Readers sent me links to articles that show how a new superintendent in Baton Rouge is systematically destroying public education there.
The superintendent worked previously in Grand Rapids, where he was put on leave and his contract was bought out.
Before that he was in Kansas City, a district that has been afflicted with a series of ineffective leaders.
First, read this account of his plan to remake the Baton Rouge schools by eliminating attendance zones and having schools compete for students, which is what has happened in recent years on Michigan.
Why he is closing Delmont Elementary School, which is in the midst of a federally-funded three-year turnaround and making great strides with an excellent staff, is a mystery.
After you read the link, be sure to read the discussion that follows in the comments. I quote two of the commenters because I know them both and know them as knowledgeable, reliable, and fair judges of what is happening.
Here is Mike Deshotels:
“16) Comment by mikedeshot – 03/24/2013
The slanted reporting continues in an effort to cover up the continued failure of the State Department of Education as they continue to experiment with children’s lives. The reporter starts off by telling us that these reorganizations are an effort to deal with stiff competition for students. This is not correct. The State DOE has failed miserably with their takeover of local schools to the point that almost half of the students attending takeover charter schools have left them to return to the regular public school system. The truth is that the State is continuing to threaten to take over more schools that in many cases are already well run and are showing progress. The best example is Delmont Elem. which now has a top notch staff of experienced teachers and is only in the second year of a federally funded turnaround effort. Its enrollment has increased greatly as parents have “chosen” to send their children where they know they are getting a good education. Yet this reorganization caused by the bullying of the DOE is going to close the school and send the students god knows where. This is destruction, not progress.”
Here is Noel Hammatt, expert researcher:
“It is easy for someone who isn’t cursed with the knowledge of what is really going on to pass over this article without ever seeing any key elements. Charles Lussier’s critique of the meeting, and his aggravation about what is being done by this Board and Superintendent on the orders of others, is almost completely invisible to anyone who hasn’t followed the situation closely. Let me spell it out for those who might have already given up on the school system. A couple of simple quotes to start. “Eight separate items the board approved Thursday had not previously been considered.” Let’s ponder that for a moment. For nearly 18 years or more, the Board has in almost every single case given the public details and two Board Meetings at which to raise any issues that might, if listened to, actually improve plans. Yet at last night’s meeting, eight separate items were seen by the public FOR THE FIRST TIME! With no details to debate, examine, or approve. The second telling item is actually contained in the subtext between two other statements. We have Craig Freeman, a “Deform” candidate (I am now calling the so-called “reformers” by the title of “deformers” as their intent is not to reform public education, but to destroy it and replace it with an ALEC inspired model pushed by the Prophets of Profit at places like ALEC, BAEO, and the Center for Education Reform, and by their local puppets at ABC, BRAC and BRAF and now BRAZ, and CABL, of course) heavily supported by all the “deform” groups says of the meeting “I was so excited for this board meeting, more than any meeting than I’ve seen since I’ve been on this board,” sounds innocuous enough, until you add it to the Superintendent’s (who has managed to get tax-funded buy-outs in his firing by the only two other Boards he served under and is now suing his last Board over his buyout) who says he has “made himself available to board members who sought him out, but not everyone has taken him up on that.” I know for a fact that many in the media have asked for more details on his plans, and been stymied at every turn. I went to meetings where none of these things were presented in enough detail for ANYONE to make a decision. If Board Members did have more details, it was in private conversations with the Superintendent to which no one else was privy. Is this what passes for “transparency.” Just as other deformers have done, this board and superintendent have taken to operating behind closed doors, and then passing what Freeman suggested were the most sweeping changes WITH NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION! There were no documents for the public to see! As democracy goes, it was a low moment for this board. More to come. No data, no details, a “trust me” mentality. Oh, and one final comment. Taylor said the board had this “Sophie’s Choice.” Either approve my plans, with no details, or let the state takeover. Like the threat of takeover just happened on Wednesday night. Shame on this community if this farce of democracy is allowed to continue unchallenged. Some of the Board Members went out of their way to defend this last minute, back-room hatched & hidden agenda. Shame on them. ”
Here is a link about the superintendent.