Reminder: The elections for BESE are this Saturday, October 24.An enormous amount of out-of-state money (From the Wal Mart heirs and the Broad family) is being spent on electing John White controlled members of BESE! Make no mistake about it. These candidates supported by the LABI/Lane Grigsby PAC intend to increase privatization of our schools and set up a system where the "market" will determine winners and losers in public education. If it continues to work according to the trend we already see in Louisiana, our schools will become more segregated according to wealth, and our tax support for the schools serving the most at-risk students will decline. During the most recent period of education "reform" in Louisiana under Jindal and Superintendents Pastorek and White, Louisiana's ranking on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) has declined to just third from the bottom, just above Mississippi and Washington D.C. And yet the John White controlled candidates are claiming that Louisiana test scores are going up in their campaign literature.
The nation of Chile has already tried this experiment and it was a miserable failure. Now the whole educational system in Chile is in turmoil in an effort to repair the damage.
It is easy to tell the LABI/Grigsby/John White candidates. They are running numerous television ads promising to grade our schools A-F and to reward the good teachers with pay raises. They are also mailing slick oversize cards promoting their controlled candidates and nasty hit pieces on the pro-public education candidates. Voters may be interested to know that BESE cannot raise any new money to give pay raises, that's a function of the legislature, so they would have to do it by robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Remember the last time when Jindal implemented merit pay for teachers without providing a penny of new state funding? The local school systems had to mostly abolish their teacher step increases so that they could put money into the merit pay system. Then it turned out that the teachers teaching the VAM subjects were at a huge disadvantage compared to teachers rated with SLT's.
Please vote for the good pro-public school candidates Saturday Oct. 24, that are listed on the Flip BESE Facebook page. Click here.
John White's Fantasy Standards
The PARCC Consortium is Rotten to the Core. . . . Pun Intended.
So not only can the testing bosses change apparent student performance from year to year by lowering the underlying raw scores that produce the scale scores, but they can also change the ratio of easy questions to difficult questions. Also, they can change the order of questions to place most of the easy questions on the front end of the test before the students get weary and start just skipping over questions. That's why I call these fantasy standards. The testing company and the LDOE can make them up to come out any way they want. Who's checking on them to make sure they are honest in making any changes to the tests? Well just trust them, they are constantly running field tests and high tech statistical analysis much too complicated for us to understand. That's why they wanted to keep the raw scores secret from us. Raw scores are just too difficult for us to really understand.