Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zack Kopplin Files FOIA Suit Against Louisiana Superintendent of Louisiana Department of Education

Zack Kopplin, the tireless crusader for good science public school education contends that the Education Department of the state of Louisiana has withheld documents and obfuscated regarding the details of the Louisiana school voucher program.  To combat this, he has filed suit in Louisiana court to compel the State Education Superindendent John White to release these documents.  As CenLamar reports:
The suit is designed—at long last—to ferret out what the process was leading to Jindal’s sweeping education changes—including whether there was a lack of record making or so-called “off campus” records retention, which is a particularly non-transparent practice of some government officials to hire consultants or third party firms to develop and store policy in order to shield policy making from the public.

In late May and early June, Kopplin submitted a number of requests pertaining to education policy, the overwhelming majority of which were either ignored or improperly answered. Kopplin alleges that, during the last several months, Superintendent White and officials at the Louisiana Department of Education have attempted to conceal, delay, and deny the production of public records.
This is not so different from what the Dover County School Board did in Pennsylvania in 2005, when they brought in copies of the execrable Of Pandas and People in the middle of the night when no one was looking.About his dealings with the Education Department, Kopplin is quoted as saying:
“Pretty early on, I knew this would be a ‘war of attrition,’” said Kopplin. “The hope was that if they didn’t legitimately respond to my questions, then I’d eventually stop asking them. But I never thought I’d need to file a lawsuit, and I never imagined the Department of Education would attempt to conceal so much. I had tried working with them. I even drove in from Houston to meet personally with their staff.”
This is what happens when politicians make education policy.

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