School Board Takes a Stand on Statewide Accountability Changes

The Red River Parish School Board passed a resolution last Monday expressing their opposition to massive changes proposed in school accountability.  According to the Superintendent, those changes would strip Red River High of its A rating and put it at about a D.

Superintendent Alison Strong told the board there is a group opposed to the accountability system established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).  Strong said, “They are dissatisfied because a great number of high schools are receiving an A or B in the present system.  It is an effort to reduce the high scores and give more Cs, Ds and Fs.  That would cut us off at our knees.”

In the past few years Red River Schools have invested millions in improving classrooms and increasing the offerings in vocational areas.  Just this fall the new vocational building at the high school has been put in service.  Strong said, “This proposal would take credit away from our high school vocational and other programs.”

The Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, of which Strong is a member, fought back the proposal at the last BESE meeting in August.  Strong said, “It’s back on the agenda in October.  We (the Superintendents Association) have proposed an alternate system adopted by the LSBA.  Our resolution does give us points for our kits that are getting vocational endorsements through our programs and through dual enrollment.  At present this is our best option.  I ask the board to approve this resolution.”

High School Principal JC Dickey told the school board, “If adopted it would force us to move funding away from vocational and force kids into a college program.  We want every kid to make a choice that is best for them.  The proposed changes make us force them into a path that may not be in their best interest.”

The school board passed the resolution on a voice vote without dissent.

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