Monday, 05 December 2011 21:26

Louisiana Politics: Roemer, Jindal's Schools, Trump's Hot Air, Vitter, Demos Elect

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louisiana_capitol_2Jindal’s Schools 

Governor Bobby Jindal kicked off his school visits today in Houma at Dularge Middle School, a High Performing-High Poverty school that has taken advantage of many of the Governor’s education reforms and is outperforming statewide averages for overall school performance and the percentage of students performing at grade level.


As the Governor puts together his education reform plan, he is visiting schools around the state to meet with educators and get a firsthand look at how Louisiana schools are pursuing innovative reforms that improve student outcomes. At these visits, the Governor is seeking input from superintendents, school board members, administrators, principals, teachers, students and parents about how best to improve Louisiana’s education system.


Dularge Middle School is a High Performing-High Poverty school, which means it has had a School Performance Score (SPS) over 100 for the past two years and at least 65 percent of students at the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. As a comparison, just 37.7 percent of schools in Louisiana have a School Performance Score over 100. Dularge has been on the High Performing-High Poverty list since 2009.


Statewide this year, the average School Performance Score is 93.9 and the average percentage of students performing on grade level is 67 percent. By comparison, Dularge has a School Performance Score of 114.2 this year and 84 percent of students at Dularge are performing on grade level. On the state’s new letter grades report card for Louisiana’s schools, Dularge received a B+ while the state as a whole received a C. 

The Governor added, “As a parent, I want what every parent in Louisiana wants. We want our kids to attend a great school and be taught by excellent teachers so they will be prepared to continue their education, get a great job, and be able to pursue their dreams here in Louisiana.  Over the past four years, we’ve passed a number of major reforms that work to cut red tape, put more dollars in the classroom, reward highly effective teachers, and give parents a better understanding of how their child’s school is performing. The goal of every reform we have pushed is to give more control to local leaders, who are closest to the classroom and in the best position to make decisions that are in the best interest of our children. Terrebonne Parish and Dularge Middle School have taken advantage of these reforms and our students have benefitted greatly.” 

Dularge Principal Cheryl Degruise serves as a High Performing-High Poverty coach. Degruise was also named Region III Principal of the Year in 2010-11 and Terrebonne Parish Principal of the Year in October 2011 by the Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE), a local private foundation that supports K-12 education initiatives.


Roemer's Presidency

Former Louisiana Governor and Congressman, Buddy Roemer, had this and more to say in an interview published today:

“Here I am, running for president, and I’m different,” said Roemer in a wide-ranging interview with The Fiscal Times late Thursday. “No big checks, no PAC money. That’s my issue. I’m successful at what I do, a successful businessman, the only congressman and governor running who had both experiences, and I can’t qualify [for the debates] because I can’t get a poll number, and I can’t get a poll number because I can’t get on the debates. How about that for shutting a man down?”…….. 

“These [Republicans] are decent people,” he hastened to add. “They can play a role in turning America around. I would ask them to lead. I would ask them to stand up. Stop what they’re doing …. Tell their party, my party: Let’s stop being the party of big checks.” 

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 Louisiana Democrats Select John Ales 

The Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee met today in Baton Rouge and held an election for the open position of National DNC Committeeman. The State Central Committee reached a quorum and voted to elect John Ales, an attorney from Baton Rouge, to the position. John Ales is a Democratic State Central Committee member and is also on the Rules and Bylaws Committee. The National DNC Committeeman represents Louisiana on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is an important liaison between the national Democratic committees and the state party. 


From David Vitter To Team Vitter...An an email, today:


Last night was a special Saints Sunday for many reasons. We got the prime time spot on national television and we got to see the Saints defeat a very good Detroit Lions team as we roll to 9-3 this season.

But last night was special for me well beyond the game as I got to spend the evening in the Dome with a true hero, my guest - U.S. Army Specialist Jeffrey Shonk. Jeff was deployed in Fallujah, Iraq and fought bravely with his fellow servicemen to defend our freedoms. During his engagement in Iraq, he suffered terrible wounds, including being shot in the head. He has since been recuperating at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where I met him.

I met Jeff through the Wounded Warrior Project. This organization does incredible work helping to honor and empower our brave men and women wounded in combat.

I'm awed by Jeff's story and his sacrifice. It was truly an honor to have Jeff as my guest last night for the game. Just last year, I was blessed to meet another true hero, New Orleans native Sergeant Ryan Major, and host him in the Dome on a Sunday Night game against the Steelers. Ryan is a survivor of a horrific explosion as his unit was near Ramadi in Iraq in 2006; Ryan had to overcome a medically-induced coma. His legs have been amputated above the knees, and his arms and hands are also damaged.

In his rehabilitation, he's become a model of determination and perseverance. He is pursuing a college degree and was recognized by the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. for his strength and determination in the face of physical adversity.

There are so many other service men and women in addition to Jeff and Ryan who could use our encouragement and honor and I hope you'll join me in honoring and thanking all who've been wounded in our armed forces.

And of course, Who Dat! On to another Superbowl victory,


 Trump—Hot Air

The Donald will be the moderator of a republican party presidential debate (can you believe it).  So, what does he get out of it—especially coming at the same time as his new book?

From Hot Air:

Then, today, Regnery Publishing released the business magnate’s latest book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again,” and Trump himself promoted it with a tweet betraying all the soft bigotry of low expectations.

“First there was the Declaration of Independence, then there was the Constitution,” Trump tweeted. “Now there is #TimeToGetTough. Available today.”

It’d be easy to think Trump kinda sorta enjoys the attention, but, as it turns out, he personally gets “nothing” out of putting himself in the limelight.

“I would say, Tina, that I get nothing out of it. Who cares if I sell a few more books?” Trump said to me today on a conference call with reporters. “If I can endorse a person who turns out to be a super president, that would be great — and that is what I get out of it. I get nothing else out of it, believe me. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of time, a lot of effort, and I really get nothing out of it. I don’t care about book sales because the book is going to do very well anyway. All of my books have done very well. What I get out of it is the satisfaction of trying to recommend somebody who’s going to be a great president.”

Louisiana Politics

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