Letter: Setting the record straight on Career Academy goals

I am writing in response to your article in The Advocate of Aug. 26, 2013, about the Career Academy.

Your article titled “Parents not deterred by schools” is technically correct but misleading in the implications made about the Career Academy, its students and their parents.

The Career Academy, an outgrowth of the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, has been blazing trails helping educational systems, teachers and future teachers for over 20 years.

The goal has always been to help the ultimate customer — the student.

The Career Academy offers hope to students and parents by providing a path to a career and a job at the end of high school. Most of these jobs pay two to three times minimum wage and are readily available in our area. Many jobs are not filled because there are no workers.

This is a path to create welders, automotive repair personnel, medical coding specialists, operators and others.

The Career Academy is providing students a clear path forward that parents are willing to take for the sake of their kids.

There are six major reasons the Career Academy has not received passing marks for Student Performance Score yet:

1. The state changed the grading formula; every year is a new target, but CA is on track for meeting performance standards.

2. The total score was based on End of Course Testing; this is only 25 percent of the calculated score for others.

3. The CA was assigned the graduation rate of EBR schools. CA has been growing class cohorts one-class-at-a-time. CA began with only ninth and 10th grade classes; the 11th grade was added last year, this year the 12th grade will be added. Thus, the CA was judged on something that does not exist because there has not been a senior class until this year, therefore, no graduates.

4. The CA received no points for ACT scores (see 3 above); there were no students in the senior class.

5. Students will be earning industry based certifications for which they will receive quality points, but again, this will be in this school year and not present for past cohorts of students.

6. And lastly, the contract for new charter schools is five years because it takes time to build excellence.

The Career Academy is working with diligence, adjusting operations every week working to provide the best educational opportunities for students and parents.

I hope that the Career Academy is revisited next year and the following year to show the progress of this school and the success of the students that graduate from their programs.

Bettsie Miller

public relations, accounting manager

Baton Rouge