Tensions are rising between state and East Baton Rouge Parish education leaders. The issue is whether the state will take over 12 failed public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish. State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said he will spell out his recommendations to the state’s top school board Friday. The board is then scheduled to make the final decision Jan. 15.
There are clear signs the takeover threat has triggered hard feelings on both sides. Pastorek has minced no words in describing his view of the schools. He told the editorial board of The Advocate on Dec. 17 the 12 schools have “utterly failed” and need dramatic change.
Test scores back up that view. Schools have to achieve minimum scores of 60 on annual state evaluations to avoid trouble. The state average this past year was 87.2.