Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’
By John Settle
It’s never fun to read about one’s home town in the national media in a negative way. If you are a reader of USA Today, the Tuesday (March 25) edition is a paper to toss; a column listed the top 10 cities for “overall well-being”, and there was Shreveport-Bossier listed at 182.
The 2013 Gallup-Healthways ratings are based on more than 500,000 interviews in which people were asked about their emotional and physical health, job satisfaction, community safety, and access to food, shelter and health care. This is the sixth year of the survey, and for the second time the Provo Utah area was first; others in the top five included Boulder Colorado, Fort Collins Colorado, Honolulu Hawaii, and San Jose California. The five worst cities were Huntington/Ashland West Virginia/Ohio, Charleston West Virginia, Redding California, Spartanburg South Carolina, and Hickory North Carolina.
Add comment March 27, 2014 4:00 pm
Louisiana’s Public Records Act sets forth simple guidelines that allow for transparency by governmental bodies. A written request (letter, fax, or email) to a public body requesting public records is to be complied within three business days. The public agency can make available the requested records for review, or as is more often the case, provide copies of the documents at a reasonable charge. Some public bodies readily comply with public records requests (PRRs) and some unfortunately do not, – as experienced from sending over one hundred (100) PRRs in the last two (2) years.
The City of Shreveport is always very slow in responding to PRRs. (One notable exception was a recent request regarding pension plans that was promptly answered by CAO Dale Sibley). Seemingly the standard operating procedure of Mayor Glover’s office (and City Attorney Terri Scott) is to wait until one or two follow-up requests have been sent before document production.
Initially the City would provide the documents at no charge by email or fax; now it is often necessary to go to the City Attorney’s office to pick up the requested documents and pay a copy fee. Additionally, the City adopted a policy of redacting substantial portions of invoices for legal services on the dog park litigation, claiming attorney client (more…)
Add comment March 18, 2014 6:00 am
by Marion Marks
Shreve Memorial Library is sponsoring at Cohab, in downtown Shreveport a discussion panel dealing with transparency in government, experiences dealing with public records, and the reality of open government in Louisiana. The program is scheduled from 7:00-8:30 followed by question-and-answer with the audience. Panelists scheduled to appear are Elliott Stoneciper (Evets Management Services, Inc.), Tom Arceneaux (attorney with Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts), Alison Bath (The Shreveport Times), Danny Lawler (The Inquisitor) and Jeff Everson (City of Shreveport-City Council).
Current public records requests with the City Council, Mayor and Parish Commission will certainly be part of the topic of discussion. In light of the struggle to control the leadership of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and documents that have been sent to us, a PRR (Public Records Request) was submitted to determine what other improper or potentially illegal email will be forthcoming from the two bodies and the mayor.
I am NOT an attorney, but the attorneys who we have engaged to assist with this utilizing the Public Records Act of Louisiana (R.S. 44:1 et seq.), told us to respectfully request the following information. And our request was as specific and narrow as possible so as to not give a chance to come back with a “too broad” response from the city or parish attorneys.
The specific information requested is “Bulls eye”clear. We asked for: documents, emails, texts, faxes, appointment calendars & logs containing reference (more…)
Add comment March 13, 2014 3:43 pm
Since it’s the Christmas season, it’s always good to have a wish or two ready in case Santa gives you a call. If you are a Caddo taxpayer, you can add this to your Christmas list: a brand new slate of Caddo School Board members to be elected next year.” This is not just a Christmas fantasy – it is a possibility.
For the past twenty plus years the Caddo School Board has been an absolute failure in performing its mission: providing quality education to all of the residents of Caddo Parish. This twelve member board is the perfect example of democracy at its worst, – with the most critical votes being cast along racial lines. Board districts that ensure six white and six black have resulted in petty politics of the highest degree, with children and taxpayers the ultimate losers.
The Caddo School Board needs statesmen/stateswomen – political leaders who are respected and who are promoters of the public good, not themselves. Presently many board members act as (more…)
Add comment December 12, 2013 4:00 pm
Forward-Now Note: This was offered to the Shreveport Times, and to this point has not appeared. We have added some notes for clarification as well as audits we uncovered that we feel bear on this letter. These were added without the knowledge or consent of Councilman Corbin. However, we feel these are relevant to understanding the position of education and the CPSB. [Note Audits below each relevant section i.e. Transportation here, where safety of children seems to be a significant problem Also THEFT of Property!]
The future direction of Caddo Public Schools is an important issue for our Parish, our City and future opportunities for both students and economic development. Without a good working relationship and common goals between the Caddo Commission, City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish School Board we will not be able to take advantage of all potential opportunities to help our region grow and prosper.
Over the past 15 years, multiple Superintendents have presented their plans to the public and the School Board to address a declining student population, changing demographics and shifting populations. While some parts of these plans have been implemented, the idea of closing campuses, major consolidations and (more…)
Add comment October 26, 2013 5:39 pm
The Caddo Parish and Louisiana Department of Education philosophy of Kindergarten Leadership continues as it beats down professional educators by sheer force. Rational or sound educational programs are pushed aside because elected and appointed officials flow with the political winds and public clamors for instant gratification.
Professional seasoned educators with years of demonstrated success are dropping out of the system out of frustration. Creative educational leaders, whose successes include top school professionals, have had their juices sapped because kindergarten-mentality leadership has bowed to lock-step rigidity at state department demands and the politically mandated processes.
Current demands based almost totally on test scores have driven individual learning initiative from the Steve-Jobs-like programs of imaginative chaos for brilliant minds out of progressive and successful programs because “they don’t fit OUR Standard.” Programs that spawned creative and genius talent have become assembly-line rote (more…)
Add comment October 25, 2013 2:50 pm
A former parish educator told me, “My evil inclination does not give me any rest. I am so opposed to the current state of affair, but I have no desire to help them fix what they have brought on themselves.”
“That is really for your own good,” another former educator chimed in. “That’s because it will now become your legacy if you allow the system to continue to fail.”
Another chimed in, “The purpose of life is to overcome your selfish impulses, because we are frequently in a state of conflict. Only controlling our most negative impulses can we elevate ourselves and those around us. The more difficult the challenge, the greater the merit of our actions.” And so the discussion died.
Campuses, administrators, teachers, students and parents alike cannot be held hostage by alumni, politicians or unions in a manner that paralyzes (more…)
Add comment October 7, 2013 9:15 am
This year teachers at Byrd, Shreve, and at least one other school will have almost twice as much planning time as teachers at Caddo Magnet High and other high schools. Can this be rational or fair? Can it be legal?
As reported on Forward-Now.com, all teachers were devastated over the loss of half their planning time during the school day, which seems to have resulted in surprise retirements and new decisions for early retirement. In response, Dr. Dawkins told high school principals that they could “work out the increased student load any way they wanted.” Byrd, Magnet, Shreve, and (more…)
Add comment August 10, 2013 2:03 pm
Rumors of Caddo Parish high school teachers and principals retiring at the end of the first semester are effecting the start of school. Parents are asking what can be done to keep effective teachers and principals in our schools. To know what is motivating the rumors and find a solution to the problems, it is vital to understand the latest cause of widespread low morale among high school teachers.
The Caddo Parish School Board voted to follow staff recommendations and take away half of high school teachers’ planning time. It means teachers have three planning periods on even weeks and only two on (more…)
Add comment August 5, 2013 6:00 am
Shreveport and Caddo possess leadership walls and a basic lack of kindness that limit our ability to become a better community. Between our mayor and the school board the concept of “The Next Great City of the South” is no more than a shallow slogan. The basic inability to relate and demonstrate kindness toward opposing groups and concepts seems to be based on the belief that any demonstration of kindness, compassion or understanding is a sign of weakness.
Our community must recognize that a highly developed love for kindness transforms life from simply existing to forming rich and deep relationships with others. If we demonstrate kindness and respect opposing parties within our (more…)
Add comment August 4, 2013 10:20 am