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NAACP critical of Tangipahoa failing schools

AMITE—Black leaders are highly critical of Tangipahoa Parish School Board in the direction in which the long running law suit against the board and the large amount
of tax payer money is being wasted.
Community leader and elective offi cial Iram Gordon of Kentwood expressed her feeling to the school board in a recent board meeting for the lack of support for the schools in Kentwood. Former Kentwood High principal Ann Smith who represents that area as a board member disagreed with Gordon

Smith said,” I appreciate the board and Mr. Kolwe for what there are doing for the
entire parish. The north end has not been left out.”

School Board member Brett Duncan agreed with Smith, stating she led the effort to have a new $15 million O.W. Dillon Elementary School built, and millions of dollars for Kentwood High.

Pat Morris President of Greater Tangipahoa Parish Branch NAACP (GTPBNAACP) field questions Tangipahoa Parish School Board on the state of schools in Tangipahoa Parish, because those who question what happening say are many times, calls go unanswered and not returned from many at schools and in the administration, she said.

We are going to bring heavy, heavy pressure on our Superintendent,Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer.We renew our campaigner for a trained educator as superintendent.We emphasize it is not a race thing, it is about quality education. Our current superintendent cannot provide leadership as an educator. He is not one.This
should now be obvious. His leadership is putting the Parish deeper in the hole in the desegregation case and the failure of schools to meet State standards cannot be ignored

It is obvious, he does not have a plan and he doesn’t have the slightest clue as to what to do. St. Tammany has “A” rated schools, while Tangipahoa Parish is saturated with “D” and “F” rated schools. The (RSD) Recovery School District is right around the corner. They are taking over schools and turning them over to private charter school
corporations from outside the state, removing control from the local school board and from local parents.

RSD is not only giving the schools to these out of state private corporations, it is also giving these private corporations control of the property paid for with local tax dollars. The Parish cannot afford to keep the current superintendent in charge and had better get its local education house in order before it is too late. I promised those asking the questions, I would relay them tonight. Again, it is not personal, but it is about the business of education for all of our children that is at stake now:

• Why are our school leaders saying that the Magnet Programs are working, when the majority of their student populations, namely Black students, are failing miserably according to standardized tests, which is the only reliable tool that parents have to
hold schools accountable?

• Is Mark Kolwe gong to treat Catherine Leblanc and Maureen Terese the same way he treated Marquita Jackson when considering the drastic declines performance?

• Would we say that the “schools are great, and are working” if they were majority white and were failing (White kids in overwhelming numbers scoring below-profi cient on
standardized tests?

• Do not kids need to score a certain mark on the “standardized” ACT Exam to beeligible to attend a university in good standing?

• Do not we want Black kids to be able to score well on standardized exams so that they can go to college?

Ladies and gentlemen of the Board, the GTPB NAACP feels that these are legitimate questions that deserve answers, and should no longer be ignored. This is not about personal agendas, nor vendettas. It is about the future of every child in this school system. We can do better. We MUST do better.

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