East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor was hired to bring big changes to the local school system, and change can be uncomfortable. We don’t expect everyone to be happy when those changes take place, but Taylor has an obligation to give critical stakeholders an adequate voice in the process.
That principle hasn’t always been evident in Taylor’s reform agenda, which often seems more like a brainstorm rather than a roadmap. Many teachers within the system have been displaced as a result of recent school restructurings, and a lot of them are complaining about a lack of clarity regarding the system’s direction.
Any reform agenda often demands a certain amount of anxiety when inefficient methods are replaced by new approaches. But change only for change’s sake is not an effective policy. In fact, some of the recent changes within the school system seem counterproductive.
Delmont Elementary School appeared to be making steady improvement in the second year of a three-year improvement plan when the school system opted to change it to a campus for pre-K and kindergarteners — a move that’s forcing faculty and students to go elsewhere. That kind of instability doesn’t encourage educators and parents to develop sustained relationships with schools — a critical factor in advancing public confidence in local schools.