Saturday, October 25, 2008

Low Performing Schools-Caddo Parish

There are apparently 11 identified "low performing schools" in Caddo parish that are currently sweating possible state takeover. Recent news media reports indicate superintendent Dr. Gerald Dawkins is planning some major changes at each of the schools.

There is also state superintendent Paul Pastorek breathing down everyone's neck, threatening (or maybe promising) major changes as well.

OK with me! Something clearly must be done to generate real change which leads to improved academic performance.

In the October 22, 2008 edition of Education Week, I came across an article about a program called Making Waves. This program appears to look at a wide range of student needs and provide the necessary services. These services go well beyond the usual tutoring etc., and of course, the program is voluntary.

I wonder if the interested parties ( State Legislators, State School Board, Caddo School Board and local citizens) could reach a consensus around recommending the following elements of change on a non-voluntary basis.

  1. Zero-tolerance policy regarding unexcused absences
  2. Required parent workshops to aid in equipping parents to participate in the child's education
  3. Mandatory parent/teacher conferences
  4. Mandatory additional support for students who earn a (C) or below in any core subject
  5. Make psychological services easily available to students in need of same

There is also the need to make certain the students have inspired leadership at each location. This battle to improve academic performance starts in the home and will be won or lost there.

What do you think?

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