DATA Dis and DATA Dat - LDoE Invites More Federal Intervention by Refusing to Release Dis DATA!

June 2, 2015

As of this moment, no ruling or further reporting on the case has been published.

State Superintendent John White has steadfastly stuck to his guns in refusing to submit to the feds the data.  White is a data meister. But he only wants to share with his friends.  He UN-friends anyone he suspects of unraveling his - like Research on Reforms with whom he refused to share the data he quietly turned over (and is still providing) to his friends at CREDO.  

He, along with some other pro-voucher supporters like the Louisiana Black Alliance for Education Options, have perpetuated the myth that the original lawsuit was filed to end vouchers.  The media bought that line hook, line and sinker - which means they didn't bother to actually read the lawsuit. 

The feds were simply doing what no one with similar authority in Louisiana has done - investigate the data that LDoE submits (or doesn't submit) to the public, the state and the feds. White simply refused to give up to the feds the data he is required to submit - the same data he has not, under the guise of privacy, refused to submit to the BESE (for whom he works), Louisiana citizens (by whom he is paid) and to the Legislature (who gave him our taxpayer money and the authority to institute a system of vouchers).

I get that many people don't like the federal government interfering in our education policymaking, and they HAVE.  USED has way overstepped its bounds in coercing/bribing states to sign on to Sec. Duncan's initiatives like Race to the Top, Common Core Standards, faux accountability based on standardized test scores, standardization, standardization, standardization. . . . I characterize that as coercion and bribery while holding the opinion based on research from hundreds of sources that Sec. Duncan is merely a patsy for promoters of market-based reform and privatization of our public schools. Yes, some states were suckered and threatened into compliance, but some, like Louisiana, are fully complicit in sacrifice our public schools, our children and our state sovereignty.  One only has to read the NCLB waivers submitted by Supt. White to see how our schools have been sacrificed at the alter of privatization.  HERE is the last one White submitted. 

The complexity of the "reform" agenda is overwhelming to me.  I have to break things down into their simplistic parts in order to figure them out.  This question is as simple as I can get:  Why do John White and BAEO not want to turn over data about the voucher program to the feds?  Their lawyers' pleas of federal interference are smoke and mirrors.  White and BAEO are deep in it with Sec. Duncan. For that matter, why is the voucher data not available to ANYBODY?  And now, White has evidently agreed to submit the data but is enjoined from doing so while BAEO continues the lawsuit.  What's in it for BAEO? 

Louisiana school voucher program before US appeals court

JANET McCONNAUGHEY| Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans was set to hear arguments Monday on whether the state must present reports about its school voucher program to the U.S. government.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would hear an appeal by pro-voucher groups who say the Justice Department is trying to stifle the program, which provides tuition to some low- and moderate-income families whose children otherwise would go to low-performing public schools.
The Legislature approved the voucher program, supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal, in 2012.
The state has said compiling the reports for federal officials won't hurt the program. But some voucher supporters, represented by the conservative Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, are pressing on with the appeal.
In April 2014, a federal judge ruled that the state could be required to provide information about the program in accordance with a 1975 court order and a 1985 consent decree in a desegregation case. That case found that Louisiana had impeded integration and violated federal law by providing books, equipment and transportation to segregated private schools.
The federal government can get information including lists of voucher applicants, information on schools in the voucher program, and enrollment and racial breakdowns on public and private schools, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled.
"There is currently no order affecting the State's implementation of the voucher program in any manner," U.S. Justice Department attorneys wrote in their brief. "The sole issue the district court decided ... was whether the United States may obtain information from the State of Louisiana relating to the voucher program in a timely manner."
Voucher families and a pro-voucher group called the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options say Judge Lemelle made significant changes to the earlier orders, extending them to a "brand-new remedial education program" without any allegation that it is discriminatory or helps segregated schools.
Lemelle's ruling "places a cloud of perpetual uncertainty over the vital educational opportunities the program provides, it marks a major affront to the principles of federalism, and it represents an improper exercise of federal court jurisdiction," their attorneys wrote.
Arguments about the program had largely centered on the funding and effectiveness of voucher schools, and whether the program bled away money needed by public schools. Then, in August 2013, the Justice Department filed a motion in the case of Brumfield v. Dodd, the desegregation lawsuit that resulted in the 1975 desegregation order.
Justice officials first sought an order to block future vouchers in districts under desegregation orders unless the state first got federal court permission, a move voucher supporters called an attack by the administration of President Barack Obama on vouchers. Justice Department attorneys have since backed away from seeking an injunction but have continued to seek information.

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