Report from Louisiana: A sampler

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – A sampling of news items from Louisiana this week:

John White:  Louisiana’s long-time State Superintendent of Education, John White, has decided to move on to other endeavors. I wish I could say I was surprised, but alas, Mr. White has been working without a contract for the past four years.

White became Superintendent in 2012 and his tenure has never been without controversy. He immediately instituted sweeping reforms, came under criticism for his position that the fault that Louisiana ranks so poorly in education is the fault of the teacher, and the fact that there has always been discussion as to whether or not he ever taught in the classroom.

One of the most controversial aspects of White’s tenure has been his implementation of the Louisiana version of the Common Core curriculum. White and Governor John Bel Edwards have always had a contentious relationship although they have managed to grudgingly work together; one of the Governor’s initial campaign promises was to replace White, but he could never quite get the votes of the education board to do so.

Personally, the current curriculum situation is one reason why I’m retiring at the end of the 2021 school year, and I’m not sorry to see White move on, however, I have real concerns about who comes next. I believe it will be critical for Governor Edwards and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to listen to teacher voices and input as the next superintendent is selected.

Storms: Northwest Louisiana experienced an unusual violent weather system this past weekend as strong storms and tornadoes swept across east Texas, Louisiana, and on toward the east coast. Here, in our area, we had three fatalities and much property damage.

The storms rolled through just after midnight Friday, and into Saturday morning.

Benton Middle School lost part of their roof and classrooms were inundated with water.

We are counting our blessings that this did not happen during the school day.

National Championship:  New Orleans is rocking right now as Mardi Gras season is underway and LSU is in town to take on Clemson for the National Championship. LSU has had a beautiful, perfect season and quarterback Joe Burrow has been a joy to watch. Very exciting.

President Trump with be in attendance and will be watching the game in a suite with the Louisiana delegation. Security is amped up right now, obviously. Trump figures in to sever of the current prop bets, which you can see here, including whether or not he will wear a red tie. (I’m going with yes on that one).

I’m making gumbo for game day, of course.

Geaux Tigers!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Five Quick One Line Truths Media vs Trump, the London Stabbing, Pot, Education and this year’s Pats Under the Fedora

If the Democrats / Media had treated Donald Trump like both a regular candidate, and a regular president right from the start, they would not be in the pickle or the bubble they are in today.

Thinking of the rise of Islam in general and the London stabbing in particular, you have to go to the mid 30’s to find European governments in general and England in particular so wedded to the idea of appeasement in the face of a foe willing to supplement or destroy them.

The social costs of the normalization and/or legalization of Pot were as obvious as the social costs the normalization of porn which were, in my opinion, a feature rather than a bug to those who have pushed these results.

When I look at Universities taking big money from those who have made it their mission to bring down American society and destroy education I understand the old communist saying about capitalists selling them the ropes to hang them.

Finally, the most amazing thing about the New England Patriots record this season is that, thanks to Nick Folk emergency surgery, as of today they have field twice as many different kickers this season (4) as they have from 1996 till last year (2).