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Story Archives: Super's suggestions meet approvals
|Super's suggestions meet approvals|
As many expected, a suggested plan to take over or increase oversight of failing schools has passed the state's highest education authority, affecting one school in Franklin Parish.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last week approved in committee and later by the entire board, Superintendent Paul Pastorek's recommendation to take over 10 failing schools and increase participation in the daily operation of 23 others, including Winnsboro Elementary School.
The recommendations were made public last Tuesday, accepted by a BESE committee following a six-hour public debate on Wednesday and approved by the full board on Thursday.
The Franklin Parish School board now has 60 days to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state board which will specify how improvements will be made and how those improvements will be measured. Failure to comply with the MOU can result in immediate state takeover of the school.
A total of eight schools in the Baton Rouge area and two in Caddo Parish were taken over by the state by the BESE move.
Many parents and representatives of the school areas now taken over protested during the BESE deliberations last week. Most argued for a state supervisory role, without state intervention.
This is the position Franklin Parish Superintendent Lanny Johnson proposed to the state in his discussions prior to the BESE decisions. Winnsboro Elementary with only small gains in four years of failing to meet state standards, now falls into the highly supervised category.
Franklin Parish officials, who were not in Baton Rouge for the BESE meetings and votes, said they had resented their positions--to retain control and lead improvement efforts--to state education staff in several earlier meetings.
"I have no idea of what they're going to do," said Johnson the day before the Pastorek recommendations were announced. "We've made our case and we'll just have to wait an see."
The next step is for local school officials to work with the state on the working the MOU and then approve the document.
Other schools in Northeast Louisiana which are now in the same category as Winnsboro Elementary include schools in East Carroll, Madison and Richland Parishes.