State Superintendent of Education John White. (American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 1:10 PM
State Education Superintendent John White on Monday named representatives of two public school systems in Southwest Louisiana to the Louisiana Believes advisory committees.
Four committees will oversee direction and implementation of the new program. One committee is composed of teachers, one of principals and one of superintendents and administrators and one of parents and community members from across the state. Ten members of the different committees are from Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes.
Calcasieu representatives Vicky Broussard, Donna Little, Michelle LeBlanc, Lorri Caldwell and Michelle Brown will be on the teacher committee, and Ina Delahoussaye will be on the principal committee. Calcasieu Superintendent Wayne Savoy was named to the superintendents committee.
“I am very passionate about public education, and I wanted to take the opportunity to help people understand the challenges we face in the public school system,” Savoy said. “If everyone understood the challenges, they would know the direction we need to go.”
Two teachers from Jefferson Davis Parish, Cornella Hebert and Mia Orgeron, are on the committee, as well as Cassidy Juneau, a principal.
White said the Department of Education is accepting nominations for the Community and Parent Advisory Committee. Nominations can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the next two weeks.
The committee will meet quarterly over the next year and will oversee the new Louisiana Believes plan.
“Each advisory committee will dialogue with national and statewide leaders in education reform. They will write policy recommendations for each step of how we implement this plan. They will also work with the department on a yearlong project of how to best communicate with their constituents,” White said.
The final version of the plan was released Monday and is made up of what White calls the “eight critical goals.”
An academic prekindergarten program for all students in Louisiana.
Adjusting expectations to reflect “competitive goals” through the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Compass.
Setting up “network teams” to provide support to districts and their schools.
Giving teachers the ability to choose academic material beyond the state-approved textbooks.
Allowing superintendents more flexibility in how they spend funds.
Creating “achievement zones” in districts with large numbers of failing schools.
Enrolling students who qualify into schools participating in the Louisiana Student Scholarship Program.
Beginning “Course Choice” to provide career training as part of the state’s core K-12 education program.
White said the goal of Louisiana Believes is to help ensure all students are on track to attain a college degree or succeed in a professional career.
White will visit several districts over the summer to discuss the plan and its implementation. He will be in Beauregard Parish in August. The date is still to be determined.