GONZALES — Ascension Parish School Board Vice President Lorraine Wemberly on Tuesday took issue with board President Troy Gautreau’s decision to send a letter in support of Common Core to Gov. Bobby Jindal on School Board letterhead.
“My concern about that letter was that it was sent on (School Board) letterhead, which included my name, as well as all the other board members. But I speak for myself only,” Wemberly said.
Wemberly said she would have liked to have known about the letter before it was sent, which would have given her “the opportunity to express opinions and exercise our privilege as a governing body,” she said.
On June 19, Gautreau wrote to the governor, saying that one of the catalysts of the success of the Ascension Parish school district was its implementation of Common Core standards.
“We have already seen positive results since the adoption of CCS two years ago as (the School Board) began preparation” for Common Core, Gautreau wrote.
School grades have improved, as well as reading scores, Gautreau wrote in his letter, which also addresses concerns he’s heard about Common Core, including control of the curriculum, privacy of student data and information for parents so they can help their children at home with the new standards.
School Board member A.J. Nickens said at Tuesday’s meeting that he believes that “any of us on the board can give our opinion on anything” but that he also agreed that Gautreau should not have used School Board letterhead.
Gautreau told the board that, in hindsight, it would probably have been better not to have used the letterhead, but the letter, he said, “is strictly my opinion.”
“Just to make it clear, it was something I wrote,” Gautreau said. “I felt the need to speak out.”
Jindal wants Louisiana out of Common Core, while state Superintendent of Education John White and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are behind it.
Also on Tuesday, the School Board announced two new assistant principals for the coming school year.
Kim Uzee, formerly an English teacher at East Ascension High School, will be assistant principal at the school, and Amy Champagne, previously a master teacher at Pecan Grove Primary, will be assistant principal at Duplessis Elementary.