The Three Louisiana Common Core Development “Teachers” Work for the DOE

This is the story of two press releases and three Louisiana “mystery” teachers involved in “developing” CCSS.

The first is the July 2009 National Governors Association (NGA) press release for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics work groups– the “inner circle” that is the only group identified as “developing” CCSS based upon the language in the CCSS MOU (memorandum of understanding).

This first press release does not clearly identify any Louisiana classroom teachers.

As it turns out, both NGA and its CCSS copyright owner, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released another document dated September 2013 on the Louisiana Regents website, supposedly listing the same information: CCSS ELA and math work group membership.

The names on the two documents do not exactly match. In fact, the 2013 Louisiana Regents document– publicized three years after CCSS was completed– includes what appears as an effort to show that “teachers” were involved in “developing” CCSS.

Most of the additions have either university or state department of education affiliations.

Two Louisiana “Teachers” on the Math Work Group

Only four members of the 50-member CCSS math work group are listed as classroom teachers. Three are from Louisiana. Two are certified Louisiana teachers:

Nancy Beben, director, curriculum standards, Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). Beben holds a Louisiana teaching certificate in math education, grades 6 thru 12.

James Madden, professor of mathematics, Louisiana State University. Madden holds no Louisiana teaching certificate.

Carolyn Sessions, standards and curriculum projects coordinator, LDOE. Sessions holds a Louisiana teaching certificate in physical education.

One Louisiana “Teacher” on the ELA Work Group

Only three of the 48 CCSS ELA work group members identify themselves as classroom teachers. Only one ELA work group member is from Louisiana:

Jan Freeland, middle and secondary English Language Arts (ELA) coordinator, LDOE. Freeland holds a Louisiana teaching certificate in English (appears to be for grades 6 thru 12).

The Short of It

Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) member Holly Boffy’s inability to name the three Louisiana “teachers” who “developed” CCSS during her appearance before the Louisiana House Education Committee in April 2014 is rather remarkable given that all three work for LDOE. 

None is currently a classroom teacher.

All seem to have been selected in a last-minute attempt to make “teacher development” of CCSS appear true in this suspicious, 2013 “publicizing” of “teacher” involvement on the CCSS ELA and math work groups.

Given the sneaky manipulations of both BESE and LDOE, none of the three might even know that each is supposed to represent “teachers” in CCSS development.

There is only one word for this shoddy effort to “include” Louisiana teachers in CCSS development: