Laster was responsible for growth

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 23, 2008

I was very pleased to see Dr. Kerry Laster’s efforts to raise the performance levels in the Concordia Parish public schools payoff.

It proves that it is possible to raise test scores and school ratings when you have a progressive and forward-looking superintendent coupled with willing administrators and faculty, despite having a hostile and self-serving school board that apparently values cronyism, nepotism and dumbing things down over real progress.

We are left to imagine what the results might have been if the school board had also bought into Laster’s program and demanded more progress and accountability, instead of resorting to low level political tactics.

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The challenge now will be to see if Mrs. Blankenstein can continue the good work begun by her predecessor by selling the school board on the fundamental idea of doing what is best for the children of Concordia Parish, rather than the selfish desires of the board members.

Dumbing down standards may raise the self-esteem of the board members and some of their constituents, but it cheats the children of Concordia Parish, who are going to have to compete in a global economy, whether they like it or not. And, by the way, the same principles apply in Adams County.

Paul H. Benoist

Natchez resident