In the last two state board elections in Louisiana, millions of dollars flowed to candidates from corporate reformers, mostly from out of state. They elected board members who support privatization and high-stakes testing. Now the people of Louisiana have a chance to elect Jason France, a oublic school parent who knows the inner workings of the state education department (having worked there). Jason needs every dollar he can raise to win. If you want to help him, his website is http://www.jasonfrance4la.com. I debated his opponent, Chas Roemer, a few years ago in Lafayette, Louisiana, and found him to be a true believer in vouchers, charters, letter grades for schools, and high-stakes accountability for teachers.
The Network for Public Education is proud to endorse Jason France for Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), District 6. Jason France, also know as the education blogger Crazy Crawfish, is a former Louisiana Department of Education employee, a public education activist, and the parent of two Baton Rouge public school students.
Jason is running for Louisiana BESE to “remove the outside influence of corporations and the federal government (and their phony education surrogates) to allow parents and educators the freedom and final say over the education of their children.”
France is running for the seat currently occupied by BESE President Chas Roemer. Roemer is the son of former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer – he has never attended public school, and his children don’t attend public school. He has been a champion of “charter schools, Common Core, test-based evaluations for schools and teachers and Education Superintendent John White,” according to the Times-Picayune. Roemer is a classic example of the privileged few making decisions for other people’s children.
The next BESE Board will have a crucially important to role to play in the future of public education in Louisiana. The next board will decide to keep or fire controversial reformster State Superintendent John White, who has stated a desire to stay in the position. A flip in District 6 would mean the potential for real change for students and teachers in Louisiana.
NPE is certain Jason France is just the candidate to help bring about the kind of revolutionary change needed in Louisiana. Please visit Jason’s campaign website to learn more about his policy positions on issues such as Charters, Common Core, Testing, VAM, and Student Privacy. You can also read the most recent post on his blog, which is a direct appeal to the voters of Louisiana.
“Louisiana, if you really want to fix education, you need to examine the motivations of folks that are pitching their ideas to you and stay focused on your chief goal – fixing education outcomes and preparing children for a lifetime of learning – rather than being tied down by a single solution, candidate, or ally.”
Jason’s years of activism in his home state have won him the support of some of Louisiana’s most prominent voices in the fight for public education.
Career classroom teacher, researcher, and writer Mercedes Schneider says:
“Jason France is a committed and knowledgeable fighter for the community school. His experience as a former LDOE data manager continues to be invaluable as the Louisiana public seeks a level of transparency that current state superintendent John White and the current BESE majority fight to conceal. As a BESE board member, France will be in a position to truly hold White, LDOE, and BESE accountable to the Louisiana public they are supposed to serve. I wholeheartedly endorse France as the next representative for Louisiana BESE District 6.”
And indefatigable New Orleans Education Advocate Karran Harper Royal adds:
“Jason France is extremely knowledgeable about the issues facing public education in Louisiana. As a public school parent, Jason will bring the kind of informed and invested voice that has been missing from education policy making in our state.”
Jason’s work has not only been on the local and state level, his advocacy has extended to the national level as well. His work with the group Student Privacy Matters helped bring about the destruction of data giant inBloom.
Jason’s work has gotten the attention of NPE President Diane Ravitch, who said:
“Jason has the deep knowledge of education that’s needed for BESE. More than that, he is a parent of public school children. BESE needs Jason France.”
Louisiana is one of only nine State Boards of Education’s in the nation with elected, rather than appointed members. The opportunity to elect advocates like Jason to BESE should not be squandered. It is time to bring the voice of the people to a board that has shut out the community for too long. As Jason wrote on his blog:
“We won’t have successful community schools without the community. We have mobilized communities in many parts of the state. This BESE and LDOE ignores them, mocks them and alienates them.”
We urge those in District 6 to get out and vote for Jason, and help spread the word. There are links on his website where you can sign up to volunteer or donate to his campaign. Please help Jason take Chas Roemer’s seat and give it back to the people of Louisiana.