Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’
Why a Run-Away School Administration and
Board Need to be Told “NO!”
by Marion Marks
Creating a great marketing title for a tax election is as critical a component for gaining support as anything, and Caddo Parish officials have an excellent record for constructively wording tax plans to obtain voter approval. Reinvest in Caddo, the name chosen by the Caddo Parish School Board(CPSB) for the bond election on the May 2nd ballot appears, on the surface, to be no more than a renewal of existing taxes. However the facts, chemistry and larger picture for Caddo is far more sinister as school leadership has crafted behind the scenes a long-range plan citizens must struggle to comprehend. The leadership of both the CPSB and the administration have resisted giving citizens a clear picture of the ramifications of their plans.
The Caddo School School Administration(CPSA) and the CPSB have constructed scenarios the culminate in the current plan, and since Superintendent Goree was approved to take control from failed superintendent Gerald Dawkins in 2014 back-room maneuvers have only heated up. Currently CPSB is represented (more…)
February 25, 2015 11:22 am
by Marion Marks
Thanking Brian O’Nuanain publicly is my first intent with this writing, but his message [You should listen to the radio story…] has such a deeper resonance for citizens that most listeners of Red River Radio probably missed. Brian’s journey is a beautiful and also tragic tale on the surface, but a secondary message of his love for education and a value for true educators requires a second telling.
Brian is an educator whose words demand a greater audience because the mission of true educators, blessed and cursed with a deep desire to impart knowledge and wisdom to a larger audience, is always a tragic tale today.
The love of teaching Brian bares as he reveals the (more…)
February 19, 2015 11:57 am
Some things about local and parish government around here are plain ol’ inarguable. Near the top of that list is this: when it comes to taxing the economic life out of this place, no government body has done more of it, or been better at it over time, than the Caddo Parish School Board.
The political left-of-center, tax-and-spend machine of CPSB members and the administrative staff now wants $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings. I did not make that up. New schools!
This time, Election Day will be May 2nd. The story, however, is very different from CPSB’s many, many previous such spending hootenannies. This time, our Caddo Parish home quite literally cannot – by any objective analysis – afford this.
If the “greater good” still has meaning here, it dictates and demands that property taxes ONLY (more…)
February 16, 2015 2:46 pm
by Marion Marks
Caddo Parish faces many obstacles similar regions encounter as limited resources are rationed to meet demands of health, education, security and the general welfare. Governing authorities make many decisions under difficult circumstances, often without the consent of the governed. Citizens provide a pot of resources officials use to direct expenditures and the officials struggle to control how services are provided and who takes what from the pot.
Equity or “give and take” slide along the fulcrum of political power which is leveraged to extract spoils from the public trough. Sadly, good citizens pay dearly as hard-ball politics trample the innocent who struggle to remain on the sidelines. Children in Caddo public schools, and their parents, appear to have their future resting on a politically-driven school board and a coming bond election. Power politics will decide the parish’s future.
February 4, 2015 5:00 pm
by 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. I was in a pitched battle with professional educators on an urgent matter of public policy reform, and had studied the most meaningful (more…)
January 21, 2015 12:02 pm
by 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. 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
by 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
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.
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
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.)
Evidently 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
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.”
- 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