ed reform LA charter
A 100% rate of stopping “anti-reform” legislation by these special interests (grasstops)


The above graphic comes from the Louisiana Department of Education with mention of groups supporting educational reform ideas: charter schools, TFA, increased teacher accountability via the tracking of student data, common core.  However, education reformers  supporting these reforms (administrators, bureaucrats, politicians, lobbyists, think tanks) have forgotten what the word “public” in “public education” means.  There is the implied assumption that “grassroots” demands include all the reforms listed above, but that isn’t a valid assumption.  These are reforms not to provide better education, these are reforms designed to create a “human capital market”.  Here is another graphic from the same publication:


(click on graphic to enlarge)

ed reform LA charter 2

I don’t see taxpayers and parents on this list as being consulted on how education should be delivered.  This is all about creating a policy environment, human capital market, a political climate to deliver on the needs of CMOs (Charter Management Organizations).  These groups and individuals have determined what children need, not the educators or taxpayers who have to support the public system via their taxes.  The “grassroots” are being led by the “grasstops” (refer to the first graphic):



So the Louisiana Department of Education sees itself and these special education reform groups as “grasstops” for the “grassroots”.  But what happens when the authentic “grassroots”  don’t agree with the self-appointed “grasstops” message?  Well, the grassroots are just mowed down because in reality, the grasstops really don’t want to hear from you in the first place.  They’ve never asked you for your opinion.  It’s been all about asking the CMOs, not the parents.


The “public”, consisting of the taxpayers who fund the system and provide the children for its existence, is increasingly demeaned by labels from the ed reform contingency.  Those questioning the standards and other educational reforms dreamed up by the special interest groups are determined to be:

  • Misinformed
  • Rascist
  • Opposed to standards
  • Opposed to any educational reform
  • Tea Party

We have experienced our share of ridicule in Missouri when Representative Mike Lair inserted a line in the Education budget of $8.00 for tin foil hat wearers.  This tin foil was for those concerned about Common Core.  However, this snarkiness pales in comparison to how Louisiana parents were treated by the education reformers (grasstops) at a recent hearing.

From Louisiana Parents Against Common Core and The Louisiana State Capitol: Private Property of the Special Interest Groups?:


The 2014 Louisiana legislative session has been a very eye opening experience for many of us.    There was so much to take in, so many faces that seemed to be in the Education Committee meetings every time we showed up.  Who were these people?  They weren’t part of our crowd… the parents attempting to have a hand in the decisions that would be made regarding our kids’ education.  No they weren’t one of us;  they were “important” people with real pull with the legislators.  These “important” people were employees of big lobby groups.   We befriended some of them, they were kind and professional.  The rest of them can be described by one word:  disgusting.  It is these groups that we will discuss in this post.
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) is one of those groups.  LABI is a business interest lobby group.  LABI touts the pull they have with legislators on their website.  On the LABI site, it is said that “Our work over the last 30+ years has given us a level of credibility with state officials that is unparalleled.”  Sadly this is true.  LABI does have an unparalleled pull with legislators, when compared to the individual citizen.  
Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) is an organization that according to their website “promotes ideas for the betterment of Louisiana that cuts across political, social, and ideological boundaries.”  In our opinion, this is another organization that has presented at several parish chamber meetings, once again touting buzzwords and broad statements without actually supporting the standards; leading local businesses to believe they are signing on to support something that will be better for our children. The individuals with this organization are incapable of holding an educated conversation with anyone who attempts to do so.  They also refuse to allow individuals who are against the standards to speak at any of the chamber meetings they present at for fear that they will be asked questions for which they can not answer.
Stand for Children is another group that has a big voice, bigger than any individual citizen.  Stand is  a non-profit organization that supposedly is looking out for the best interests of children, but have been criticized for representing business interests.  A Washington Post article does a great job of explaining this criticism.  They are largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Walton Family. They use the ugliest of methods to deliver their message.  Several times during session, Stand would parade sweet children and hard working moms into the committee rooms.  These folks would testify about how the “high standards” with Common Core would allow them to go on to have a future, and to take Common Core away would allow them no future at all.  It was quite dramatic.
Keep in mind, Stand for Children is the organization that proudly boasts about the amazing collection of signatures they have collected on petitions that express the will of the people to keep Common Core in place.  In Oklahoma, it recently came out that Stand for Children was lying… they had falsified around 2,000 signatures on their petition. I wonder if their Louisiana petition is legit?  In Louisiana, we have received reports that the Stand for Children organization was offering incentives for people to go to the Capitol and testify in favor of the higher standards, and even hosted training days to prep these people to go before the committee and speak.
What is unique about this collection of special interest groups?  LABI, CABL, Stand for Children, and Louisiana Federation for Children are all devout supporters of Common Core.  Some of these groups are specific to Louisiana.  Are parents in other states experiencing similar nasty behavior by proponents?


Read the entire article here.  You will be shocked (or maybe not) by the behavior of the MIPs (Most Important People) in the room.

The writer gives specific examples from various sources of how the lobbying groups are hostile and rude to those who do not agree with their reform agenda.  Louisiana (and perhaps all of our states to varying degrees) is being ruled by lobbyists and grasstops rather than the people who pay their taxes into educational systems and provide the children.

What is THE rule for future hearings in any state?  Get these people on video and/or audio.  Confront them publicly.  Parents are tired of the disrespect they are receiving from lobbyists and education reformers.  Send these ed reformers to “character education” and civic classes since they seem to be lacking of any semblance of good character and understanding of how representative government is supposed to work.

Read this comment from a reader from the Louisiana site who provided the link for the Louisiana education reform plan:

Look at page 9 of the “LA Charter Operator Pitch Book” -link below – which is in the “Charter School Resource Library” at the LDOE website. On page 9 LDOE brags about LABI and CABL’s 100% record of defeating reforms. ‘Yay!!! The crowd in the House and Senate Ed Committee room cheers! We have defeated another bill that parent’s like! ‘

It is true that if there is a reform supported by parents, teachers, educators – it is more likely than not going to be opposed by LABI and CABL. Bottom line: they bring money. Parents don’t.



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