Jason France-the blogger known as “Crazy Crawfish”–is running for the Board of Elementary and Secondary
Education in Louisiana. He met with a reformer who said, I know what you against, what are you for?

This is Jason’s answer.

Start with the recognition that the costly “reforms” of the past decade have not moved the needle on student test scores. On the 2013 NAEP, Louisiana outpaced Mississippi by a whisker. Jason would not be surprised to learn that Mississippi outpaces Louisiana in 2015, making it the lowest performing state in the nation.

Jason dissects the state’s many misguided deforms, like charter schools, vouchers, and TFA.

And he lays out common sense ideas to stop the data manipulation, privatization, and lying.

Change course, he urges, before we lose public education altogether.

“Our schools have been plagued for many years by poverty, apathy, and acceptance. In many parts of the state we have allowed our schools and systems to fall into disarray.

“Our more affluent parents have abandoned the schools and they have taken their resources and parental involvement with them. Out of these ashes we’ve had some outstanding new school districts form with the backing of their communities, like Central and Zachary. (Obviously Baker is still a problem.)

“However the solution is not having the state/RSD come in and take control from the locals or chartering the school to a company based out of New York or Michigan. Rather than simply punishing low performance or problems, and completely pushing the locals out of the way, we need to work with these folks and help guide support them. This is what the LDOE used to do when our scores were going up – serving in an advisory and support capacity. This is what we need to do resume our climb from the performance dungeon the education reform movement has commissioned us to – while they drained our coffers dry.

“In New Orleans we have many local communities seeking to have their schools returned to them, like the perpetual failure John McDonogh.

“Rather than ignore and disregard these folks the state needs to embrace them and their efforts.

“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.

“Many public school parents of means are taking their kids out of public schools to homeschool them.

“Those are not victories, but tragic losses we must reverse now, before it’s too late!”