Opt Outs: Kudos to Bossier Parish Superintendent

Public school parent and advocate, Jeremy Langston, has been a member of the coalition to end Common Core, and the education reforms that accompany it, for several years. As always, he keeps an open line of communication with his superintendent, school board members, legislators and other members of the coalition. Just as he did last year, he took the initiative to contact his local superintendent regarding the soon to be upon us, state assessments. He sent the following email.

On Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 4:40 PM J. Langston

Mr. Smith,
Good evening. I hope this email finds you settled into your job well.
I am writing today to inquire to what guidance you will be providing to the schools related to opting out of LEAP 2017?

As I am sure you are aware the legislature has determined 2016-2017 year will not be high stakes.
Thank you in advance,

Jeremy A Langston

The following morning, Langston received the reply below.

On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Scott Smith

Good Morning Mr. Langston,
Everything should remain the same as in years past. The school does receive a “zero” for each opt out but the student is not adversely affected. We will get information out to parents explaining and obviously giving them the choice of opting their child out of the test.

I will be discussing this in our district staff meeting this afternoon and if anything changes I will let you know.

It is important to note a couple of things about Superintendent Smith. He is the husband of former BESE member, Jane Smith. Mrs. Smith also served as superintendent of Bossier parish and Louisiana State Representative for District 8. Mr. Smith’s superintendent contract was recently renewed with a provision allowing him to earn a “bonus” based on the district SPS score. Notice he did not mention that in his response. Langston replied.

Thank you sir.

I do understand the states assignment of zero to the SPS and as your probably aware, I am an advocate against the “reform” agenda and I will continue to fight for our children AND our teachers.

Considering your contract as its related to the SPS, I commend you for continuing this stance on opt-opts and especially your proactive communcation of the same to the field!

Sincerely and thankful,

Jeremy A Langston

We would like to take a moment to recognize Superintendent Smith’s effort to respect the wishes of his parents and acknowledge their superior right to make a decision regarding the education of their children.

One thought on “Opt Outs: Kudos to Bossier Parish Superintendent”

  1. I question whether John White’s ESEA waiver with the zero opt outs is still in effect in light of the new ESSA and our state’s lack of a new accountability plan as yet. Also, due to the moratorium on high stakes it makes no sense to hold schools accountable for the zeros relative to this new test based on new standards. I would hope that school districts hold White accountable.

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