First, there was a settlement to the longest standing school desegregation case in American history. Next, East Baton Rouge Superintendent of schools Clayton Wilcox accepted a superintendent position at a school district in Florida. These latest stories come against the backdrop of a system struggling to improve its’ overall school performance for the district. The Louisiana Accountability program gave East Baton Rouge a “below basic” label for its’ 2002-2003 overall district performance score. 5 EBR schools have been identified as academically unacceptable. In the last ten years, enrollment has dropped by about 14,000 students, creating financial difficulties for the system. Now, after the long awaited desegregation agreement, where does the East Baton Rouge Parish School system stand, how does it address its’ many problems, and how do these public schools fit into the big community picture?
Public Schools, Public Forum is a sixty minute program videotaped at the television studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting. Moderators Margaret Lawhon and Karen Henderson lead a lively discussion with teachers, parents, school board members, and other community organizations on the issues effecting EBR’s public schools. .
Some of the community groups present for the discussion were the Junior League of Baton Rouge, Forum 35, The Academic Distinction Fund, Austin 6, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, members of the Citizens Task Force Members, and members of Parent Teacher Associations.
Sponsors for the program were The Junior League of Baton Rouge, Forum 35 and LPB.