My School Board Report Card: F-

When your child comes home with a note from the school, you tend to place some stock in the content of written communications on school letterhead. Recently schools across the state were assigned grades based on national standards. If a report card comes home with a letter grade of “F” it is a signal that something is wrong. You might understand the recorded message that was sent to your home phone. (Download & listen here).If the school system published your school’s rating as “A+” you tend to believe the school is doing something correctly. However, Caddo Parish found a new way to really upset everyone in the system. Students, at ALL schools, regardless of “A” or “F” grades, brought home a letter with almost exactly the same text, yet customized on each school’s letterhead to specifically recommend that parents should disregard the letter grade assigned to their child’s school.

We have seen boneheaded decisions in the last few years come out of the Midway office of the Caddo Parish School System, but this seems to set a new level for counter-productive work. “A+” school parents were told that those grades received were just as meaningless as the “F” rating designated for failing schools. The mental dwarfs at the central office slapped down even Blue Ribbon Schools that continue to maintain high levels of performance.

When we ask for accountability in financial matters, we get the “dodge & weave” treatment. When we ask for accountability in the classroom, we get the “Bonehead” one-size-fits-all excuses.

Report cards meant something when we attended school, and quite honestly we have to give the leadership of Caddo an “F-” in almost every area. CPSB members generally don’t have a clue how hard teachers and building administrators, along with most supervisors are working to make the whole system accountable and succeed. Elected members of the school board and key leadership have an agenda that doesn’t serve anyone but a few special interests and themselves. Citizens who are keeping score have asked appropriate governmental agencies to get involved and investigate financial mismanagement. Parents should see the report-card mismanagement as another clear sign of the incompetence that deserves to be called for what it is.