To my many Friends who wish me Happy Birthday: born Oct 29, 1929, an auspicious event! The legacy of that day, that year, requires me to consider the state of the world today and how far we have come.
Eight decades of experiences! More than I care to count. There were events and memories to warm the soul; friends who allowed me (actually all of us) to celebrate successes, many achievements for Louisiana. We survived some potential catastrophes and many of our citizens prospered. There have been vast improvements to our lives, marvels of modern technology. We traveled both in time and space, monumental successes and failures that should have served us better.The crossroads we find today parallel October 29, 1929. That catastrophic abyss, when our families were caught in unsupportable investments, snake-oil salesmen and conscienceless politicians. It’s the same as many of today’s front-page calamities.
From Washington cronyism to Louisiana Governor Jindal, we see claimed successes that are mostly smoke and mirrors. With almost total control of the educational system, from Baton Rouge to Caddo Parish, most educational “reform” is no more than a shakedown, often damaging children, yielding a legacy that is consistent with our national reputation. I believe that in eighty years, we have traveled up the scale a long way, but we are capable of demonstrating extreme stupidity with our leaders.
From Jindal’s “Accountability” and “Reform,” it’s everywhere but in the Governor’s office! There are great expectations, but poor examples. In the Caddo Parish School system, from the board to superintendent, the truth is that the emperor has no clothes. Our leaders cannot live up the standards teachers give in the classroom. The Governor has complete control of the BESE board, and he can call all the shots, but there are limited successes. The Caddo superintendent can go to a failing school and can’t keep control of a single student who may curse him at will.
The president of the Caddo’s school board, as well as most of the board are dealing poorly with a budget that is out of balance and doing little to instill support or citizens, staff, teachers or students. I go from the capital to the classrooms and find many hard-working citizens who deserve leaders with vision and a sense of teamwork or a “Can-Do” or “Will DO” attitude.
I expect more and demand more today than I did as a youth. And after more than eighty years, I hope our citizens will demand more and not accept anything short of success. So, thanks again for the birthday wishes. I’ll have a lot more to say on the various topics that really get to me at a future date. For now, go out there and win one for Louisiana.
Respectfully, Bob Forward