Viewpoint: February 1, 2012

East Baton Rouge Parish is facing a crisis. Seven out of 10 students in the EBR School System are  attending a school whose performance is rated a 'D' or 'F.' That data, released in a study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, comes at a pivotal time for the school system.

Superintendent John Dilworth is leaving after three years in the top spot. And, while EBR's performance increased five points last year, it's not enough. It's not nearly enough. The next superintendent has to do better, much better.

The search for Dilworth's replacement has proven to be contentious and controversial among school board members. In a surprise move last week, the board decided to name only one finalist, Dr. Samuel King from Georgia. Clouding the picture more, the board has said it's possible Dr. King will not be offered the job and the search will have to start all over.

While the clock is ticking, we urge board members to take the necessary time to find the right superintendent for EBR. We also urge the board to make a greater effort to show unity and the ability to work together. Their decision is critical and one that could shape the futures of young minds in East Baton Rouge for generations to come.