From Caddo Parish School Board

Wear the Crazy Mantle -Vote Yes

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by Marion MarksVote Thumbs Up

Among the greatest advantages of being very young or very old is the ability to accept being called crazy or idealistic. The young are excused because of their innocence or naivety, whereas the old are addled or senile. Yet there is truth in the oft quoted saying, “out of the mouth of babes…”

Politics and life collect the bitterest of critics, quite often as a response to greed, envy and struggles for fear of a loss of control. Accepting choices that are not our own, seen as giving up control by many, or becoming a loyal follower, is difficult for people who expect to always be in control. And society or the media has attempted to educate citizens that they should always be able to control their destiny. Regretfully, appreciating the differences in what parts of ones life where this is possible as opposed to where it is not is a systemic failure. Read more

Education is a RIGHT of All Citizens – Support the Bond Election –

by Willie Bradford, Shreveport City Councilman

Willie Bradford
Willie Bradford

The debate over the last 3 weeks in regards to education and the CPSB millage renewal have exposed us to who we really are. We’re several communities: rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, those that understand the value of education, those that feel that some of our children (especially African Americans) are so wayward that they’re not worthy of educating. Educating them is a waste of taxpayers dollars. Nothing can be further from the Truth!! Education is a right not a Privilege. – Everybody is Education Worthy. – Anybody can Learn.

Learning_Gate
Anybody can!

So instead of being real about our true feeling, we’ve spend the last 3 weeks camouflaging them with gossip and rumors to justify Read more

Students Need Peace Not Turmoil

Willie Bradford, Councilman
Willie Bradford, Councilman

By Willie Bradford

Caddo Parish is too often several communities: rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, one at peace with itself and one in turmoil.

But perhaps most of all, we are a parish dangerously split according to the condition of our children. The inertial forces seem plain; Children from intact households end to prosper, or at least have a fair shot at prosperity. The support components are here. But children born into single-parent or nontraditional households more often than not are born into poverty and tend to stay there; the support components are not always Read more

Caddo School Audit Reveals Substantial Deficiencies in Construction Project Expenditures

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It’s a good thing that a recent internal audit of the Caddo School Board’s Capital Construction and Projects Department (CCPD) surfaced this August—versus last year this time when the School Board was pushing the renewal of a school tax bond. This report should cause some concern by the School Board, which after the last Board election has operated as a rubber stamp for Superintendent Goree. However many skeptics doubt that the 2014 Bond defeat has changed much of the tax and spend mentality on Midway. [[2015 Internal Audit from CPSB]]

Patrick Williams SPECIAL!
Very SPECIAL!

At the time of the audit, the CCPD had 138 special projects for the 2014/2015 fiscal year; these projects are typically not approved by the Board. A review of 20 of these revealed serious problems: no documentation as to who requested or approved the project; no contracts, or proof of insurance or performance bonds in the Read more

Tale of 2 School Plans: Caddo & East Baton Rouge

Re-Image Caddo Coverby Elliott Stonecipher

‘Tis the season, I suppose.  With its massive property tax – and more? – election coming next spring, our Caddo Parish School Board and sizable central office staff are now rolling out another “strategic plan.”  The current draft of this latest one is a 37-pager (here).

With Kisatchie Forest-like density, the new plan is entitled “Re-Imagine Caddo:  The Plan for Excellence.”  We should take care not to mistake it for last year’s “Re-Invest in Caddo” plan, or its notorious tax-and-spend-on-steroids predecessor, “Vision 2020.

Elliott_StonecipherEven our school board members are not likely to read this one, and Superintendent Lamar Goree’s appeals notwithstanding, neither is the public.  Here is a sample paragraph, verbatim, from Page 9 to give readers a feel for that to which we are treated:

“1.  Implement RtI (Response to Intervention) with fidelity including Read more

Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink Sticks It to Education PAC; Black CPSB Members Stick it to District 11

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015As if the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) did not have enough PR problems, the 6 black board members have further dug their popularity grave deeper with the voters of District 11 which encompasses most of Southern Hills. In what can only be classified as a major surprise, if not shock, the CPSB selected Shalanda Swift-Watkins to the District 11 seat until the fall elections. The back story on this board selection is just as interesting as the politic dynamics that resulted in the selection of a black lady to represent an overwhelmingly white district. (Voter registration is District 11 is 73% white, 24% black and 3% other.)

Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink
Kacee Hargrove Kirschvink

Kirschvinck, known to most as Kaycee Hargrove, unseated 2 term incumbent Ginger Armstrong in last fall’s primary election; Parker Ward was a distance third. Kaycee received substantial campaign funds from a then new formed education PAC that successfully supported 4 other challengers to incumbent board members. The motivation of the education PAC became quite obvious at the first meeting of the newly elected Board in Read more

CPSB “Special Selection” Deadline Danger!

by Marion Marks

Quicksand sign-Board MembersSadly, a recently elected school board member, Kacee Hargrave Kirschvink, who had good experience in handling difficult matters has resigned. However, the CPSB is using strings and poor judgement in an attempt to fill the seat in haste and without necessary time for many potential good candidates to consider running for the open seat. The deadline of seven (7) days to file for the open seat selection is unnecessarily short, even when the board has twenty (20) days to fill the temporary seat as suggested.

It appears the haste will force citizens to make a knee-jerk decision because the timeline is dictated by forces the CPSB can claim as exigent conditions. Sadly for District Eleven, the vacancy leaves a hole in the board’s ability to ram through Read more