Saturday, May 30, 2015

Great Facebook Page on how to "flip BESE"

OK readers, it's time to stop complaining about the harmful actions of BESE and start doing something about it!

I am asking all my readers who live in Louisiana to please go to the Flip BESE Facebook page and "like" this page so that you can be kept informed about important challenges to the present majority on BESE as we get closer to the BESE elections. The BESE elections of all 8 elected members occur on the same date as the elections for governor and members of the legislature. This effort is absolutely critical to the future of our public education system, to democratic control of our public education dollars, and to the future of a strong and productive teaching profession in Louisiana!

A terrific graphic for the Flip BESE site was developed by highly talented Amy Lemoine, a public school parent in the Lafayette area. Here is what motivated Amy to launch the web site:

"After watching the behavior of the current BESE members over the last few years, it became apparent that BESE would have to be turned upside down (flipped) in order to shake free from the current voting trends that have been very negative to our public education system. Louisiana needs BESE members who represent all parents, teachers, and students. We feel that the majority represent special interests and the reform movement, rather than the majority of their constituents."
Ms Lemoine envisions the following efforts: "Come October, the members who occupy the eight elected BESE seats will be decided on in voting booths across the state. The candidates that we should avoid like the plague will likely have the high dollar supporters who will see to it that an abundance of commercials and signs are bought. The good guys need any help they can get to help get their name out there. My hope is that Flip BESE can be some of that needed help. We will share facts about current BESE members and the candidates that will be, in our opinion, the best hope to turn things around."
There are now three new announced candidates for BESE that would help to "Flip BESE" to give the parents, voters and educators excellent representation in making decisions that strengthen our public schools and support teaching as a profession. They are Lee Barrios for District 1, Jason France for District 6, and Michael Kreamer for District 7. If you are not sure about your voting BESE district, the Flip BESE web site gives you a map that would allow you to find your district. As a very accurate alternative just go to the legilative web site here and fill in your address to get a precise ID of your BESE district as well as your Representative and Senatorial districts.
The candidates that have announced so far in the effort to flip BESE are:
Jason France, of Baton Rouge was the first to announce that he is running in District 6 against Chas Roemer. Jason is a former Department of Education employee who is extremely well informed about the management of education in Louisiana. Jason launched the Crazy Crawfish blog a couple of years ago which he has used effectively to expose some of the unethical actions of Superintendent John White in dealing with the often corrupt voucher schools and in showing favoritism in enforcing the VAM teacher evaluation system. Jason has also blogged in his role as a parent, demonstrating the serious flaws in the new Common Core standards. Jason was the first to announce his candidacy in an effort to change the emphasis of BESE from representing only the rich and powerful who want to privatize our education system for the benefit of corrupt "entrepreneurs" to representing the real stakeholders in public education: students, parents and taxpayers.
Lee Barrios, of St. Tammany Parish is a retired board certified teacher with experience in teaching gifted and talented is running in BESE District 1 against incumbent James Garvey . Ms Barrios is an activist who regularly attends BESE meeting and speaks in opposition to predatory charters and against the serious flaws in the Common Core standards. Lee is extremely well informed about the major issues facing BESE.
Michael Kreamer, of Lafayette is the principal at St. Martinville High School. He is challenging Holly Boffy who has been a complete disappointment to the educators and parents of the 7th BESE district. Kreamer who is a top notch professional educator submitted this excellent guest post on predatory charters for this blog a few months ago. Michael would also be great addition to BESE.
(Note: I originally incorrectely stated that Mr. Kreamer had recently retired. I am happy to report that he plans to remain an active educator even if he is elected to BESE)

There are three currently elected members of BESE that have an excellent record of supporting public education and our professional educators. They are Mary Harris of District 1Lottie Beebe of District 3, and Carolyn Hill of District 8.  I am asking our readers to consider supporting these highly dedicated members of BESE who have remained steadfast in their support of public schools and professional educators. 

There are three other members of BESE that will be appointed by the new governor. You can only influence the selection of those members by choosing wisely in the election of Governor. (Note: I do want to make special mention of Jane Smith of Bossier, an appointee of Governor Jindal, who has been a refreshing voice of reason on BESE. Ms Smith has worked effectively with all factions for the good of public education) 

Please visit the Flip BESE website often to keep yourself and other voters informed about the efforts to restore BESE to the citizens and students of Louisiana!