Editor: Cowards steer our ship of schools
Cut out the inflammatory rhetoric on the subjects of public education, school choice and independent districts, and Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball says you're left with this simple, inescapable conclusion: Few people, if any, are happy with the current state of academic affairs in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. "Equally apparent is that while there's abundant ranting on every side of every issue, there's little, if any, actual listening taking place," Ball writes in his latest column. "Far worse, and in typical Baton Rouge fashion, instead of banding together to deal with a complicated problem with enormous parishwide ramifications, we're taking the balkanization route." Ball says academic and financial problems plaguing the school system are only exacerbated by the parochial response of independent school districts, whose designers are "happy to saddle the Baton Rouge system with millions in legacy costs while also creating gerrymandered districts that are remarkably devoid of poor and minority students." Ball believes it's time for parish leaders to sit down with an open mind and find new solutions that can work for all children. Public education in East Baton Rouge is a problem in search of leadership, he says, not special or parochial interests. "When a ship is listing, a coward screams, 'Every man for himself!' A leader declares, 'All hands on deck,' " Ball says. "Right now, we've got cowards at the helm." Read the full column here; and send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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