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Why is LAE’s President Insulting Holly Boffy?

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The website of the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) went down Monday morning after the state Department of Administration (DOA) failed to pay the site’s annual $280 domain fee. By midday, LDOE’s website was back online after DOA officials scrambled to make payment on the past-due bill.

While DOA Communications Director Meghan Parrish attributed the problem to a “technical glitch” and maintained, “this is not purposeful,” the timing of the website’s shutdown raised the question of whether the Jindal Administration is engaging in dirty tricks. For months, LDOE and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) have been embroiled in a bitter fight with the Jindal Administration over the Common Core State Standards.

Whether intended or not, LDOE’s critics responded to news of the website’s takedown with an outburst of schadenfreude on social media – including Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) president, Debbie Meaux. A reader brought my attention to comments Meaux made yesterday on the page of Facebook group, LA Public Teachers: Our Classrooms are Not for Sale!, in which she jokes about the issue before taking the opportunity to insult BESE member Holly Boffy.

Debbie Meaux's famous last words: "If this site is being monitored, I'm in trouble..."

Debbie Meaux’s famous last words: “If this site is being monitored, I’m in trouble…”

Responding to a post on the LDOE website debacle, Meaux at first makes a relatively tame (if silly) comment:

“The bill was paid and the website reclaimed by the state department. But if had I known, I would have snatched it up and held it for ransome [sic]!”

Meaux's initial comment on Facebook.

Meaux’s initial comment on Facebook.

However, Meaux’s second comment goes too far. In response to an earlier remark which mockingly asked, “I wonder if Holly Boffy Teacher of the Year can help?!? Bahahahaha. (It was time for a Holly joke!),” Meaux ironically says:

“If this site is being monitored, I’m in trouble, Deanna, but Holly [Boffy] is a joke. And I can say that because she is from my parish. I always feel as though I should apologize to the state for her idiocy.”

Meaux's second comment attacking BESE's Holly Boffy.

Meaux’s second comment attacking BESE’s Holly Boffy.

While it’s incredible that the head of one of the state’s largest teachers unions would think it was appropriate to publicly insult a BESE member, it’s not necessarily surprising that Boffy would be the target of Meaux’s ire. Boffy has emerged as one of the board’s most outspoken supporters of Common Core, which both LAE and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers unsuccessfully sought to derail during the recent legislative session.

On the other hand, Meaux’s behavior does help explain why LAE’s membership has fallen by 20% over the past five years: teachers must be deciding that their money is worth more than a few cheap shots.

Holly Boffy, who was elected to BESE in 2010, has been a outspoken supporter of Common Core.

Holly Boffy, who was elected to BESE in 2010, has been a outspoken supporter of Common Core.

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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Peter CookWho Are Mike Deshotels’ Defenders of Public Education? – PE + COMary-Dean BarringerMonica Recent comment authors
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Who Are Mike Deshotels’ Defenders of Public Education? – PE + CO

This Article was mentioned on peterccook.com

Peter Cook

Posted on 27 September 2016 by Peter Cook comment image” title=”” rel=”nofollow”> If you follow K-12 education in the Bayou State, you’re most likely familiar with Mike Deshotels, the former executive director of the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE), who is one of most vociferous opponents of the state’s education reform policies. Although Deshotels stepped down from his role at LAE years ago, he has continued to rail against everything from standardized testing to Common Core on his blog, Louisiana Educator, where he peddles in conspiracy theories, speculation, and outright lies in an effort to malign state education officials and cast doubt on the progress Louisiana’s students have made over the past 10 years.

Read about the latest attacks on teacher rights. You can do something to stop this! Louisiana Educator https://t.co/PwNpoYmKh8 — Michael Deshotels (@mikedeshot) May 5, 2016

Deshotels has also launched what he calls his “Defenders of Public Education” project, a group of like-minded educators and activists who receive periodic email updates from Deshotels keeping them informed of his skewed view on various hot-topic education issues. I recently uncovered a few emails from Deshotels’ “Defenders of Public Education” list through an unrelated public records request.1 The most recent of these emails is from October 17th of last year. In it, Deshotels tells his Defenders that “big business and out-of-state interests are attempting to buy our State Board of Education [sic] once again” and he urges them to “tell the truth about take away the rights of our citizens and taxpayers to run our public schools” in the lead-up to last fall’s elections. (function() { /* If the note embed is already loaded, don’t repeat the process. / if (window.dc) { if (window.dc.noteEmbedLoaded) { return; } } window.dc = window.dc || {}; window.dc.recordHit = “//www.documentcloud.org/pixel.gif”; var pendingQueue = window.dc._notesWaitingForAppLoad = []; window.dc.load = function(resource_url, options) { pendingQueue.push({resource_url: resource_url, options: options}); }; var eventuallyLoadNotes = function(){ if (window.dc.embed) { for (var i=0; i < pendingQueue.length; i++){ var resource = pendingQueue[i]; dc.embed.loadNote(resource.resource_url, resource.options); } } else { setTimeout(eventuallyLoadNotes, 500); } }; eventuallyLoadNotes(); var loadCSS = function(url, media) { var link = document.createElement(‘link’); link.rel = ‘stylesheet’; link.type = ‘text/css’; link.media = media || ‘screen’; link.href = url; var head = document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0]; head.appendChild(link); }; /@cc_on /@if (@_jscript_version < 5.8) loadCSS(“//assets.documentcloud.org/note_embed/note_embed.css”); @else @/ loadCSS(“//assets.documentcloud.org/note_embed/note_embed-datauri.css”); /@end @/ /* Record the fact that the note embed is loaded. */ dc.noteEmbedLoaded = true;})(); dc.embed.loadNote(“https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3111944-The-Efforts-Underway-to-Buy-BESE-Again/annotations/319682.js”, {“container”:”#DC-note-319682″});What’s more interesting, however, is that Deshotels apparently doesn’t know how to use blind carbon copy on email. Therefore, the names and email addresses of all 458 members of his “Defenders of Public Education” group are listed for anyone to see. Needless to say it’s an interesting group that includes: Four members of the St. Tammany Parish School Board: Jack Loup, Mary Belissario, Neal Hennegan, and Charles Harrell School board members from Washington, Jefferson Davis, Assumption, and Iberville parishes, as well as Bogalusa City Schools 118 employees of Bossier Parish Schools 74 employees of Lincoln Parish Schools 26 employees of Ouachita Parish Schools 14 employees of Union Parish Schools Louisiana School Boards Association executive director Scott Richard Louisiana Association of Educators president Debbie Meaux Southern education professor James Taylor, Tulane political science professor Celeste Lay, and ULL geographer-cum-education activist Kathleen Espinoza Education reform critics Karran Harper Royal and Lee Barrios And, that’s just a fraction of the entire list. I’ve taken the names and affiliations of everyone on the Defenders of Public Education update from last October, stripped out the email addresses, and put them into a searchable format below. Enjoy! jQuery(document).ready(function () { jQuery(‘#deshotelslist’).DataTable({ paging: true, responsible: true, search: true, pageLength: 25 }); }); Name Affiliation Aaron Megee Bossier Parish Schools Aaron Oglesby Bossier Parish Schools Abby Odenbaugh Lincoln Parish Schools Aimee Rambin Lincoln Parish Schools Alan McCain Washington Parish School Board Ali McLaughlin St. Tammany Parish Schools Alice Higginbotham Lincoln Parish Schools Alice Wilbert St. Tammany Parish Schools Alicia Breaux La. Democratic Party Executive Ctte. Alicia Gehris Bossier Parish Schools Alyshia Coulson Bossier Parish Schools Amanda Trahan Jefferson Davis Parish Schools Amber StMartin Lincoln Parish Schools Amy Rutherford Bossier Parish Schools Amy Veach St. Tammany Parish Schools Amy Wakefield Bossier Parish Schools Andrew Freeman Young Audiences Angel Serigne St. Bernard Parish Schools Angela Gros Iberville Parish Schools Angela Hoffman Lincoln Parish Schools Angela Pugh Bossier Parish Schools Angela Tarver Monroe City Parish Schools Angelor Johnson Bossier Parish Schools Angi Reger Bossier Parish Schools Ann Cook Monroe City Parish Schools Ann Merritt Bossier Parish Schools Ann Senn Ouachita Parish Schools Annemarie Dewey LWVNO Annie Jones Lincoln Parish Schools Ashley Brown Lincoln Parish Schools Augustine Moore Lincoln Parish Schools Bakari Maxwell Lincoln Parish Schools Barbara House Geo Prep Academy Becky Fejarang Beauregard Parish parent Becky Stutzman Lincoln Parish Schools Becky Sutherland Lincoln Parish Schools Beth Bennett Union Parish Schools Beth Waldron Lincoln Parish Schools Bethany Raybourn Union Parish Schools Bill Mertz Fmr. Plaquemines Parish School Board member Birdel Barker Lincoln Parish Schools Bob Obrien Bossier Parish Schools Bonita Abadie Ouachita Parish Schools Bonnie Stokes St. Tammany Parish Schools Brenda Brister Lincoln Parish Schools Bret ? Brian Rayner Bossier Parish Schools Bridget Bergeron St. Martin Bridgette Shaffer Bossier Parish Schools Brina Bourliea Former St. Tammary Parish Schools teacher Britney Bass Bossier Parish Schools Brooke Bishop Lincoln Parish Schools Bryan Alleman Acadia Parish Schools Calvin Ike St. Charles Parish Schools Candi Perkins Lincoln Parish Schools Candice Bassett Caldwell Parish Schools Candice Culpepper Lincoln Parish Schools Candyce Watsey St. Tammany Parish Schools Carey Dupuis La Semilla (The Seed) Carmen Banks Ouachita Parish Schools Carmen Minor Caddo Parish Schools Carol Davis Terrebonne Parish Schools Carol Francis Retired St. Bernard Parish Schools educator Carol Mussemann ? Carol Souther Ouachita Parish Schools Caronda Williams Ouachita Parish Schools Carrie Smith St. Tammany Parish Schools Cassidy Juneau Jefferson Davis Parish Schools Cassie Maxwell Lincoln Parish Schools Cassie Vining Tangipahoa Parish Schools Catherine Tanguis St. Tammany Parish Schools Catherine Vilardo Livingston Parish Schools Catherine Webb Bossier Parish Schools Cathy Scott Bossier Parish Schools Cathy Walters Union Parish Schools Cecile Jenevein St. Bernard Parish Schools Celeste Carter Ouachita Parish Schools Chandra Taylor Bossier Parish Schools Charlene Spitzfaden St. Bernard Parish Schools Charles Harrell St. Tammany Parish School Board Member Charles Hoga Lincoln Parish Schools Charles J Hatfield Research On Reforms Charley Handy Iberville Parish Schools Charlotte Collins Southeastern University Cheryl Vowell Bossier Parish Schools Chris Campbell Lincoln Parish Schools Christina Grubbs Bossier Parish Schools Christine Gatlin Lincoln Parish Schools Christopher Young ? Christy Bourgeois Ascension Parish Schools Christy Hobgood Bossier Parish Schools Christy Scott Bossier Parish Schools Chrystal Thompkins Bossier Parish Schools Cindy Fertitta Bossier Parish Schools Cindy Tolliver Bossier Parish Schools Claire Smith Lincoln Parish Schools Clark Rowley St. Tammany Parish Schools Cody Short St. Martin Parish Schools Connie Busby Webster Parish Schools Connie Carlisle Ouachita Parish Schools Cordella Thompson Ouachita Parish Schools Courtney Martin Lincoln Parish Schools Craig Ferguson Ouachita Parish Schools Crystal Bowling Ouachita Parish Schools Crystal Ward Bossier Parish Schools Culebraone ? Curtis Buford Vermilion Parish Schools Cy Dugas St. Martin Parish Schools Cynthia Diebold Tangipahoa Parish Schools D Johnson Blogger, “The G Bitch Spot” D Shay Rushing Concordia Parish Schools D’Aunn Grant Bossier Parish Schools Daniel Amidon Bossier Parish Schools Danielle Bryant Bossier Parish Schools Danyelle Oneal Lincoln Parish Schools David Belou St. Tammany Parish Schools David Feaster Bossier Parish Schools David Salter Bossier Parish Schools David Turner Bossier Parish Schools Debbi Cramer Lincoln Parish Schools Debbie Anderson Louisiana School for the Deaf Debbie Chestnut Bossier Parish Schools Debbie Conn Lincoln Parish Schools Debbie Drayton Rapides Parish Schools Debbie Dugas Lafayette Parish parent Debbie Meaux Louisiana Association of Educators Debbie Monroe Calcasieu Parish Schools Debbie Nugent Ouachita Parish Schools Debbie Sachs St. Tammany Parish Schools Parent/anti-CCSS Debi Hauser Lincoln Parish Schools Deborah Krentel Former Wilson Charter School (RSD) staff Deborah Tate Livingston Parish Schools Delaine Moseley Lincoln Parish Schools Denise Centola St. Tammany Parish Schools Denise Howell Bossier Parish Schools Denise Trahan Former teacher Dennis Gaines Bossier Parish Schools Diana Grigsby Lincoln Parish Schools Dianne helferich Lincoln Parish Schools Dianne LeBlanc Iberia Parish Schools Dianne Walther ? Don Whittinghill Louisiana School Boards Association Donn Dees Jefferson Davis Parish School Board Member Donna Ashley Lincoln Parish Schools Donna Darnell Union Parish Schools Donna Heinrich Tangipahoa Parish Schools Donna Lilley Lincoln Parish Schools Donna Pearson Bossier Parish Schools Dottie Keller ? Doug Perry Lincoln Parish Schools Dr James Taylor Southern University E Knight St. James Parish Schools Easton Paul Hebert Vermilion Parish Schools Ed McFatter Bossier Parish Schools Eddie Joslin Beauregard Parish Schools Edward Rizzuto Vermilion Parish Schools Eileen Gauthier Avoyelles Parish Schools Eileen Podhasky Ouachita Parish Schools Elena Countiss International School of Louisiana Elisabeth Erin Attaway Ouachita Parish Schools Ellen Shealy Bossier Parish Schools Emiley Reser Lincoln Parish Schools Emily Broussard Vermilion Parish Schools Emily Hollis Bossier Parish Schools Emily Pitre Jefferson Parish Schools Eric Clinton Bossier Parish Schools Eric Flowers Bossier Parish Schools Erica Merrick St. John Parish Schools Erin Pizarro Caddo Parish Schools Ernest Wynn Jr. Union Parish Schools Faith Moran ? Francine Sons Retired Avoyelles Parish Schools educator Frank Wade Bossier Parish Schools Fred & Sheryl Dean ? Gail Tyler Bossier Parish Schools Gene Katsanis Fmr. Jefferson Parish School Board Member Geoffry Underwood Lincoln Parish Schools Georgia Ineichen Richland Parish Schools Gerri Glover Ouachita Parish Schools Gilda Werner Reed PhD University of New Orleans Glenda Martin Bossier Parish Schools Glo ? Gloria Garland Union Parish Schools Gloria McAdams Lincoln Parish Schools Glynda Ernesto Retired Bossier Parish teacher Graig Luscombe La. Retired Teachers Assoc. Grant Shelton Bossier Parish Schools Gretchen Overbey East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Gretta Rose Union Parish Schools H Mule St. Charles Parish Schools Hanna Wilems Parent activist Heather Greer Ouachita Parish Schools Heather Ogden Bossier Parish Schools Heather Penta St. Tammany Parish Schools parent Heather Shuptrine Bossier Parish Schools Heather Valentine Bossier Parish Schools Henry Dagro ? Holly Payton Lincoln Parish Schools Hope Love Ouachita Parish Schools Horda Semdani Bossier Parish Schools Hugh Craft St. Bernard Parish Schools J. Celeste Lay Tulane University Jack Loup St. Tammany Parish School Board Member Jackie Sharp Retired Asst. Supt. Of Webster Parish Schools Jacqueline Pace Retired St. Bernard Parish Schools educator Jacquelyn Bean Lincoln Parish Schools James Bramhall Fmr. East Baton Rouge Parish educator James Finney East Baton Rouge education activist Jan Rogers Bossier Parish Schools Jane Broussard St. Charles Parish Schools Jane Griffin Winn Parish Schools Janette Courreges Anti-Common Core activist, Livingston Parish Janice Melancon Bossier Parish Schools Janna Crowe Lincoln Parish Schools Jason Rowland Bossier Parish Schools Jayln Wooten Bossier Parish Schools Jeanine Mosery Bossier Parish Schools Jefferson Hayden Bossier Parish Schools Jeffrey Burgoyne St. Tammany Parish Schools Jennifer Castania Iberville Parish Schools Jennifer Debello Bossier Parish Schools Jennifer Guillory Lafayette Parish Schools Jennifer McKay Bossier Parish Schools Jennifer Saldana St. Charles Parish Schools Jenny Broussard Lafayette Parish Schools Jenny Klein Anti-Common Core activist Jeremy Bonnette Avoyelles Parish Schools Jessica Armstrong Bossier Parish Schools Jessica Kratzer Bossier Parish Schools Jessica Roy Lafayette Parish parent Jill Hunter Bossier Parish Schools Jill Wilson Bossier Parish Schools Jillian Boudreaux Vermilion Parish Schools Jim Girouard Bossier Parish Schools JJ Stallcup Bossier Parish Schools Joanie Reeves Former St. Tammary Parish Schools educator JoAnne Arceneaux ? Jody Jones Lincoln Parish Schools Joel Antley Lincoln Parish Schools John Angelos East Baton Rouge Parish Schools JOHN GIBSON ? John Hanley Louisiana Department of Education Johnnie Simon Lincoln Parish Schools Joley Scott Bossier Parish Schools Jonathan Cole President of Lafayette Parish Assoc. of Educators Jordan Blachier Lincoln Parish Schools Joy Hudson Former Iberia Parish Schools educator Joy Powell Ouachita Parish Schools Juanita Johnson Union Parish Schools Juanita Laborde ? Judy ? Judy Rongey St. Charles Parish Schools Julie Ashburn Ouachita Parish Schools Julie Burleson Bossier Parish Schools Julie Edwards Bossier Parish Schools Julie Norris Ouachita Parish Schools June Valeton Bossier Parish Schools Kam Matthews Union Parish Schools Kandice Juneau Lafayette Parish Schools Karen Richardson Vermilion Parish Schools Karen Schneider Bossier Parish Schools Karl Carpenter Rapides Parish Schools Karla Carpenter Former Calcasieu Parish Schools educator Karla Jenkins Lafayette Parish Schools Karol Bryant Bossier Parish Schools Karran Harper Royal New Orleans anti-charter activist Karrie Bundsen Lafourche Parish Schools Karyn Flowers Bossier Parish Schools Karyn Lipsey Bossier Parish Schools Karyn Webb Bossier Parish Schools Kasey Smith Bossier Parish Schools Katherine Brown Bossier Parish Schools Katherine Sconza Former St. Tammary Parish Schools teacher Katherine Venable Lincoln Parish Schools Kathleen Espinoza U of L professor, wife of LPAE head Kathryn Shipp Lincoln Parish Schools Kathy Bailey ? Kathy Guaraggi Fmr. LAE Staff Kathy Ivie Bossier Parish Schools Kathy Lowery Lincoln Parish Schools Katie Wood Bossier Parish Schools kay Jeter Bossier Parish Schools Kay Johnson Bossier Parish Schools Kay Prince Retired educator at La. Tech Kelli Colvin Lincoln Parish Schools Kelly Boyter Bossier Parish Schools Kelly Moseley Bossier Parish Schools Kelly Such ? Ken Newsom Richland Parish Schools Kenneth Miller ? Kennon Gaspard Bossier Parish Schools Kerri Sweatman Bossier Parish Schools Kevin Adkins Union Parish Schools Kevin Crovetto Tangipahoa Parish Schools Kevin Dugas St. Martin Parish Schools Kim Landry Iberia Parish Schools Kristina Bourgeois Lincoln Parish Schools Kristy Baker Lincoln Parish Schools Kristy Elliott Lincoln Parish Schools Kristy Landry Bossier Parish Schools Krystal Guillory Lincoln Parish Schools Kurt Chatterson Bossier Parish Schools Laci Maniscalco Lafayette Parish Schools Lane Waldron Lincoln Parish Schools Larry Gage Vermilion Parish Schools Latoya Gilmore Lincoln Parish Schools Laura Hunter Tangipahoa Parish Schools Laureen Mayfield Bienville Parish Schools Laurie Koster St. Tammany Parish Schools Layne St. Julien Power of Public Education Lafayette Leah Haynes Claiborne Parish Schools Lee Barrios Fmr. St. Tammany teacher/Activist Lee Meyer Assumption Parish School Board Member/LSBA Lee Sojourner Bossier Parish Schools Leigh Ann Moore Lincoln Parish Schools Leigh Ann Williams Lincoln Parish Schools Leigh Chamberlain Bossier Parish Schools Leigh Wolf Bossier Parish Schools Leonard Guine Richland Parish Schools Les Scharfstein ? Lesia ? Libby Woodard Lincoln Parish Schools Linda Collin ? Linda Crain I-12 Retirement District board member Linda Finimore Bossier Parish Schools Linda Foreman Retired Vermilion Parish Schools principal Linda Hughes Terrebonne Parish parent Linda Johnson Fmr. BESE member Linda Manuel Former Calcasieu Parish educator Linda Nunez ? Lisa Bastion Lincoln Parish Schools Lisa D’Aquila Point Coupee Parish Schools Lisa DeJean St. Charles Parish Schools Lisa Price Lincoln Parish Schools Lissa Munn Ouachita Parish Schools Lois Carter Bossier Parish Schools Lora Theriot St. Tammany Parish Schools parent Lorali L. Dupuis Former St. Martin Parish Schools teacher Lorenza Baker Bossier Parish Schools Lori Gore Bossier Parish Schools Lori Kelly Lincoln Parish Schools Lori Machen Bossier Parish Schools Lori Ross Bossier Parish Schools Lori Schwartz Anti-Common Core parent Lori Varner Lincoln Parish Schools Lorna Skidmore Bossier Parish Schools Lorraine Delk St. Charles Parish Schools LouAnn McHalffey Bossier Parish Schools Luddy P Herpin Vermilion Parish Schools Lynn Peters ? Lynne Roberts Bossier Parish Schools Lynne Watson Bossier Parish Schools Lynnette Governor’s Advisory Council on Disability Affairs LYNZIE BOUDREAUX Jefferson Davis Parish Schools Madonna Blanchard Iberville Parish Schools Margaret Koskie Sabine Parish Schools Margaret Lee Ascension Parish advocate Maria Brodie Iberia Parish Schools Marianne Glass Jefferson Parish Schools Maribeth Sherman Lincoln Parish Schools Marie Cain Bossier Parish Schools Mark Cuneo St. Martin Parish Schools Mark Hessler Former St. Tammary Parish Schools teacher Mark Kapera Bossier Parish Schools Mark L. Hayes Former head of Calcasieu Assoc. of Educators Mark Minton Bossier Parish Schools Martha Bryant ULL staff, former LDOE staff member Marvin McFarland Retired Jefferson Parish Schools educator Mary Evelyn Hill Ouachita Parish Schools Mary Jane Clark Former NOPS principal Mary K Bellisario St. Tammany Parish School Board Member Mavis Tortorich Retired teacher Melane Slocum Lincoln Parish Schools Melba Collum Ouachita Parish Schools Melinda Elliott Bossier Parish Schools Melissa Maurer Tangipahoa Parish Schools Melissa Savage Union Parish Schools Melissa Sikes St. Landry Parish Schools Melonie Hill Bossier Parish Schools Meredith Long St. Tammany Parish Schools Meredith McGovern Bossier Parish Schools Meredith Starks Bossier Parish Schools Micah ? Michael Manno Bossier Parish Schools Michael McCoy LAE-Retired President Michael Meredith Bossier Parish Schools Michee Moss Lincoln Parish Schools Michelle Baker ? Michelle Best Lincoln Parish Schools Michelle Rosenberger Lincoln Parish Schools Michelle Thrower Lincoln Parish Schools Mickey Lux Former St. Bernard Parish Schools teacher Milton Boackle St. Bernard Parish Schools Mindy Brown Bossier Parish Schools Mindy Jones Ouachita Parish Schools Molly Phillips ? Monica Coates Caldwell Parish Schools Monica Hebert Fmr. Calcasieu teacher/Activist Monika Locke Lincoln Parish Schools Monique Gourd Former Bienville Parish Schools teacher Morgan McGee Bossier Parish Schools Mrs Culebra ? Mrs Imelda Guidry Jefferson Davis Parish Schools Nancy Broussard Iberville Parish Schools Nancy Pooler Former St. Tammary Parish Schools teacher Natalie Istre Vermilion Parish Schools Neal Hennegan St. Tammany Parish School Board Member Neil May Bossier Parish Schools Nicole Kyle Beauregard Parish Schools Noelle Lowrinmore St. Mary Parish Schools Paige Vincent Lafayette Parish Schools Pam Dollar Ouachita Parish Schools Pam Kelley Lincoln Parish Schools Pam Owen Lincoln Parish Schools Pam Thornell Bossier Parish Schools Pam Williamson Bossier Parish Schools Pat England Fmr. Head of the Caddo Assoc. of Educators Patrice Hilton Lincoln Parish Schools Patricia Clark Union Parish Schools Patrick Norris Iberville Parish Schools Patti Auger Union Parish Schools Pattie Duplantis Lafourche Parish Schools Paul Grethel Consultant, Former St. Bernard Parish teacher Paul Kates VP of the Bogalusa City School Board Paula Knight Union Parish Schools Paula Monroe Consultant, Former LDOE staff member Paulette Whiteman St. Charles Parish Schools Peggy Brooks Ouachita Parish Schools Peggy Perniciaro Retired teacher Peggy Schwarz St. Bernard Parish Schools Penny Arcement Vermilion Parish Schools Penny James Lincoln Parish Schools Penny Warner Lincoln Parish Schools Persephonie Foster Jefferson Parish Schools Phyllis Mckey ? Polly Higdon Iberville Parish School Board Member Rachael Barrios Terrebonne Parish Schools Rachel Browning Lincoln Parish Schools Rachel Dupree Bossier Parish Schools Rachel Gay Lincoln Parish Schools Rachel Walters Calcasieu Parish Schools Rae Trahan Lafayette Parish Schools Randy Pope Louisiana State Representative, District 71 Randy Scheznayder Vermilion Parish Schools Ray Hodges Louisiana Association of Educators Raynard Sanders Former NOPS principal, activist Rebecca Besch St. Tammany Parish Schools Rebecca Ellis Northshore Families Helping Families Rebecca Ingram Bossier Parish Schools Rebecca Samuel Bossier Parish Schools Rebecca Young Bossier Parish Schools Rebecda Walker Ouachita Parish Schools Regina Lang Bossier Parish Schools Regina Salvatore Bossier Parish Schools Rene Islas Bossier Parish Schools Rene Spiva Bossier Parish Schools Scott Richard Louisiana School Boards Association Warren Serignet St. Bernard Parish Schools Ironically, Deshotels has been engaged in a long-running dispute with State Superintendent John White over scores of public records requests that Deshotels has submitted to the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) in recent years.  comment image” title=”” rel=”nofollow”> Subscribe to PE+COSubscribe to our mailing list by filling out the form below. 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Mary-Dean Barringer
Mary-Dean Barringer

Holly Boffy is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Teacher of the Year and a person of integrity who exemplifies teacher leadership. As a board member of NBPTS–and long time supporter of both NEA and AFT representing perspectives of many, but not all, teachers–I want teachers like Holly in policy roles. I’m a bit disappointed in personal, gossipy remarks by teachers of other teacher leaders. You can disagree on principle and we should, but this is not behavior I expect from union leaders.

Incidentally….do you know real reason site went down? I do.

I should hope Holly Boffy would be a supporter of Common Core. The CCSSO pays her good money – enough to pay her mortgage in her own words. She might not be loyal to her constituents, like Debbie, but at least she listens to her employer, one of the two patent holders of Common Core.

Monica
Monica

Well then Peter, my friend, I think you are in the very same category that you chose to put Debbie Meaux in, sorta like the pot calling the kettle black. I see no difference in your determination of what is in good taste with their blog post and Debbies comments on that FB page. The Sarcasm emanating off your blog post is palpable.

Monica
Monica

Please let me know who is the arbiter of good or bad taste, who makes these determinations- broadly speaking. Thank you.

Jennifer Meaux
Jennifer Meaux

Peter Cook, Deborah Meaux has more class in her little toe than you and Holly BOFFY put together. Ms. Meaux stated an opinion on a closed page, one that we all agree with. You sir are an even bigger joke than Mrs. BOFFY. Deborah Meaux I apologize to you for this man’s idiocy!

Louisiana

The Red River Ripoff Shreveport's AFT Affiliate Uses Bureaucratic Obstacles To Keep Dues Coming in

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Red River United (RRU), the American Federation of Teachers-affiliated union representing educators in Caddo, Bossier, and Red River Parishes, is using bureaucratic hurdles and subterfuge in an attempt to prevent members from leaving the organization.

A reader forwarded me a series of emails regarding three of the union’s current members who submitted a union drop request to Red River officials in October, indicating that they wished to end their affiliation with RRU and stop the monthly deduction of dues from their bank accounts.

The sign outside Red River United’s offices in Shreveport.

The receipt of those forms was acknowledged by the union. Nevertheless, when the three teachers checked with their banks at the end of the month, Red River United had once again deducted dues payments from their accounts. On November 1st, an email was sent to RRU officials notifying them of their mistake and requesting that the union refund those dues to the three individuals.

An emailed response from RRU’s in-house counsel, Elizabeth Gibson, flatly refused to refund those payments, explaining that the three teachers “executed a confidential agreement with Red River United (Membership Form), wherein the individuals authorized Red River United, or its designee, to draft their bank account each month for the amount indicated in the agreement for each billing period.”

She continued:

“Further, they acknowledged that they must give at least 30 days written notice to Red River United to cancel future automated debits. Red River United did not receive written notice at least 30 days in advance personally from the individuals indicating they had chosen to cancel their automated debits/membership. They must physically come to the offices of Red River United to cancel the bank draft due to the confidential nature of the information contained therein. These individuals have not done so. Accordingly, they are not entitled to a refund of the monies they authorized to be withdrawn from their bank accounts.”

Gibson added that the teachers needed to physically go to the union’s offices to provide a so-called “wet signature” in the presence of a Red River United employee in order to officially withdraw from the union and stop the monthly bank withdrawals.

Gibson’s emailed response in which she refused to refund dues to the three teachers.

A ridiculous (and dishonest?) response

Gibson’s response is not only ridiculous, but possibly dishonest. It’s also clearly an attempt by Red River United to make it as difficult as possible for current members to dropout of the union.

To start, the union’s “confidential agreement” – i.e., RRU’s membership form – isn’t all that confidential (in fact, I’ve included a copy of it at the bottom of this post). Nowhere on the membership form does it say anything about the requirement to provide a “wet signature” in the presence of an RRU employee to leave the union and stop monthly payments.

The small print from Red River United’s membership form.

Moreover, Gibson’s contention that the three teachers needed to physically go to RRU’s offices to cancel the bank drafts “due to the confidential nature of the information contained therein” is laughable. Anyone who has ever had a subscription to a newspaper or magazine can tell you that you don’t need to go to their offices to cancel it. Plus, there’s nothing “confidential” about the process. All Red River United needs to do is notify their bank to stop the monthly automatic withdrawals for those three individuals. End of story.

So why is Red River United trying to make these three teachers jump through bureaucratic hoops when they clearly don’t want to be part of their organization anymore? I suspect the union is trying to force them to come to their offices so they can pressure them to remain members, which is the kind of behavior you might expect from a dodgy timeshare broker, not a teachers union.

Nevertheless, teachers unions in other states have increasingly employed similar tactics to stem the departure of their members. For example, after Michigan became a right-to-work state in 2012, the Michigan Education Association (MEA) changed their opt-out policy to mandate that teachers withdrawal in August and force them to send their resignation requests to an obscure P.O. box address hidden on their website. The union subsequently refused to honor opt-out requests that were sent directly to MEA headquarters or were received outside of the month of August.

The United States Supreme Court is set to decide Janus v. AFSCME this spring.

I expect that we’ll see even more of these sort of schemes in the coming months. In September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Janus v. AFSCME, a case which argues that requiring public employees to pay agency fees to unions (including teachers unions) is unconstitutional. It is widely expected that the Court will end up striking down the laws in the 22 states that currently mandate agency fees, meaning that teachers unions across the country will soon be scrambling to come up with ways to keep their members from dropping out.

Because Louisiana has long been a right-to-work state, the Janus case should have little direct impact here. At the same time, that’s exactly why Red River United’s efforts to make it as difficult as possible for members to leave their organization needs to be called out. Louisiana’s public school teachers have the right to join a union or not. Therefore, they should be able to leave a union just as easily as they signed up. If Red River United wants to salvage some of its integrity, it should immediately accept the resignation of the three educators in question and refund their dues as soon as possible.


Read Red River United’s membership form:

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Louisiana

AFT On The Bayou Union Spends Less In Louisiana, But More On Charter Organizing in New Orleans

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The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) spent less overall in Louisiana in the past fiscal year than it did in F.Y. 2016, but the union boosted its funding for charter school organizing efforts in New Orleans by more than forty percent.

An analysis of expenditure data from AFT’s 2017 annual report to U.S. Department of Labor shows that the union spent $2,326,573 in Louisiana during the fiscal year that ended June 30th, a slight decrease from the from $2.49 million it spent in the state in 2016.

About a quarter of AFT’s spending went to political activities, which included nearly $125,000 in payments to the political action committee of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, as well as a $15,000 contribution to Defend Louisiana, a super PAC behind Foster Campbell’s unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate last fall. In addition, AFT spent nearly $370,000 to influence last year’s Orleans Parish School Board elections, as I exposed in a previous blog post in January.

A diagram showing the distribution of AFT’s F.Y. 2017 spending in Louisiana.

AFT also invested heavily in organizing activities across the Bayou State. It gave nearly $192,000 to Red River United to support recruitment in Bossier, Caddo, and Red River Parishes. AFT spent another $184,000 on organizing in Monroe and $147,000 in Jefferson Parish.

Furthermore, AFT’s most recent annual report suggests that the union is stepping up its efforts to organize charter schools in the Big Easy. In F.Y 2017, AFT national poured $412,926 into its New Orleans Charter Organizing Project, a significant increase from the $292,000 it allocated in 2016. In all, AFT spent more than $850,000 on its New Orleans-based activities in the past year.

Although their recruitment efforts in the city have had mixed success, AFT’s willingness to spend substantial sums of money in New Orleans makes clear they still pose a serious threat. Over the past four years, AFT has steered more than $1.6 million to organize New Orleans charter schools and roll back the city’s reforms.

We need to remain vigilant to ensure that never happens.


Explore the data:


Read AFT’s 2017 annual report:

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Peter C. Cook
Peter C. Cook @petercook
New Orleans, Louisiana peterccook.com
Education Reformer • New Orleanian • Progressive • Democrat • Proud TFA alum • Check out my new side project: @retortonline
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