EBR School Board approves strategic plan

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dennis Blunt of the community based Committee for Educational Excellence outlined a 21-page strategic plan at Thursday night's East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting.

"The East Baton Rouge School System will be a top 10 Louisiana district by 2020," said Blunt.

The plan, which rewards teachers for a string of positive evaluations, also targets those who are deemed ineffective by their superiors.  Instead of firing the bottom 25 percent of failing teachers as first written in the plan, that segment was amended.

"A teacher rated ineffective shall be offered the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation program developed by his or her principal.  A teacher that receives a subsequent ineffective rating shall be automatically dismissed," read Councilwoman Barbara Freiberg.

The amendment did little to appease many members of the public in attendance and a few board members.

"You're going to have a situation where so much evaluation is going at what point is instruction going to resume," said board member Tarvald Smith.

"Each child does not walk into my room even. The children come with different culture experiences, with different handicaps. All of our children are not going to enter into first grade reading," added Carnell Washington of the local chapter of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

"This is about knowing what good instruction is, providing the supports for it, observing it, giving people feedback and them helping them to grow their process," said East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor.

After voting down a motion to delay consideration of the strategic plan, the 11 board members cast their votes on approval of the plan itself.

"The motion passes the strategic plan is passed," said School Board President David Tattman.

The vote culminated a process first developed nearly two years earlier.  Tattman touted the hard work of all those involved.

"I can't count the number of meetings and I think it's a good plan," said Tattman. "I don't think it's a perfect plan, but I will tell you this, it is definitely what we need a vision for East Baton Rouge Parish."

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