Feb 03, 2017

Dialogue Will Inform Recommendations for Improving Persistently Struggling Schools

BATON ROUGE, La.- The Louisiana Department of Education and the Recovery School District will host a public meeting on Tuesday, February 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Peaceful Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Shreveport to discuss recommendations for working with the Caddo Parish School Board to improve long-struggling schools in Shreveport.
Schools that will be discussed include one school governed by the state, Linwood Public Charter School, as well as a number of locally governed schools addressed in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the state and the parish school board. The MOU will expire at the end of this school year, and the Department will be making recommendations as to plans for Linwood and other Caddo schools to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at the board's Mach 7 meeting.
The meeting is open to any member of the public. State Superintendent of Education John White and Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard will open the meeting with a presentation of facts about student achievement at Linwood and at schools included in the MOU. The remainder of the meeting will entail public comment on all related schools.
Caddo Parish schools have made important gains in recent years under the leadership of Superintendent Lamar Goree. At the same time, Caddo Parish remains home to the state's densest concentration of persistently struggling schools enrolling exclusively students from low-income homes. Of 66 schools in the parish, 15 have letter grades of 'F' and 22 have letter grades of 'D.' Nearly 20,000 students, more than half of all in the parish, are enrolled in these schools.
The lifelong cost to the low-income students enrolled in these schools is dramatic. Only two percent of students in the parish's D- and F-rated high schools, for example, attain an ACT score necessary to earn the TOPS college scholarship.
"We have decisions to make about the future of Linwood and of several other schools that have had struggles in spite of years of hard work and progress in Shreveport," Superintendent Dobard said. "It's important that the Department and the Recovery School District work closely with Superintendent Goree, the Caddo Parish school system, and the Shreveport community to address the needs of the students in question."
"Given the decisions in front of us, there is an opportunity for partnership between the state and the local school district," said Superintendent White. "We share the responsibility for making change, and I am looking forward to hearing from the people of Shreveport as to how this can best happen at Linwood and at the other schools being discussed."

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