Category: Louisiana Education

Louisiana education continues to be the political football for everyone

Zika Virus Dangers in Shreveport

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This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

by William B. Wiener, Jr.

For all inhabitants of Shreveport, the City Council, and Mayor Tyler, the issues of the Zika virus will reach critical mass if we fail to understand the potential dangers and begin to address them properly. We must remember that in 1873 Shreveport was devastated by the Yellow Fever epidemic which killed one-fourth of Shreveport’s population.

Yellow fever is initially spread by mosquitoes, then human to human, and Yellow Fever is active today and potentially spreading Read more

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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

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

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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

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Students Need Peace Not Turmoil

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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

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Tale of 2 School Plans: Caddo & East Baton Rouge

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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

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Predicting the CPSB Mentality in Loss

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by Marion Marks

i_votedBelieving there are abundant factual reasons to believe that Elliott Stonecipher was accurate in his assessment of the CPSB Bond election results, “… the boss-people’s secrecy that killed the plan. We have a mature population here, and we have seen every political trick in the book from local elected and other officials.”

I still believe that Superintendent Goree had raised the morale and the stakes for many of the failing schools he was saddled with, but the path he and the board must navigate are littered with bodies and remnants of mines from those whose agenda is marked by personal territories and profits for Read more

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The CPSB Victory Party That Wasn’t

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Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

When the Caddo Parish School Board’s error-plagued tax plan failed at the polls yesterday, it was a much bigger deal than most will conclude.  The outcome beat the conventional wisdom and broad expectation well established in our electoral behavior:  “These things always pass.”

“These things” are the poison which has brought Caddo to its economic and population-stagnation knees.

Vote Smart“These things” is code for gatherings of powerful for-profit interests whenever they decide business is slow enough here to need a public bond issue … run through some local governmental body.  “Hey, guys, let’s get those school board people to slap together a list of new schools and stuff in one of those bond deals and get Read more

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Why Caddo Voted the Way They Did

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sheep-Vote-NO-CPSBlby Marion Marks

Monday morning quarterbacks always have 20-20 vision interpreting election results, and the two bond issues Saturday, that had different results, are no exception. Here is my simplistic interpretation of why one passed and another failed.

The Biomed Bond which cost taxpayers the least of the two passed by a handy margin for the following reasons:

  1. Well-targeted print, air-wave advertising messages that were easy for general public to translate into a “Yes” vote. Read more
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Vote “NO” Like You Mean It!

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by Marion Marks

Surprise!
deafening

There are so many people telling voters so much about the two bond issues on the ballot tomorrow that many people tell me the noise is deafening. What I do know is that there are lots of people worried about the results of the election who won’t take the time to vote, and worse yet they will be the loudest after the election complaining about the results.

All I am certain of is that the majority of voters –those who cast a ballot– will have doubt about their vote after they cast it, and it will cause many heart burn long after the vote is cast. I also believe that my all-time contention of “following the money” holds true here as much as it ever will. Those with a vested interest in construction and the business world around schools and the medical community -NOT THE TEACHERS & MEDICAL STAFF- are the loudest in generating business for themselves.CPSB shakedown-taxes Also, the community of election workers, the political machinery and the parasites living off the real workers are less likely to give best guidance on the issues behind the bond money that will be raised by taxes.

Seldom have I spoken against a bond election, because bond monies in the past were generators of jobs, education improvements and a better future Read more

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CPSB Tactics Cross Well Into Constitutional Prohibition

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No-surprise$by Elliott Stonecipher

This stunning development is no surprise, I suppose, given how far government has wandered from what most believe is right and true and proper.  

It now seems more than merely possible that the Yogism from 1973 applies to the Caddo Parish School Board’s pro-tax plan campaign:  “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”  The election on Saturday may prove to be something less than the end of the CPSB’s hyper-aggressive political op to borrow yet another $108,000,000 for a bunch of new buildings.

Corrupt-briberyI am no attorney, but I know some here who are outstanding.  The Pesnell Law Firm, some readers may remember, is working pro bono, as am I, in challenging the Caddo Parish Commission’s apparently unconstitutional retirement system, CPERS, as it is called.

Without any mention of the CPSB tax campaign from me, Whitney Pesnell telephoned today to share his concern about the school board’s campaign, and its admitted Read more

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