Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’

CPSB Meeting Last Night … A Misfire Times Ten

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

(This is the 1st in a series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board’s plan for or against which Caddo residents may vote on May 2nd.)

I am not a big peddler of quotations attributed to “famous” people, owing mainly to the fact of missing context.  There are exceptions of course, like this comment about history by Winston Churchill:

“Study history, study history.  In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

I grabbed onto that one when in state government early in my career. Study History-Churchill I was in a pitched battle with professional educators on an urgent matter of public policy reform, and had studied the most meaningful (more…)

Add comment January 21, 2015 12:02 pm

How The Caddo Schools Tax Plan Will Hurt Us

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

When I last wrote about our Caddo Parish School Board’s new proposal for a would-be spring election, I shared my sense that, at its core, the plan is about CPSB keeping a property tax millage on their books for building new schools (?!). 

The pay-down of our capital outlay chunk of property taxes over time has seemingly reached the point with CPSB top folks that this plan was hatched … far too fast, with far too little input, and thus with an already cracked foundation. Hatch a Plan My take is buttressed by others I respect who are reading it the same way.  (I thank each for their counsel.)

Why else, after all, would the CPSB possibly be considering building new schools when there are so many more we must close, before circumstances out of our control close them for us?  That the CPSB response to the wave of reform called “school choice” is to build more buildings is stunning, even here … even now. 

(I break here to acknowledge that there are a few officials are their associates who are publicly questioning my education / CPSB bona fides.  For those few, and (more…)

January 14, 2015 11:47 am

Caddo School Tax Proposition? Stop It … Now!

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

Many, I do mean many, of you have contacted me about the Caddo Parish School Board administration’s red-hot (not in a good way) tax proposal.  It is rare – and joyous! – to get so many questions, and hear so many comments, about any tax proposition in Caddo Parish and Shreveport. 



I wrote about this latest tax whopper from CPSB back in December, and intended to wait until after the school board’s vote on it January 20th before writing again, but the sheer amount of heat being generated by this one altered that plan.

This will be short on numbers, since (more…)

January 8, 2015 11:23 am

Climate & Culture: Reversing Institutional Failures

Another Look…

Gone, but not forgotten!

Gone, but not forgotten!

by Marion Marks

Leadership locally has been shaken up in the last twelve months with a new Shreveport administration and educational change at both the central office and recently in school board governance. Superintendent Lamar Goree has an appropriate, yet ambitious, Transformation Zone plan, even when measured against the state of Louisiana’s shifting goal posts and the quandary all educators and tax payers are facing.

Billy Snow

Billy Snow

On December 17th Goree’s Transformation Zone coordinator, Billy Snow, led a tour to three Transformation Zone elementary schools for approximately twenty community members who have been outspoken or committed to improving the parish’s educational needs. I documented this tour on video because visual and auditory documentation continues to reveal important data. Particular attention should be paid to some (more…)

December 30, 2014 6:00 am


Shreveport Attorney John Settle

Opinion by John Settle

Seemingly Shreveport’s new mayor Ollie Tyler (as of Saturday December 27) is confused about her new job. Yes, she will be Shreveport’s next mayor – and its first female African American at that. (Hazel Beard was the first female mayor and Cedric Glover the first black mayor.)

pioneer_TylerEvidently Tyler is obsessed with her pioneering resume. Her campaign pushcard described her as a “trailblazer”; – the “firsts” listed include first female superintendent of Caddo Parish Schools, first African American woman inducted into the Jr. Achievement Business Hall of Fame of North Louisiana and first African American Superintendent (interm) of Education for the state of Louisiana. Not surprising her campaign propaganda failed to list other “first’s” of dubious distinction: first Caddo superintendent to have failing schools go from 1 to 12; first superintendent to increase by 31% budget expenses for administrative staff; and the first superintendent to have 21 schools show higher failure rates from one year to the next. (more…)

December 26, 2014 12:00 pm

Transition School View – Another Set of Eyes

Coalition needed!

…Went for a ride…


by Rob Broussard [in response to Educational Change…]

I’m glad Mr. Marks enjoyed the bus ride and got to tour some schools, and I truly don’t want to be Debbie Damper on his enthusiasm for education as it requires consistent efforts from a variety of sources for schools to be successful. I also want our local schools to be successful, but let’s take our rose glasses off for a few minutes and consider the following about the public relations trip and those already identified who are pushing this “New Tax bond election proposal.”Education Ahead

  1. What riders saw on that trip is happening in most schools. What were the scores of the schools you attended? Where all the schools visited Title One Schools? What you see in many “non title one schools” is being accomplished for far fewer dollars per student than in “title one schools”. It has been a misnomer for decades that (more…)

December 22, 2014 4:52 pm

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

December 9, 2014 6:47 am

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