Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’

Educational Change, Hope Not “Too Little, Too Late”

Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree

Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree

by Marion Marks

Question: “Lamar Goree may be the best educational leader Caddo has seen in the last ____ Years!” Take your guess as to how to fill in the answer to one of the most difficult questions 2015 leaders and all of Caddo will face. Caddo citizens, Shreveporters, voters, tax payers, students, parents of students, teachers, cafeteria workers or those whose lives will be affected by Lamar Goree, the new CPSB, and Political leaders will be expecting real leadership and transparency immediately.

CPSB-WestwoodBus-06Wednesday, December 17th I accompanied a number of others, about twenty non-CPSB team in all on a “Bus Tour” of three elementary Transition schools. There was no hiding the fact that those leading the tour expected to “effect” in the tour participants a transitional attitude adjustment from the perception most of the public had on the spiraling-downward trajectory Caddo education in (more…)

Add comment December 21, 2014 11:43 am

Caddo Property Owners’ Lump of Coal from CPSB

CPSB Coal Lumps for Taxpayers

CPSB Coal Lumps for Taxpayers

by Elliott Stonecipher

Wow, what a Christmas season wallop this morning from the Central Office staff of the Caddo Parish School Board!  Via a front-page spread in the Shreveport Times, taxpayers – particularly we property tax payers who are notably targeted for tax abuse here – learn that the latest “reform” plan of our CPSB makes darned certain we keep such tax abuse in place.

bad-newsThe plan is to keep and preserve (and honor, I guess) our highest in Louisiana property tax millage, killing any hope of offering would-be new residents a tax deal no so (more…)

Add comment December 18, 2014 3:39 pm

New Faces Needed on Caddo Commission

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

Opinion by John Settle

The 2014 elections have placed many new faces in key leadership positions for the City of Shreveport and Caddo Parish – – a new mayor, four new councilmen and six new school board members. In the process one incumbent council representative was defeated and four incumbent school board members were sent home. And for the first time a local PAC (Political Action Committee) was organized to contribute to election efforts.

Balance.. Balance... OOOps!

Balance.. Balance… OOOps!

The school board and council elections reflect significant citizen dissatisfaction with the current operation of these government entities. Newbies on the Council represent a majority of the present body and the newcomers on the school board represent half its members – enough (more…)

Add comment December 12, 2014 4:00 pm

Lessons Learned December 6th

by Marion MarksIts_No_Secret–Shreveport_Resisted_Change

The December 6th election was a milestone for Louisiana and Caddo/Shreveport that will require evaluation for quite a while. Mary Landrieu’s defeat will be calculated by factions in many ways, but her shadow and the repercussions throughout the state will probably be re-measured for years.

Along with the election of new faces and the return of old ones, I expect the Landrieu defeat to reverberate through the system in all three branches of government, particularly with law enforcement and the prosecutorial system around the state. Political forces work on more than two levels, and the written and unwritten codes of enforcement and prosecutions seem to rely of backing and backbone at higher levels. Some (more…)

Add comment December 9, 2014 6:47 am

Thanks!! to CPSB Reform Effort

Elliott Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

(Elliott Stonecipher’s reports and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted.  Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.)

I read with real interest yesterday’s Shreveport Times article about the local group which has funded election campaigns for some Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) candidates.  It reminds us of what too often awaits those who do heavy lifting in service to our community.

CPSB-PAC-on-TargetAt issue is Citizens for a Better Caddo, formed by a group of prominent local activists in education and other community interests.*  The group set up a political action committee, or PAC, to recruit and/or raise most of the campaign funds for their candidates.

The Times article – a solid and fair one, I think – presents details of how the PAC’s fundraising came from a relatively few people and/or their associated businesses and families.  More to the (more…)

November 20, 2014 11:41 am

FLURRY STRONG CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT E COUNCIL SEAT

Shreveport Attorney John Settle

Opinion by John Settle

Southwest Shreveport voters have a clear choice in the December 6 council run-off between James Flurry and Durwood Hendricks, Jr. In the primary, Flurry captured 44% of the vote compared to Hendrick’s 39 %.

The candidates are as different as night and day. Flurry is a Republican; Hendricks is a Democrat. Flurry is white and Hendricks is black. Flurry has lived in the district for 35 years; Hendrick’s residence is subject to question.

District E James Flurry

James Flurry

Hendricks owns a home on Baxter Street in Shreveport and the phone book lists this address. Baxter street is not in District E. Hendricks changed his voter registration in October 2010 to South Brookwood Drive; Hendricks is not the owner of this house. (Hendrick’s was not available for comment.)

Flurry has a very solid background in public service and in business. He served 2 consecutive 6 year terms as Justice of the Peace in Ward 7 – which includes his district. Flurry served as the president of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association as (more…)

November 14, 2014 11:45 am

Understanding PACs & Educational Needs in Caddo

Angry Criticsby Marion Marks

Critics of the political action committee (PAC) working to make changes in the Caddo Parish School Board membership suggest new elected members to the board are “bought.” Voters with a limited perspective of newly elected members of the board backed by the PAC fail to see the positive side of the PAC. The newly elected are a long way from bought, and they will have a long, hard road ahead to improve the system. The PACs are exactly what the name states, “Action Committees” who back their philosophy up with money in hopes here of moving away from the status quo, made of too many stagnant, failing schools.

tipping_jarIt’s sad to believe so little real money could influence such an important segment of the community. One board member stated, “these payments were like gratuities or tips to (more…)

November 9, 2014 11:28 am

Caddo Parish School Board … ‘Hope For Reform?

Hot Reporterby Elliott Stonecipher

The (relatively) hot news leading into this column is that some 36,000 Louisianans have registered to vote since August 1st, presumably in preparation for voting in our November 4th elections.  The most interesting thing about them is that one-half did not register as Democrats or Republicans.  They registered as independents or other party affiliates.

Why-it’s-ImportantHere’s why this may be important.  One-in-four – 25.1%, to be precise – Louisiana’s voter registrants have heretofore signed-up as independents and others, or more to the point, not Democrats or Republicans.  So, in this particular season of our voter discontent, two times as many people are checking it to the major parties and striking out on their electoral own.  

More and more of us here and elsewhere in America have learned that our two-party system is unable to do anything about how bad “things” are, and how (more…)

October 23, 2014 10:57 am

Racist, Sexist, Elitist, or Manipulative?

by Rob Broussard

A gift for teachers...

A gift to Education…

I read two articles in The Times on Sunday October 19, 2014, that left me to wonder whether the Citizens for a Better Caddo were racist, sexist, elitist, or manipulative. I suggest readers ponder, for a moment, how I arrived to that conclusion based on the comments made by guest columnist Ed Crawford, Zazell Dudley, and, while not a columnist, the chairman, Philip Rozeman as identified by Denee Locke in the Broadmoor Neighborhood Forum October, 2014. Two of those comments, (1) “Some of our board members have yet to embrace the structural reform necessary to address these concerns and have allowed too many of our schools to continue to fail…”. And, (2)“We represent a grass root organization…” are of major concern.

Public Schools TargetedIs it racist that the Pac selectively chose only whites as targets as their “chosen” candidates? (Note that black candidates in other districts were given cursory interviews but none received money to date and none of the three targeted incumbents received interviews.) Are we to believe that only “whites” have voted, as board members, for policies that have led to our schools failing? Can you please support your accusations with data and documents? Are we to (more…)

October 20, 2014 12:39 pm

Caddo School Board Errors Appear Liable Actions

Thinker Under Pressureby Marion Marks

KTBS News reported videos and facts documenting board member knowledge of Title I Funds used at the central office cafeteria in violation of Title I guidelines, and monetary mismanagement has been noted by auditors for CPSB leadership on numerous departments and example since the 2010 audit that have not been addressed in paying employees and managing physical assets.

Do you have a compass?

Do you have a compass?

Superintendent Goree has a short-term pass to resolve these problems that were not of his making. However, when the attorney for CPSB, Reggie Abrams, consistently suggested that NO internal audits should be released to the public because they create too many issues Goree, the board and the public should cry foul. The 2013 audit once again noted, significant issues not properly addressed.

Abrams obviously generates significant billable hours and (more…)

October 2, 2014 1:41 pm

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