I applaud the three authors of the guest column from the Rand Corporation for pointing out the state’s efforts to hold schools more accountable. As one of the designers of the original accountability plan, I strongly believe that schools must be transparent and responsible for their performance.

But there is one large fly in the soup.

Accountability standards that now cover all the way from pre-K through high school are strictly for public schools. Private schools and those run by churches have no public accountability at all. There's no way for parents looking for the best educations to compare one against the other.

As a school board member and former president of the Louisiana School Boards Association, I have seen truly impressive academic growth in my own district and all across the state. I’m convinced that many public schools actually outperform the others. But there’s no way to compare apples to apples.

Let’s keep raising the bar for all of education. I’m all for it. But let’s also make the same rules that public schools must follow also apply to all the others too.

Russ Wise

member, St. John the Baptist Parish School Board