Author Archives: Lamar Parmentel

A dupe or a liar? Jindal’s frivolous federal Common Core lawsuit

Lamar Parmentel:

WITH COMMON CORE BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT. WITH RACE TO THE TOP BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT. A PATTERN

Originally posted on Something Like the Truth:

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 10.06.58 PM

By Robert Mann

If there was ever a politically motivated, frivolous lawsuit, it would be the thinly veiled campaign document that Gov. Bobby Jindal filed in federal court on Wednesday, alleging that the federal government coerced states like Louisiana to participate in Common Core.

In his suit, Jindal seems to say that he and other governors were forced by President Obama to apply for federal funds and join a national consortium, all of which supported the implementation of the Common Core standards in their states.

“In short, through regulatory and rule making authority, Defendants [the federal government] have constructed a scheme that effectively forces States down a path toward a national curriculum by requiring, as a condition of funding under the President’s Race to the Top programs, that States join ‘consortia of states’ and agree to adopt a common set of content standards and to implement the assessment protocols and policies created by that consortium, all under…

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LouisianaVoice learns of Jindal plan to force state retirees out of OGB by raising members’ premiums, cutting benefits

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

Remember less than two weeks ago (Aug. 14, to be precise) we wrote that members of the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits (OGB) should prepare themselves for health insurance premium sticker shock? http://louisianavoice.com/2014/08/14/nichols-pens-op-ed-on-soundness-of-ogb-even-as-legislative-fiscal-office-prepares-members-for-premium-sticker-shock/

Well, LouisianaVoice has obtained new information that indicates we weren’t entirely accurate in our portrayal of what’s in store for some 230,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents.

The reality is much worse.

Much worse indeed, particularly for state retirees.

To recap briefly, we told you in that Aug. 14 posting about the report of the Legislative Fiscal Office on pending major changes in medical coverage for state employees and retirees. Some of those anticipated changes provided in the Legislative Fiscal Officer Report, authored by Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter and Legislative Fiscal Office Section Director J. Travis McIlwain, include:

  • An increase in premiums state employees and retirees pay for health coverage;
  • Significantly increase the out-of-pocket maximum…

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Standardized Lying

Originally posted on Crazy Crawfish's Blog:

Student performance in Louisiana is dropping rapidly. The decline started just about the time John White became superintendent of Education and has accelerated rapidly with the introduction of Common Core in Louisiana schools. Based on a sample analysis of the very meager data LDOE finally released under threat of lawsuit it is clear that not only is student performance not increasing or staying steady, it Is in fact declining, and being masked by a lowering of the number of correct answers required to pass LEAP and iLEAP tests. Please refer to this post by Mike Deshotels and the analysis provided by Herb Bassett for the details. Below is an excerpt from Mike’s blog.

Here is the table supplied by the LDOE as a result of my public records request:

    scores

Notice that for 4th grade ELA, 4th grade Math, and 8th grade Math, there was a significant lowering of the…

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#CommunistCore LIVES!

from the Advocate

The worst possible picture of each of these three gents. Thanks to the Advocate for this one.

So far, the forces of righteous freedom have failed to convince any court that #CommunistCore is a threat to humanity. According to the Advocate, the Jindal Admin’s “suspension” is gone and the horrid hellscape of high standards currently torturing our children will continue for the time being:

District Judge Todd Hernandez cautioned that the judicial branch should “rarely, if ever” enjoin the executive branch of government, but said the evidence he heard in the case Monday left him with no other choice.

“As it stands in Louisiana today, according to the law, students in the fourth grade will take some form of high-stakes leap test at the end of the 2014-2015 fourth-grade school year and each of these students must perform to a certain standard in order to be promoted to the next grade,” the judge wrote.

“However, the evidence presented at the hearing of this matter proves that the content of these assessment tests to be issued to these students as well as the materials needed for teachers to prepare these students for these tests are unknown; therefore, the evidence is clear that this state of the unknown has caused anxiety and other harm to the parents, teachers, administrators and students in Louisiana,” he said.

“Plaintiff’s harm is time and the loss thereof. The loss of time is irreparable.”

Oh, but what about da children!

New ‘Friends of’ web page leads to speculation of PSC member Scott Angelle’s entry into 2015 governor’s race

Lamar Parmentel:

Oh, so what do we have here?

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

Does Scott Angelle have his eye on the 2015 governor’s race?

The Public Service Commissioner, Democrat-turned-Republican, former interim lieutenant governor, erstwhile Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and one time member of the LSU Board of Supervisors would seem to be rounding out his resumé while carefully moving up the pecking order in Louisiana politics.

The governor’s race isn’t until 2015 and Angelle isn’t up for re-election to a new six-year on the PSC from the Second District until 2018. He was first elected in 2012 to succeed Jimmy Fields who retired after 16 years.

But an Internet web page created by an outfit calling itself Friends of Scott Angelle and apparently chaired by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s favorite fundraiser Allee Bautsch certainly looks like that of a candidate considering his options for higher office as opposed to that of one running for re-election to the PSC this far out. In other…

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Con-men Fall For Easy Con: Jindal Efficiency Effort Now $3m More Expensive

You’d like professional con men like those situated in all facets of the Jindal experience would be able to spot one of their own. In fact, we see, they cannot.

We might remember back last winter when Bobby Jindal announced that he would hire an “efficiency expert” to find more savings in state government. The cost was reported to be $4 million, to which many legislators responded that they immediately found $4m in savings. 

Nevertheless, in the parody-upon-parody that is the Jindal Administration, the “efficiency experts” have now needed their own contracts extended, almost doubling their original cost. Efficiency!

The price tag has nearly doubled for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s hiring of an outside consulting firm to recommend new ways to balance the state budget.

The contract for Alvarez & Marsal was worth $4.2 million when the New York-based company was hired in December. But the contract since has been bumped up to $7.4 million, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office.

 

They claim they have found over $2 billion in cost savings. Unfortunately, many of the departments they’ve visited have responded that their ideas are either obvious or impossible to implement. For example, one of their brilliant ideas is selling advertising on the side of state property. Like Nascar.

But in this topsy-turvey world, up is down, left is right, and efficiency efforts cost twice as much as planned.

If You Want to Hide Something From Bobby Jindal, Put It In a Law Book

Lamar Parmentel:

LAMAR SMASH

Originally posted on CenLamar:

In the late 1950s, Louisiana Governor Earl K. Long once said that the state’s attorney general didn’t know the difference between a jumpsuit and a lawsuit. “If you want to hide something from Jack Gremillion,” he said, “put it in a law book.”

Compared to the current Governor of Louisiana, Uncle Earl would probably have to admit that old Jack Gremillion seems like a legal genius. After more than six years as a tenant of the fourth floor in the House That Huey Built, Bobby Jindal is now the least popular Governor in contemporary Louisiana history and one of the least popular elected officials in the entire country. According to the most recent polling, Jindal is approved by only 32% of Louisiana voters. If he ran for President, he’d lose Louisiana to Hillary Clinton. And in a hypothetical race for Governor against Edwin Edwards, Jindal would get trounced. “Bobby Jindal…

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White To Be Slapped With Ethics Complaint

In the wake of a rough couple weeks for Johnny White, word is that he will be slapped with an ethics complaint next week. The story has now hit the Advocate:

A longtime critic of state Superintendent of Education John White said Friday she and others plan to file an ethics complaint next week naming White and four members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The complaint will also delve back into the saga of BESE member Kira Orange Jones, who somehow holds the dual position of head of Teach for America (TFA) in Louisiana while also serving on the board that approves TFA contracts. No ruling on TFA, but that whole arrangement seems about as corrupt as possible. But we digress.

Jones’ election in 2011 was key to the appointment of John White as Superintendent, assuring that Bobby Jindal had a super-majority on the BESE board in support of White.

It’s all coming apart for the smug ed reform crowd, isn’t it?

“But what about the children!” – said everyone disingenuously. 

 

The Persecution of Johnny White

This has been a rough few months for ed reform beauty queen John White. Super White has often been the belle of the ball around these parts, winning praise over the years from widely diverse constituencies, from liberal education reformers in New Orleans, to conservative business elite the state over. He leads a cult of young, idealistic followers at the DOE, many of which are religiously devoted to data-driven education revolution. White’s ascension to Superintendent, with massive infusions of money to swing BESE races in his favor in 2011 (including hundreds of thousands of Bloomberg money to elect pro-White BESE members, as chronological at this anti-Common Core blog) has been swift. His fall might be swifter.

White’s been able to deal with criticism before, including getting an LPB reporter fired for negative reporting on education reformUnfortunately, White has run into a rough patch from which no amount of his own bs jargon or political hatchet work can extricate him. 

Since last year, Bobby Jindal has been ratcheting up his rhetoric against Communist Core, the hated red takeover of public education that threatens to teach our kids that socialism union hordes should be able to forcefully gay marry anyone they want while burning the American flag and singing the French national anthem. Here’s Jindal crossing over to the dark side last year:

Wading into a national debate, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday that he is concerned Louisiana public school classrooms would be saddled with a “federalized curriculum” sparked by a series of tougher standards called Common Core.

At the time, White was also buffeted by the blooming national “populism,” including the election in New York City of Bill de Blasio, who promised to backtrack on White’s work as a former NYC school deputy chief. After Jindal’s waver, White went to the right-wing American Enterprise Institute to plead for sanity:

“An aggressive form of populism has asserted itself in the rhetoric of our day,” White is expected to say at the conservative American Enterprise Institute’s headquarters in Washington. “I see it in a tone that is skeptical of reformers in the same populist way our country today is skeptical of authority generally. This is, I believe, greatly damaging for an education reform effort that has done good in America and that needs to be sustained.

That was just the beginning. Jindal announced earlier this year that he was done with Communist Core, and weighed in in support of legislative efforts to end Louisiana’s participation.

White’s fired back a number of times, most recently with a useless meeting last week. But Jindal hasn’t been pulling punches. He’s ripped White’s contracting authority and generally abused him in public, going so far as accusing White of corruption. An investigation at DOE over payroll fraud isn’t helping White’s case.

Now, White is crying uncle.

Johnny Golden Boy has only been the subject of praise and reverence throughout his career. Now, running into the buzzsaw of a Louisiana politician with an ax to grind, White can’t take it anymore:

In a sign of rising tensions over Common Core, state Superintendent of Education John White told Louisiana’s top school board Wednesday that he is being unfairly targeted personally for possible wrongdoing by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration and its allies.

“I am no stranger to politics, and I know that political rhetoric can be heated,” White said in a four-page letter to members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“However, to have multiple officials alluding to the potential of purported and unfounded malfeasance within our agency and within my office, all within days of one another, is worthy of concern,” according to the letter.

Giving up won’t stop this assault. White is going to have to quit. Everyone can see that now. This cry for uncle is only the beginning. White better start packing his bags.

BINGO! How One Louisiana Private School Has Made A Fortune From Inner-City Video Bingo

Lamar Parmentel:

BINGO! @Cenlamar nails a cenla private school for a sleazy bingo deal

Originally posted on CenLamar:

On Tuesday, the City Council of Alexandria, Louisiana voted unanimously (with one noticeable abstention) to lift its moratorium on video bingo parlors for the next 120 days. The moratorium was first championed more than six years ago by former City Councilman Myron K. Lawson, who claimed he was concerned about the unchecked and unregulated proliferation of gambling businesses disguised as social welfare clubs. Video bingo is not the same game played in elementary schools and nursing homes across the country. It’s vastly more sophisticated and much more lucrative. The buy-ins are larger, and so are the prizes. So, too, are the profits. While the moratorium may have effectively ended the opportunity for new, enterprising operators to open up new facilities, it also had the direct effect of protecting the profit margins and granting quasi-monopoly status to established businesses and non-profit organizations. Because of the moratorium, there would no longer…

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