The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is reiterating its support for a state takeover of 12 failing parish public schools. Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are considering placing the schools in the state’s Recovery School District. All of the schools have been rated as “academically unacceptable” for at least four years. Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the chamber, says the schools need a new direction. “While we continue to believe that school management should reside at the local level, after four years in failing school status, the current record of performance dictates that they be placed under state management and reorganized,” Knapp said in a statement.
The Louisiana Department of Education says will announce next week its recommendations for 33 failing schools—including 12 East Baton Rouge schools—and their possible placement into the state’s Recovery School District. Department spokeswoman Rene Greer says the recommendations would be delayed until next week “in light of the seriousness of these decisions and the continued dialogue with stakeholders in these communities across the state.”
The department will publicly release an executive recommendation some time next week prior to presenting its official recommendation to BESE’s State Authorized School Oversight Committee, which is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The Department is encouraging members of these communities to express their opinions to education leaders. Comments may be forwarded via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (877) 453-2721.