CAN BOFFY BOUNCE BAYARD? Former Teacher of the Year seeks state school board seat.
Louisiana’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Holly Boffy has her work cut out for her. Embracing a controversial position early on that the tenure system for public school teachers should be abolished — this will not endear her to the powerful teacher unions in Louisiana — Boffy hopes to unseat an entrenched incumbent in Dale Bayard, who switched political parties at the right time and who is likely to get the backing of the state’s most powerful Christian lobbying group.
Bayard has been a voice on BESE for Louisiana Family Forum, the religious right lobbying group that wants desperately to bring Louisiana back to a bucolic era that never actually existed. He was the lone vote last year for rejecting mainstream science textbooks that teach evolution and more importantly don’t teach Intelligent Design, the creationist-friendly pseudo-science.
Bayard was first elected to BESE’s District 7 seat in 1999. He ran unopposed in 2003. Since his victory in the 2007 election, Bayard has switched to the Republican Party — an act of survival these days for Democrats looking to manage multi-parish races. Four years ago, running as a Dem, Bayard lost badly in Lafayette Parish, the easternmost outpost of the southwest Louisiana District, to Republican and former state party Chairman Charlie Buckels of Lafayette. But the farther west toward his home turf in Calcasieu Parish the race went, the better Bayard did: He and Buckels split Acadia Parish 50-50; but Bayard wiped the floor with Buckels in Jefferson Davis, Cameron and Calcasieu with 63, 64 and 61 percent of the vote respectively, eking out a 51-49 victory.
Boffy has the credentials to make a thoughtful BESE rep for southwest Louisiana, yet at just 33 years old she’s not entrenched in the public-education status quo and is likely willing to stare down some sacred cows. But she will need to do better in the western parishes of the district — much better — if she hopes to put her love of teaching to practice in Baton Rouge. She may have an ace in the hole: Gov. Bobby Jindal is reportedly backing her campaign in an effort to stack the BESE deck with reform-minded members. — WP
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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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