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La. BESE Seeks Public Input Into Superintendent Search

April 15, 2020

Posted April 15, 2020, on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) website:

2020 State Superintendent Search/Selection

CURRENT STATUS: Initial Interviews Conducted, Referencing Underway, Public Input Sought

The Superintendent Search Work Group of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) initiated a preliminary round of recorded video interviews with each of the six candidates in contention for the position of Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, identified by BESE from the original list of 21 candidates. These video interviews, conducted from March 31 through April 2, 2020, were anchored by, and limited to, a standardized list of questions selected by the BESE work group and based on the input of key education stakeholders across the state. Work group chair, Ms. Kira Orange Jones, BESE District 2, and work group member, Mr. Ronnie Morris, BESE District 6, facilitated these interviews by posing the same questions, taken from the uniform list of questions, to each and every candidate. The list of questions was not provided to candidates in advance of the recorded interviews.

Select from the list of candidates below to view the corresponding resume, cover letter or video interview:


Public Feedback

An online survey has been posted in an effort to collect public feedback on topics related to this superintendent search. Survey participants will designate their parish and zip code information (individual names will be optional) when completing the survey. At the end of this survey period, feedback will be captured in two ways:

  1. Segmented reporting according to participant BESE District so that BESE members are able to review comments specific to individual BESE member jurisdiction;
  2. Comprehensive reporting reflecting the responses statewide.


Click here to complete the public survey and provide input to BESE regarding the superintendent search
(survey will launch in new window)

The survey will be active through April 24, 2020.

Please contact Kevin Calbert at if you have technical questions.

For my take on the candidates, see my March 24, 2020, post. (Note that it seems Debbra Lindo is out of the running.)

flip BESE 2


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  1. pwtx23 permalink

    Mercedes, Joe Siedlecki is in the charter division at Texas Education Agency.   If you go to last year’s tapes of Soner Tarim’s new Royal application you can see Joe presiding.  FYI.

  2. what a bunch of losers.

  3. Kelly permalink

    What do we know about Promise54? I’m so leery of anything that comes out of LDOE🙈

  4. Robert Tellman permalink

    Dianne, I cannot believe you made this statement! How is this in any way helpful to the students and citizens of Louisiana??

    How is your attitude different from that of the greedy carpetbaggers who insert themselves and their money into Louisiana’s business and wallets??

    Respectfully, you and all the other outsiders can mind your own business and let Louisiana citizens judge for ourselves!

    We are intelligent, thoughtful people who have been devastated by Paul Pastorek, John White, and all the other reformers who have stepped on the backs of our children to enrich themselves. We don’t have the money or the power to fight this evil, but we care deeply about the education of Louisiana’s citizens. We have a stake in the betterment of our citizenry, y’all do not!

    If you cannot be constructive, please don’t insert yourself into our business. I sincerely hope you do not get sick, but if you do, I hope you are intelligent and thoughtful enough to research and choose the best caregivers for your situation rather than disparage them all with flippant comments such as you threw out here. I say this because healthcare and education are similar in that they are both LIFE AND DEATH situations!

    Your comment has made me incredibly angry, partly because it is none of your business and partly because this group includes the perfect answer to the prayers of those who know education in this state.

    I hope you see fit to apologize for your comment and do your homework.

  5. retiredbutmissthekids permalink

    Are you kidding us–Paul Vallas–after what he did to New Orleans (not to mention Philadelphia, Chicago, & attempts to do so in Bridgeport, CT* & “fixing” Haiti, w/Arne)?!
    Robert Tellman–at least one of these candidates (if not all of them, & we trust Diane knows** **is** deserving of Diane’s comments.
    Just ask the parents & educators in New Orleans!!!
    &–loser?–let’s see: ran for gov in IL & lost, ran for mayor of Chicago & lost (& lost badly in both), & *was deemed unqualified to head up Bridgeport, CT. schools. Judge ordered him to take a couple of education courses {not many}–Vallas refused, so was barred from getting the job. I believe he sued the city of Bridgeport. For the best information, just ask Jonathan Pelto (you can look him up: he writes–or has written–the blog, *Wait, what?*

    Not to mention his acting as a “consultant” to the very cash-strapped Chicago State University, that, of course being made a paid position (remember, already badly cash-strapped), & then he left them in the lurch to run for Chicago mayor.

    **Diane is more than aware of all of this. I don’t know if you are aware of who she is, but she is the **foremost** expert on education in the U.S.
    Perhaps **you** owe **her** an apology…if American education is “none of (Diane’s) business,” then it would be **nobody’s** business. She is an education scholar of the highest order.

  6. Robert Tellman permalink

    Saying that one of the candidates may deserve to be called a loser, and I believe many of them are, does not negate that Diane called them all losers. I know her pedigree. If she has researched every one of the candidates, then fine, that is her opinion.

    Many of the out-of-staters who have inserted themselves into Louisiana education have gotten us in the position we are currently in – with their hands in our cookie jar of funds.

    I agree she is probably an “education scholar of the highest order,” but the foremost expert on education in the U.S., I don’t agree.

    I was shocked and disgusted that someone of her education background would choose to disparage ALL the candidates with such a flippant comment. Again, how is that productive in helping Louisiana choose the next superintendent? How is it her business?

    I still think such a comment was very unbecoming of someone of her stature in the field.

    And an insult to the one good candidate in the group. Talk to me again if that candidate is chosen.

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