Louisiana Teacher Who “Sees Benefits of Common Core” in Op/ed Is a Paid Endorser
On March 4, 2015, nola.com carried an op/ed entitled, Teacher Sees Benefits of Common Core Playing Out in Classroom.
The column was written by St. Bernard Parish fifth-grade teacher, Angelle Lailhengue.
Here’s an excerpt:
As phase 1 of the PARCC assessment nears, my teachers are doing more and more “test prep.” And I couldn’t be more proud of what I see in their classrooms. Students are reading grade-level texts independently. Students are having discussions about complex texts. Students are writing about texts. “Test-prep,” as we prepare to take the PARCC assessment, means deeper thinking and learning, analyzing and understanding text, problem solving and complex thinking. Teachers aren’t stopping instruction to start “test prep,” and students are still learning as the assessments near. The skills that students are practicing are the skills that they need to succeed after high school.
The article included the following brief bio:
Angelle Lailhengue is an instructional coach at Lacoste Elementary School in Chalmette.
What readers are not made aware of is that “instructional coach” is a euphemism for “teacher leader”– an individual paid to promote Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)-endorsed policies– such as the Common Core and its assessments.
Lailhengue is under contract with LDOE and is being paid $5,930 in “100% federal fund” from October 15, 2013, through June 30, 2015, for work including “serving as a Common Core expert & assist[ing] in building a growing network of teacher leaders throughout the state.”
Lailhengue tweeted the following four days after being under contract to promote Common Core:
One more bit of info:
Lailhengue was a presenter at the June 2014 Teacher Leaders Summit in New Orleans:
ELA Unit Plan Preparation, Grades 3-5 (Sessions A & B) (P4) 3 Rotations (4.5 hours)
Teacher Leaders Angelle Lailhengue (St. Bernard) and Meredith Starks (Bossier)
In this session participants prepare to use the LDE released unit plans. Using the LDOE ELA guidebooks as models, participants prepare to implement effective ELA instruction. Participants will examine complex texts and tasks and gain a deeper understanding of the grade-level standards. Research, instructional strategies, and models are embedded throughout the session.
When it comes to Common Core, Lailhengue is in. So, it is no wonder why she would enthusiastically take to the New Orleans op/eds to promote Common Core.
It is a bit sneaky for Lailhengue not to disclose her title as a “teacher leader”– and her being on the federal-funds-via-LDOE payroll to sell Common Core.
Oh, and as to that “plane”– it is only highly-politicized flying debris.
As veteran educator Stan Karp notes in a fantastic article reproduced in the January 2014 Washington Post:
The trouble with the Common Core is not primarily what is in these standards or what’s been left out, although that’s certainly at issue. The bigger problem is the role the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are playing in the larger dynamics of current school reform and education politics.
Today everything about the Common Core, even the brand name—the Common Core State Standards—is contested because these standards were created as an instrument of contested policy. …
As teacher-blogger Jose Vilson put it:
“People who advocate for the CCSS miss the bigger picture that people on the ground don’t: The CCSS came as a package deal with the new teacher evaluations, higher stakes testing, and austerity measures, including mass school closings. Often, it seems like the leaders are talking out of both sides of their mouths when they say they want to improve education but need to defund our schools. . . . It makes no sense for us to have high expectations of our students when we don’t have high expectations for our school system.”
There is much more to the flying debris than only Common Core and its assessments– though these do account for a hefty chunk.
But again, still debris. And even in Louisiana, that debris is crumbling.
Common Core was designed to be “commonly” assessed, yet the PARCC consortium is dwindling. And whatever Louisiana is giving in the name of “PARCC” testing is not even legitimately contracted for 2015. Indeed, proposed budget cuts could sink LDOE hopes for legitimately tying Louisiana to PARCC in 2016, with Louisiana Superintendent John White slyly proposing not only moving away from the Pearson-developed PARCC test, but also prematurely “reviewing” Common Core– likely to offset potential anti-Common Core legislation this session.
Common Core and its tests: One-hundred-percent political crumble.