School Performance Scores are calculated by a metric controlled solely by John White. White has been accused of manipulating those calculations for several years. SPS scores have monetary consequences for schools and involve both federal and state taxpayer dollars. It is inconceivable to me that warnings and pleas by me and several other Louisiana teachers, backed up with evidence, have been ignored by all parties noted.
Here is one example of circumstances I encountered back in January of 2013. You decide if this doesn't represent a clear violation of trust. John White has threatened legal action (paid for with taxpayer money and education dollars) if Gov. Jindal follows through on his proclamation to halt PARCC. I hope he does push his luck so that the truth can be revealed during those proceedings. I really can't imagine that White would be that foolish.
Jan. 12, 2013 Letter I sent to all district superintendents
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Tuesday, Jan. 8, I attended the Superintendents' Advisory Council meeting in Baton Rouge. Superintendent John White presented and discussed two documents as per the agenda. http://www.boarddocs.com/la/bese/Board.nsf/files/93QSAP713F3C/$file/SAC_Agenda_0113.pdf
Prior to that meeting, I sent you several documents representing analyses of the Louisiana VAM as used for COMPASS, SPS score inflation, and scoring bias authored by Dr. Mercedes Schneider and Herbert Bassett. I and others present at the SAC meeting had expected to offer valuable testimony regarding Supt. White's proposals for "adjustments" to COMPASS and SPS calculation.
Unfortunately, Chairman Faulk refused to accept public testimony as required by the state public meetings laws. http://www.boarddocs.com/la/bese/Board.nsf/files/93QSAP713F3C/$file/SAC_Agenda_0113.pdf As a result, SAC "received" the documents and they will be considered this Tuesday at the BESE meeting.
After the SAC meeting I requested, in person at Supt. White's office, copies of the two documents (PowerPts) as presented by Supt. White at the meeting. None was proferred. I followed up by immediately filing a FOIA with LDE. In spite of repeated requests, I have been denied access to these public documents.
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Please be advised that the requested documents are not final and are shared with SAC in anticipation of the final versions being presented to BESE.
In other words, the requested documents are merely drafts, not final documents.
Joan E. Hunt
Louisiana Department of Education
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Characterizing the documents as "drafts" does not exempt them from the Freedom of Information
Act. Further, the substance of these documents were "received" and "approved" by SAC based on the documents. BESE will meet Tuesday and the public will not have these documents or a record of the SAC meeting to prepare for study or testimony.
I am including here more information regarding Superintendent White's confusing explanations for inconsistencies in SPS reports. Problems with COMPASS and SPS profounding affect you, your school system, your system employees, the students and the public. I ask that you consider asking serious questions about policies being pushed by LDE and that you request BESE to call a moratorium on further use or changes in policy until these questions have been satisfactorily answered.
My previous correspondence with members of SAC have not received the courtesy of a single response.