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Charter school growth spurt in Caddo Parish - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Charter school growth spurt in Caddo Parish

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CADDO PARISH, La. (KTBS) -

This fall Caddo Parish  narrowly missed state take over of 5 of its academically unacceptable schools.  One big reason  is that the state had trouble finding anyone to run the schools. One school management company decided Caddo , unlike south Louisiana -- lacked the community support for the charter concept of independent, but publicly funded campuses. 

But attitudes may be changing…

"I certainly do understand the charter school concept is not well received in many communities,  however I think the flip side of that is that it does provide parents with opportunities," said Dr. Lamar Goree.

At G Goree's first official meeting as superintendent the Caddo School Board approved 3 more charters. That would bring the total to 5.

Kimberly Williams of New Millennium education was hired by Caddo to review the six new charter applications. 

"My process is unique in that I handle the review,  and I have a team that does reviews and we do interviews but we also work with the district and identifying the needs of the district. Once the recommendation comes, out how do you craft the right packet for the board and put in what the staff recommendations are.," said WIlliams.
 
Each of the three she endorsed seeks to meet a need in the community.  

"Our school grade is 9 - 12 our target student is at risk credit deficient drop out recovery pregnant or parenting suspended expelled students that haven't had success in the traditional school system," said applicant Bill Toomey.

Charter school USA is hoping  to replicate its k -  8 Magnolia S school of excellence that has offered parents across the city another option to their neighborhood schools.  But before Shreveport Charter A academy can open its doors  

Magnolia must hit 90 percent capacity for the 2014-15 school year and score at least a "C" on its state assessment score.  

 Shreveport Bishop Larry Brandon's L. L. Brandon A academy of Arts' and technology charter will focus exclusively on boys.

 But first the k through 12 charter will have to assure the district that the proposed school building, a former nursing home, is adequate. The board is also concerned that a quality principal be in place by March.

"Of  course the subject we are going to focus on is technology and also arts because again,  there is a few of our young people or most of our young people, who  express themselves through the arts," said Brandon.

Meanwhile some in the community question the motives of the charter school movement.

"Why haven't you been here before what is it that you are proposing to provide our students that we can't as a school system provide even though we have truly fallen short ourselves," said resident Jon Glover.

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