Tuesday, March 31, 2015

White, the Beneficiary of Extremist Politics now Opposes Such

State Superintendent John White prides himself in using smart sound bites, talking points and misleading rhetoric as a way of selling his views in the education reform battles. In a press conference Monday, White referred to efforts to derail the Common Core State Standards in Louisiana as an "extremist" plan. In this slick quotable quote, White was obviously referring to the growing wave of parental opposition to the incomprehensible CCSS standards and the accompanying imitation PARCC testing. I believe that characterizing concerned and frustrated parents as "extremists" is a tactical mistake this time. It is very similar to the recent statement by U. S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan claiming that some "white suburban moms" were worried that the new testing may reveal that their children were not so brilliant after all. Duncan was forced to backtrack on those statements, and you can be sure that White's attack on concerned parents will only increase their determination to remove Common Core and probably White along with it!

This is not the first time that White has been tripped up by his own fancy New York rhetoric. During the time White was involved in confirmation hearings before the Senate, one of his emails revealed that he was "muddying up the rhetoric" about his failure to properly investigate some of the shaky voucher schools, that were enrolling students even though they had no teachers and inadequate facilities. Later White was found to be covering up some of the glaring flaws in the teacher evaluation system by signing on to the "Seabaugh solution".  Another semantic trick used by White was referring to the loss of teacher tenure, seniority rights, step raises  and the imposition of a sloppy merit pay system as a way of "empowering" teachers. More recently, White wanted to "empower" principals by requiring that they get fewer highly effective evaluations. Educators have learned the hard way that when White uses the term "empower" in reference to educators they had better brace themselves for a not so pleasant assault on their rights and benefits.

White has gotten pretty much gotten his way so far, but the welcome mat for the New York, Bloomberg,  protege is steadily being pulled out from under his feet. Remember that White who now complains about extremist politics gained his appointment despite a lack of actual education qualifications because of political donations to BESE candidates from the wealthy media executives who stand to gain from the adoption of the CCSS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The inconsistent, pendulum-like decision making used by most of the so-called educational leaders in Louisiana is like watching a political tennis match between "how can I make them love me?!?" AND "How can I shift the blame when they love me not?!"