Worth a read: Noel Hammat’s op-ed on Jindal, the DOJ and vouchers
Jindal and White
Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Superintendent John White are outraged — outraged, I declare! — over the federal Department of Justice’s insidious overreach and meddling in the school voucher program, casting the DOJ as President Obama incarnate standing in the schoolhouse door like George Wallace blocking the families of poor black children from exercising “parental choice” and denying those children the salvation of a quality education. They've enlisted the national GOP to feign a screaming fit on behalf of the chirrens, too.
But as Noel Hammat, a member of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education and former president of the Louisiana School Board Association, points out in a guest column in The Daily Advertiser, Jindal et al are cravenly misrepresenting the DOJ’s position even as they use an argument they falsely attribute to the DOJ to fight parental choice in one of the poorest parishes in the state. It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
The DOJ didn’t block the voucher program as it stands, Hammat points out; it merely asked that no future vouchers be awarded until the state follows federal law and demonstrates that the vouchers distributed in parishes that remain under federal desegregation oversight will not run afoul of federal law.
So how is JindalCo. being hypocritical?
Because attorneys for White went to federal court on June 13 seeking to block low-income African-American families from exercising parental choice in St. Helena Parish, one of the lowest income districts in the state.
White asked the court to deny choice to those parents who wanted their children out of his “Recovery School District” Middle School. Why? According to White’s filing: “This court should consider St. Helena’s request looking at it from the desegregation mindset.” And then: “If St. Helena is allowed to add additional grades to its elementary school and high school that could possibly create a greater desegregation issue rather than helping to remedy the one at hand.”
So the DOJ is attacked for asking that White abide by desegregation orders, and is not denying choice to any parents. While White, on the other hand, is actually using a desegregation case to deny parents in St. Helena Parish any school choice. This is hypocrisy run amok.
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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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