Superintendent White visits Caddo Parish - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Superintendent White visits Caddo Parish

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Several parents got fired up Tuesday night about the state of education in Caddo Parish when State Superintendent of Education, John White, held a forum in Shreveport.

"Seven years, 5 different principals?  It's a joke. We're losing faith. We're losing hope, and you're asking us to believe," exclaimed Kevin Fortson, talking about Fair Park High School where he and his son both graduated from.

White said at the forum that Caddo Parish has more than 20 schools that are considered academically unacceptable, and in danger of being taken over by the state.

White offered a few ideas of what might work to help turn failing schools around. For example, offering incentive pay for teams of educators tasked with turning around failing schools, but he did not say where that money would come from. 

"I think the best thing is, let's work on issues of teacher quality, let's adopt the common core standards. Let's raise the bar for our kids, lets raise the bar for our teachers, and lets support them by giving them a guide and giving them feedback," said White when asked what the most important step for Caddo Parish schools is.

Fortson says he's thankful for the opportunity to voice his concerns, but he's not sure anything was accomplished, "The jury is still out to see what Mr. White is going to do, taking what he got from this meeting. I would hope that he takes our concerns seriously, and addresses them with all the school board, Superintendent Dr. Dawkins, and we make some realistic changes."

White also visited DeSoto Parish St. Joseph's Catholic School in Shreveport on Tuesday afternoon. The private school is participating in the state's new voucher program this year. St. Joseph's says they have been very pleased with the program so far.

"Academically as well as socially these students have folded into our campus and become one of our family," said the school's marketing director, Kevin Nolten.

St. Joseph's has 7 kids on state scholarships right now. They have not decided yet if they will accept more next year.

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