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Fixing Failing Schools : Caddo Holds Brainstorming Session - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Fixing Failing Schools : Caddo Holds Brainstorming Session

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A public education advocacy group rolled out a far-ranging improvement plan that would close two academically failing Caddo Parish high schools and two elementary campuses.

What ensued was a heated meeting between members of the community and the Caddo Parish School Board – and ended with all parties coming together and brainstorming ideas of how to prevent the state takeover of five schools.

The Alliance for Education, which has both aided the Caddo School Board in securing construction funds and criticized leaders for not making difficult consolidation decisions, introduced its "Helping Caddo Compete'' plan that would convert Fair Park and Woodlawn High Schools to K-8 operations. K-8 models have shown a greater success of getting students to perform at or above grade level.  Two failing elementary schools, Atkins and Midway, would close while another, Newton Smith, would convert to a K-5 magnet school.

All five schools are vulnerable to state takeover. The three that would be converted would re-start the clock on school accountability scores.

Five other failing campuses would be put on notice for possible closing: Mooretown, Queensborough, Werner Park, Westwood and Caddo Middle Career.

Interim superintendent Dr. Mary Nash - Robinson says the time is now  for the community to get involved to help save these schools.  The district has until December to come up with  a plan to present to the BESE board.

 

 Two new K-8 schools would be constructed in two Caddo growth areas – in south Caddo Parish, where University Elementary has been coping with overcrowding for years, and in the Greenwood area.

The Shreveport City Council member whose southeast district would get one of those new schools sent a letter encouraging campus realignments to Robinson. District D Councilman Michael Corbin, who chairs the council, wrote in part, "No longer can the fastest growing area of Shreveport and Caddo Parish be overlooked.  Southeast Shreveport needs a school facility now."

He also cited a need to return to "strong neighborhood and regional schools to discourage the creation of more magnet programs that draw good students from marginal schools.''  That also could help reduce transportation costs which siphons money away from academics.

 

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