Viewpoint: January 14, 2009 - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: January 14, 2009

We have all heard the outcries over public education. Parents and community leaders are angry or frustrated, parish school administrators are critical of a looming state takeover, and state education leaders say enough is enough. We believe this debate, this focus on our schools, is long overdue.

In East Baton Rouge, we have 12 schools that are failing. 70% of the students can't read at their grade level. We have failed to give our children the education they deserve.

The school board argues it has a plan to fix things, but these failures have developed over a number of years. Now, state education chief Paul Pastorek is recommending that the state take over eight of those failing schools, and take an active role in developing a recovery plan at the remaining four.

Any state takeover is controversial, but we believe the focus should be on the children, not political turf. If the state can bring more resources, a fresh approach, and a chance for success, that's something our students deserve. We urge parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders to stay vocal and stay involved. Make sure any changes truly benefit the children. We'd like to see the same interest in other struggling schools before any more are graded a failure.
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