Friday, November 27, 2015

Educators and Parents Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Many educators and parents I have spoken to recently are very thankful that we have a chance to restore sanity, dignity, professionalism, and a positive balanced curriculum in our public schools. 

The election of John Bel Edwards as our governor gives us a great opportunity to truly improve Louisiana public education

Edwards won't be able to do it alone. He will be faced with a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that is mostly occupied by persons elected by a fanatic group of privatizers and public education haters. Many legislators have also received their bribe contributions from the out-of-state billionaires and LABI bosses who want to take over education. Our new governor will need the help of the real educators and the many parents who support public education to change the course and to put the emphasis on positive change instead of falsely claiming to be fixing "a broken system".

Public education is not broken, but it has been severely damaged by the attempt by misguided billionaires, greedy privatizers, and big business to blindly test and punish our students and our educators. Amazingly the schools and educators and students who needed the most support have been the most victimized by these so called education reforms and our true public schools have been bilked of needed school tax dollars.  After all this abuse, it is amazing that we still have so many educators and parents who have not ever given up on public education.

Governor elect Edwards has already demonstrated by his previous work in the legislature and by his very practical positions on key education issues that he will be just the kind of leader we need to help us put education back on the right path.

We should be thankful for this type of leadership, but we should also be willing to do our part to move education forward!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Public Education Haters Churn Out Lies and Attack Ads

The Broads and the Gates; they are using their immense wealth to appoint themselves as the dictators of public education. On a whim, they have decided to choose Louisiana public education as a laboratory in which to demonstrate their theories of privatization and their new test oriented curriculum. To accomplish this they  are determined to do whatever it takes to buy Louisiana's State Board of Education. Somehow they think they know better how to run education than the real educators. See this excellent expose' by the blog Block the Agenda.

Michael Bloombeg, former New York mayor and owner of a media empire capitalizing on privatization and online courses who would never bother to set foot in Louisiana, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase candidates for BESE. Bloomberg, LABI and the Walton family heirs are financing candidates that have never even spoken to a real public school teacher about how to improve education.

One of the PACs they support: "Empower Louisiana" is running an ad telling us that 6th district BESE Candidate, Jason Engen is opposed to Common Core and believes that teachers should be listened to. That is impossible to believe since the founder of the PAC, Lane Grigsby, is one of the most committed Common Core supporters in the state and his out-of-state funders described above are also Common Core boosters.  These power brokers believe that teachers should be just small cogs in their education reform machine. To them teacher concerns mean absolutely nothing. The strategy seems to be to say whatever the voters want to hear to get their candidate elected, then have him serve the real puppet masters who want to privatize public education and turn teaching into a mechanical exercise in test prepping.

A Department of Education controlled committee is now in the process of renaming the Common Core as the Louisiana Standards. Jason Engen has stated he supports Louisiana standards instead of Common Core. So just by making minor changes and then changing the name of the Common Core, Engen, if elected, can go to work doing his puppet master's bidding.

Common Core is an untested experiment that was financed and sold to us by Gates, Bloomberg and the Broads before it was even written, because the assumption was that the testing company executives must know so much better than parents and teachers about what is best for our students. The CCSS were written by these elitists who never bothered to test their theories of "close reading" and Eureka Math before they decided that all teachers would be required to teach them to our students. They never worried about the harmful effects of inncessent testing and test prep on our children.  (None of their children attend schools operating according to the CCSS.) Students being forced to learn worthless techniques that they will never use again in real life. That is the prescription that will be implemented by Jason Engen and other candidates bought by the Broads, the Waltons, and the Blumbergs. Probably none of these super rich reformers have ever set foot in Louisiana.

In BESE District 4, it has gotten particularly out of hand. Mostly because the public’s favorite is incumbent, Mary Johnson Harris, who was appointed by Gov. Jindal to fill a vacated seat. Here is where it gets pretty wild. The ad agency has no problem putting their photoshop skills to use and produced two separate mailers with false information. One is designed to push Democrats to vote for Harris’ opponent; the other, designed to push Republicans toward her opponent. Unpopular Bobby Jindal was photoshopped in alongside Harris to take the place of a Congressman. Of course some of the favorite attack ads link any pro public education candidate as allies of president Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton even though the candidate has never taken any such positions.

So when you vote Saturday, November 21, please vote for the true supporters of public education.  Help us to properly educate other voters about the candidates that will be truly best for our children.

 Here they are:

Governor: John Bel Edwards
BESE 4th District: Mary Harris
BESE 6th District: Kathy Edmonston

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Forum On Student Discipline Announced

Leaders With Vision
"Student Discipline at a Crossroads: 
Maintaining Safe schools and a positive school climate"

Nationally, the newspapers are filled with stories about the breakdown of discipline in our schools.  Student Discipline & Effective Intervention are the topic of the Leaders With Vision public forum.  

The need to re-establish a positive school climate is essential for both learning and for developing sound social skills in our children.  

On Thursday, Nov.19, Leaders With Vision will host a public policy forum offering different views within our schools and our society i.e. Principal, Teacher, Social Worker, School Resource Officer and a Legislative Resource. 

The panelists are:
Senator Sharon Weston Broome, President Pro Tem of La. Senate;   
Debbie Meaux, LAE President; 
Debra Schum, LA Principals Association:  
Bob Wertz, La. Commission on Law Enforcement; 
Carey Yazeed, LCSW & Author.

Where:  Drusilla Place, 3482 Drusilla Lane, in the Bayou Room.
When:   Thursday, November 19, 2015.
Doors open to press and audience at 11:15 a.m. 
lunch will be served at 11:45 with the forum beginning promptly at noon.
Come hear the experts' views on the issues, to 
broaden your understanding of this community challenge.

Reservations can be made on-line at WWW.LWVISION.ORG or send a request 
for reservations by e-mail  to or call 927-2255.

Reservations are recommended. 
Reservations are honored before walk-ins. 
Tickets are: $25.00 General Admission.  $20.00 For Members in Good Standing
Payment Options are:  ON-LINE  PAYMENT OPTION:
Registration:  Checks or cash.
Net proceeds support the Leaders With Vision projects and education/voter
service programs in Louisiana. If you have any questions, 

please call  225/927-2255 or send an email