A special committee consisting of East Baton Rouge Parish School Board members and community and business leaders agreed that by 2020 the district should set its sights high, using the following language:

“The East Baton Rouge Parish school system will be a top 10 Louisiana district by 2020, building innovative and globally-competitive educational choice for all families.”

The EBR Committee for Educational Excellence unanimously approved this “bold goal” Tuesday, the fifth meeting of this sprawling committee that was given the task of redoing the school system’s six-year-old strategic plan.

The latest district performance scores from 2010 showed East Baton Rouge as 51st of 71 school districts in the state with a score of 82.2. Zachary, the highest-ranked district, has a score of 119.8. St. Charles Parish was ranked 10th with a score of 105.5, 23 points above East Baton Rouge. The state average is 91.8. In 2001, East Baton Rouge’s district performance score was 72, while the state average was 80.8.

“This is something that’s a stretch, but it’s achievable,” said Karen Profita, president and chief executive officer of the Capital Area United Way and a committee member.

The committee on Tuesday also settled on six broad objectives that will be tackled by an equal number of new subcommittees: academic expectations; community and parental involvement; culture and safety/school climate and human capital; early childhood education; governance/financial efficiency/accountability; and neighborhood schooling/school choice.

Moderators Rudy Gomez and Yvette Marsh, both with SSA Consultants of Baton Rouge, presented the committee with 14 possible objectives that had emerged in meetings and asked them to narrow down the list.

Areas that didn’t make the cut included: career and college readiness, culture and safety/school climate, public perception/ communications and truancy.

ON THE INTERNET: http://news.ebrschools.org/explore.cfm/ebrstrategicplan/