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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OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
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