Meeting held November 21, 2013:

The meeting began with John White giving his presentation from the press conference earlier in the day and asking the Commission to recommend the proposal to BESE. The floor was opened to the members to comment and ask questions.

Here is a list of the members, with their final votes (a vote of yes means a recommendation of the proposal). I have also added some notes on what they talked about during the comment portion. See for yourself –

  • Patrice Pujol (left before voting took place) – Superintendent representative, Ascension Parish

­   Brought up concerns about PARCC readiness (school technology, children being academically ready, PARCC tests being ready). Ms. Pujol was the ONLY member to mention children in the entire meeting.

  • Debbie Schum (Yes) – Principal representative – LDOE’s Deputy Superintendent of College and Career Readiness; former Chief Academic Officer of New Orleans RSD

­   Spoke about the grade 8 – 9 transition plan, concerns about drop out rates.

  • Lee Ann Wall (Proxy not allowed to vote) – Proxy (did not find out for whom), Teacher

­   Spoke at BESE meeting supporting CC, involved in creating the Classroom Toolbox for teacher, member of the Louisiana Believes Teacher Advisory Committee.

  • Brandy Thomas (Yes) – Parent representative

­   Her only concern was keeping school letter grades so that parents would be able to see where their school stood.

  • Judy Vail (Yes) – Teacher?

­   Involved in creating the Classroom Toolbox for teachers. Ms. Vail point blank asked Debbie Meaux and Steve Monaghan why they do not support CC when the unions at the national level support them.

  • Steve Monaghan (Abstain) – Louisiana Federation of Teachers

­   Called White out on not being provided the plan in enough time to review before meeting, why collect VAM data on teachers if not going to use it?, holding school grades stable will cause concerns about LDOE manipulating data.

  • Debbie Meaux (Abstain) – Louisiana Association of Educators

­   Concerns about VAM, school grading, teachers not being prepared.

  • Stephanie Desselle (Yes) – Vice President of Public Policy for CABL
  • Brigitte Nieland (Yes) – LABI
  • Mickey Landry (Yes) – Charter School representative

­   Director of Choice Foundation, Feb 2013 (Lafayette Charter Academy and 2 other charters), former principal of Lafayette Charter Academy

  • Carol Price (Yes) – Teacher

­   Louisiana 2007 Teacher of the Year

  • Kyle Falting (Yes) – Teacher, Lincoln Parish

­   Involved in creating the Classroom Toolbox for teachers, member of the Louisiana Believes Teacher Advisory Committee. Some of you may remember him from the BESE meeting. Mr. Falting is the one who, when questioned by Garvey about teacher attrition due to CC, said that it was a good thing because it meant the “bad teachers” were getting out of the system.

  • Jeanne Burns (Yes) – Board of Regents
  • Brett Duncan (Yes) – Committee Chairman

­   Tangipahoa Parish School Board

The public was then allowed comments limited to 3 minutes each. There were 2 other speakers besides myself. In my comments, I pointed out that no one mentioned the children during the entire meeting. I gave the results of CC assessments done NY (only 30% proficient) and KY (40% proficient). I told them that tells me that the children have not been fully prepared to take these tests and questioned how that will affect them. I also told them that there was too much emphasis on the standardized testing in schools, using the example of my child beginning to worry about failing the LEAP test in 3rd grade.

The vote was taken. The recommendation passed and the meeting was adjourned.