CPSB: Focus on Performance Indicators, Not Smoke


by Marion Marks

We seem to sit around far too much complaining about the performance of public officials who fail to live up to our expectations. This is especially true when we often work hard to get them into office. So, when I came across new meaning for a metric that was important to me in social media for gauging the effectiveness, my mind raced to the linkage of performance measurement for those in public office. After all, it is so very similar.

Most public officials find the assessment of their effectiveness to be a factor of their public posturing or public relations. Inflatable ChickenIt’s generally the same with national officials who make the “baby-kissing circuit” or the rubber chicken lunch tour.

I would like to see far fewer public statements about successes and far more demonstrations of success. If the metric is managing a system, how smoothly do those who are regular users of the system rate the management? If it’s making the city safer, cleaner or fixing the infrastructure, have we moved forward in making change? If not, why not? That’s the most important metric.

Goree with Mayor Tyler

Key performance indicators are simply the measurement tools that determine effectiveness of past performance, not the measure of the public relations within the community. And at this moment, the key performance indicators for the CPSB are nil or basically still in process.

Superintendent Lamar Goree has been on the job for almost exactly a year, and his contract was “extended” and he was given a handsome performance bonus, one that anyone in the private sector would envy. However, the key performance metrics are still in the “TBA” realm. I just don’t understand, a simple citizen who pays taxes that is, how a school board, made up of many new faces, can determine success so quickly is beyond my mind.

Gorree's-dogponyshowI have met Dr. Goree and gone on the “dog & pony tour.” But, for the life of me, I can’t see all the success that the CPSB determined was there. I want to believe we can turn the corner. I want to believe the programs I saw at failing schools were going to turn failing schools into schools where young minds would seek knowledge, and I did see new motivation. But we can’t seem to understand that the public elects better stewardship than the big new contract indicated.

Turn Down the Raise!

I want to encourage Dr. Goree to turn down his big raise, because the CPSB was mistaken in negotiating improperly and giving it prior to any evaluation. Goree may have worked very hard in the last year, but taxpayers and too many devoted members of the school community feel that the system just doesn’t warrant such a massive raise for him or anyone in the central office at this time. And, now that the Shreveport Times has denounced the bond proposal during the May election, Caddo needs to have a reset for all parties.

The CPSB needs to rethink our plans, and the citizens need to be better involved as we address the real needs for education in a different way. Too much is at risk in Caddo to continue down the wrong path. And the scores for the failing schools still have not turned around in spite of the changes that have been instituted. We have seen the smoke or smelled a bit of the sizzle, but no one has tasted anything from the Caddo School kitchen, yet.