Saturday, May 17, 2014

John White Translated

Everything John White tells us in print or in person has a definite purpose. But often you need to translate "White speak" to get his true intent or meaning. Let me translate just a few paragraphs from a recent White memo to local education leaders:

White states: "Our state's educators, families, and children have accepted the great challenge of raising expectations for learning in our schools. Louisiana's children are just as smart and capable as any in America, and together we have committed to educating them to a standard as high as anywhere in our country."

Translation: "I don't really care if many families have not accepted the challenge of raising expectations for learning, but I intend to hold local educators responsible if the students do not all perform to the level I have dictated. Furthermore, I have no idea whether or not Louisiana's children are just as smart and capable as any in America, but by stating this assumption, it allows me to blame educators if our students do not perform as well as students in other states."

White states: "As you know, the state has long committed that Louisiana will not unfairly humiliate educators, denigrate schools, or punish students as we make this transition. You can find a summary of the state's transition policies here, including policies regarding 4th grade promotion and the Transitional 9th grade, an important opportunity to address immediately the learning needs of struggling students."

Translation: "As I have demonstrated many times before, it is my policy to humiliate impoverished school communities by imposing an unfair school grading policy that only tells us the level of poverty of the children attending a particular school and nothing about the heroic efforts of the teachers and administrators at a school to help students succeed in life. I fully intend to continue punishing teachers and administrators who do not spend every moment possible in rehearsing kids for these stupid standardized tests we have imposed upon our educational system. I really don't care if all the joy of teaching and learning is destroyed in the process. Also, now you will be expected to promote all students from 4th to 5th grade and from 8th to 9th grade even though they have learned almost nothing, and your teachers will still be expected to "make" them achieve at average or above grade level."

White states: "In recent years, the Department has released these results May 17 or 18. This year you will be able to access individual student results in the secure LEAP Web portal Tuesday evening, May 20.  Instructions will be in Tuesday's weekly newsletter.

Translation: "My staff has not yet finished tinkering with the results of the testing to achieve the result I directed them to get, so it will be a few more days before you get our doctored results of the testing."  

With a little practice we can all learn to translate "White speak".


Denise Trahan said...

That is exactly what I was thinking. Is there no one else who is highly suspicious as to why results were not released yesterday at the last minute???????

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, goodness. I was just saying this very same thing to a friend of mine!

Anonymous said...

I smell something, but it's not the crawfish shells from last night.

Anonymous said...

The last translation is what the majority of people that I have spoken to are thinking! Great article!

Anonymous said...

I have been personally responsible for notifying schools in a large school district of the release of test scores for the past eight years. THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR THAT SCORES HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED ON THE PUBLISHED DATE. WE HAVE HAD THAT RELEASE DATE, MAY 16TH, SINCE JAN. 29TH, 2014.

We were also told on the morning of May 16th that the results would be released later in the day, at least until we received an email stating they would be released Tuesday evening May 20th.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that those charged with educating our children are the only ones held accountable. John White can constantly move the target until he is able to successfully hit it regardless of the fallout that affects teachers, administrators, schools and, most important, STUDENTS. Yes, Mr. White, there are students attached to those numbers you are withholding.

Anonymous said...

Why weren't the test results released on the 16th as promised?

How many different stories have your administrators been told?

Anonymous said...

Now they have been released tonight, on the 19th. I haven't been given any explanations... and don't expect any from that bunch of clowns.

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