Aug 31, 2017

SHREVEPORT, La.- During its first meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, the Caddo Transformation Next Advisory Council took the next step in its effort to empower and improve 14 persistently struggling schools in Caddo Parish's Transformation Next Zone by reviewing progress at those sites, to date, and establishing short and long-term goals for the future.

The Caddo Transformation Next Zone is a three-year partnership between the Louisiana Department of Education and Caddo Parish Public Schools that seeks to support select schools through ambitious goal setting, community-based accountability, educator recruiting initiatives, intensive supports for teachers, and broad decision-making authority for principals. The Advisory Council, a group of seven diverse local leaders and residents convened earlier this year, monitors progress in the Zone and advises both the Caddo Superintendent and the State Superintendent on the goals established for the Zone schools and progress towards those goals in each school.

The goals outlined by the Advisory Council at its August meeting include:

  • Eliminating long-term substitute and out-of-license area teachers, as well as teacher vacancies, through improved recruiting and retention efforts, proven professional development and incentive pay plans for teachers who work at struggling sites within the Zone;
  • Increasing literacy and mathematics skills, ACT scores and high school graduation rates by providing high quality tools and resources, paired with proven professional development; and
  •  Empowering principals with the authority to hire, evaluate and terminate staff; to identify effective curricula and professional development plans; and to establish an annual school calendar and daily schedule that maximizes time with students enrolled at the school.

"Our mission is clear," said Caddo Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree. "Every child deserves the highest quality teacher who can provide dynamic and engaging instruction to prepare them for the college and career of their choice. We know we are making great progress in moving toward fulfillment of that vision."

The state department will support the Caddo Transformation Next Zone as it moves forward, said State Superintendent John White.

"This partnership is a strong example of how the Department will continue its work with school systems to create more autonomous and accountable schools in pursuit of improving results for kids," White said. "This is particularly important as Louisiana begins to implement its federally approved plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, which requires each state to present comprehensive school improvement strategies."

For a complete recap of the Advisory Council's August meeting, click here.

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