Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish School Board’

Failure and Rising to the Challenge

Caddo Teachers today...

Caddo Teachers today…

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.

Panic concept.

The state of Midway Leadership

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

Discrimination Among Caddo High Schools

Can we get away with it?

Can we get away with it?

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, 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

The CPSB Needs to Reevaluate the Numbers

CPSB-fail01Rumors 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.

Hosed by votersThe 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

Our Community’s Hidden Power of Kindness

the_thinkerShreveport 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.What screws us up

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

Evaluating Local Decisions

Glover and School Board Questions

Original decisions still worth it?

Original decisions still worth it?

Even when major commitments of time and effort have been devoted to a project, even you realize work has been based upon bad assumptions, it is better to cease work, admit errors and commit to new and better direction. Invested energy is irrelevant when faulty logic has hampered the decision process. This is clearly the case with several local governmental projects. Those in control now must ask only one simple question: What is the right thing to do now?”

We have invested poorly.

We have invested poorly.

Mayor Glover and the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) both have been operating under poor basic reasoning processes. It is now illogical for both to continue on their present course with the two projects that are on the front of each public agenda just because “they already exist in the form we find them today”. The matter had to be worthwhile in its own right. What was invested in the past is (more…)

Add comment August 2, 2013 10:34 am

Caddo Superintendent: The “Fix” Is In

    Mary Nash Robinson     "It's Almost a Done Deal!"

Mary Nash Robinson
“It’s Almost a Done Deal!”

by Bob Forward

The fix is in! The Caddo Parish School Board has stacked the deck to force the hiring of “insider” Mary Nash Robinson as the next leader of the Caddo Parish School System. In doing so, they have reinforced the lack of confidence concerned members of the community feel about the board’s actions. But it still boggles the mind that the Caddo Parish School Board paid over $30,000 to come up with John Dilworth and Agnella Katrise Perera as two of three finalists for superintendent.

According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, soon after he was hired as the East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent, questions were raised about a prior working relationship Mr. Dilworth had with Clay Siagle, a manager in Volkert and Associates, the company hired to “improve EBR schools.”

"The Sting"

“The Sting”

WSFA television in Montgomery, Alabama reported that Clay Siagle “worked with Dilworth in Caddo Parish and came to Montgomery at the same time” that Mr. Dilworth became superintendent. When Mr. Dilworth left Alabama before his term expired, Mr. Siagle was named by the school board as Dilworth’s temporary replacement. Next, Siagle was hired by Volkert, and the (more…)

Add comment July 17, 2013 7:16 am

Vote “NO” on Tax Renewals on May 4

by John Settle

I am voting “no” on Saturday May 4th on the 3 tax renewals for the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB), – – – and I am urging other Caddo voters to do the same. My reasons are simple, – – – to send a message to the highly dysfunctional Caddo Parish School Board. Here are my reasons for a “NO” vote:

1. None of the three renewals will have any affect on the next year’s school budget; two mileages expire at the end of this year and the third at the end of 2014. If all three fail and are not renewed at a later date, the tax deficit would have no impact until the 2014-2015 school year.

2. One third (1/3) of Caddo schools are rated “F” under the state accountability system and could be taken over or closed by 2014. A state school take over means local tax dollars go to the state for that school’s student population.

3. Caddo parish taxes are the second (2nd) highest in Louisiana – 20 mils higher than Baton Rouge.

4. The Caddo school system is in a leadership void – Dr. Dawkin’s contract was not renewed and thus he is a lame duck until the end of his contract in August of this year.

5. The Caddo Parish School Board has failed to manage its finances prudentially; what was once a budget surplus of $40 million when Dawkins became superintendent will mostly likely be exhausted at the end of the upcoming (2013-2014) school year.

6. The School Board has failed to acknowledge the impact of Magnolia Charter School opening this Fall; its 500 students will bring with them state funding for each child.

7. The Caddo Parish School Board ignored the reality that at least three high schools should be closed due to student populations less than 500 and continuing academic under performance – – Booker T. Washington, Fair Park and Green Oaks School. Minority schools in minority neighborhoods can no longer be justified on the basis of history, neighborhood unity or racial rhetoric.

8. The tax renewal campaign is false and misleading – -due to increased values in real estate, new assessments will result in the payment of more taxes over the life of the ten year rental term.

In summary, the Caddo School system is a slowly sinking boat – and has been for the last five more years. Presently the system has no real direction, severely declining income, and no plan in place for the future. A ten year tax renewal is being requested when the school system lacks a twelve month vision – much less a ten year plan of action.

The current School Board is in office for three more years; and the only way to send a message to this dysfunctional group is to vote “NO” on May 4th. A defeat of the tax renewals would be a loud and clear message by taxpayers. The tax renewals are, in effect, a referendum on Caddo public education. Need I say more?

Add comment April 26, 2013 6:00 am


Shreveport Attorney John Settle

by John Settle

If ever tax renewals should be defeated, these are the ones: 3 Caddo Parish School Board tax millages generating $55 million a year. The election is May 4th; the renewals are the only items on the ballot.

The School Board has been urged by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance of Election to delay these tax renewals until the November ballot. The sound reasoning for this request can not be refuted by even a village idiot. There are a number substantial of uncertainties facing the school system, – – – financial issues, unknowns from the state ( as to school takeovers) and a future without a known superintendent.Caddo_Village Idiots Needed

At a recent special board meeting, School Board President Larry Ramsey along with (more…)

Add comment April 12, 2013 6:00 am



by Elliott Stonecipher

We are responsible!

We are responsible!

To many of us, it was the real proof that all elections are not created equal; that what is at stake on some election days is far, far more important than most. That voting day in 1991 is now known as “the election from hell,” and notwithstanding the fact that no one of us has yet reported back from there, what was happening certainly felt sickening and other-worldly. Edwin Edwards and David Duke were in a run-off for governor, and we trudged to the polls as if to a wake for a dear and special friend, but with a quickened step. Two of the best bumper stickers in American political history told the story: “Vote for the Crook … It’s Important!,” and “Vote for the Lizard, Not the Wizard.” It was important that Louisiana not be known to the world as the deep southern congregation of people who elected the KKK’s top guy to forever curse it. All bets in the games and times of political normalcy and entertainment were off: this was a moral imperative, and we knew it.Duke=Edwards-campaign

In our own way, that brings Caddo Parish residents to May 4th. No, the godawful idea of somehow permitting the election of David Duke as governor is not before us, but protecting the education of our kids from (more…)

Add comment April 3, 2013 12:09 pm


Shreveport Attorney John Settle

by John Settle

Caddo voters will have an opportunity to express their approval or disapproval of Caddo public education on May 4th. No, its not (unfortunately) a re-call election for all twelve (12) school board members, but for all practical purposes this election could be just that.

Poison apple?

Poisoned apple?

Voters will be asked to renewal three (3) expiring Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) ad valorem taxes. Proposition No. 1 is a 17.11 mills tax to provided funds for operation, maintenance, and “additional support” for schools. Proposition No. 2, a levy of 6.86 mills, is to acquires sites for and the construction and improvements of school buildings. Proposition No. 3 is a 11.26 levy for the acquisition, replacement and maintenance of microcomputers, buses, air conditioners and “other equipment”.

money-ballot-boxAs expected, these propositions are the only items on the ballot, – – – and voter turnout would probably be very low, as in abysmal. That is the usual strategy for tax renewal elections, and often the only real advertisement is pitched to voters who are not real estate owners, or to those under the tax threshold, – – – for this election a assessed property value of $75,000.

The school board’s “No New Taxes for Caddo Public School,” webpage has a rosy sales pitch touting that the (more…)

Add comment March 21, 2013 6:00 am

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