it all by going all-in on the far left and dangerous global agenda of the Common Core State Standards.

As shown in this Grade 5 Year-at-a-Glance ELA Curriculum Sample, the Louisiana DOE recommends a disturbing and grossly false history of Christopher Columbus, a video titled A Declaration of INTERdependence, and a  lesson on pluralism from Eboo Patel, a former Obama ‘faith’ advisor who recently compared Pat Robertson to Osama Bin Laden and Christian and Jewish “totalitarians” to Al Qaeda terrorists.

Like President Obama, Patel also has history with domestic terrorist William Ayers.

During the 2004-2005 school year, Patel stayed as a guest in residence in the same hall as Bill Ayers and his wife at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Patel also co-authored a book in 2005 with Bill Ayers’ adopted son, Chesa Boudin.

The book, Letters from Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out, was authored by several young radicals including Ismail Khalidi. Ismail is the son of Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor with ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, who describes Israel as a “racist” state with an “apartheid” system.

The Preface of Letters from Young Activists was written by Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn (also once wanted by the FBI for terrorism), who describes Letters as “a clarion call of hope, defiance, critical analysis, humor, irony, and self-conscious insistence that the queer, the Palestinian, the immigrant, the privileged, the children of prisoners and hip-hopsters have arrived.”

The back cover of the book boasts an endorsement from Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop-killer and former member of the Black Panther Party. On the Acknowledgments page is a great big thank you to Bill Ayers himself for “guidance” and “encouragement”.

Patel and Ayers’ son appeared together on radio and at Chicago’s Seminary Co-op Bookstore in 2005 to promote the release of their book.

In a later book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul, Eboo Patel thanks Ayers for suggesting there may be a story worth telling floating around in his head.

He further writes that he “searched for models of people who had tried to block the machinery of American imperialism,” at which point, he says, a “campus radical” suggested Patel talk with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

During a 2007 NPR interview promoting the release of Acts of Faith, Patel, a Chicago native, was asked about his affinity for “the American terrorist, Bill Ayers, who is a member of the Weather Underground.” Patel responded: “Well, you know, actually my story is much closer to Bill Ayers as in the early days than it is to any of these Muslim terrorists, even though I’m Muslim, because I actually grew up in the same hometown that Bill Ayers did and I was kind of taught the same myths about America, a land of freedom and equality and justice, et cetera, et cetera.”

The essay by Patel recommended by the Louisiana Department of Education, We Are Each Other’s Business, is completely harmless on its face. However, knowing of Patel’s associations and political and social views on America, you have to wonder about the underlying message and intent of the lesson as a whole. After all, Patel, Ayers, and many of their marxist-progressive friends have a long history of attacking Christianity and American values in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘religious freedom’.

Although none of Patel’s writings are specifically recommended by the Common Core State Standards, Patel’s beliefs fit perfectly with the agenda at the heart of Common Core — an agenda hostile to Christians, Jews, and America, and conceived in the minds of terrorists.

Is this what conservative-Christian Governor Bobby Jindal had in mind for Louisiana’s children? If not, perhaps it’s time Jindal take a closer look at his State Superintendent of Education, John White, who, as head of Teach for America Chicago, likely worked closely with Eboo Patel through his organization, Interfaith Youth Core.