Traditional public school systems across the state are to be commended for their efforts regarding the release of district performance scores/letter grades that reflect unprecedented growth in student achievement.

All stakeholders involved with public school systems should be complimented for their dedication and hard work aimed at providing a quality educational experience to our youth. Elected school boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers, support personnel, community partners, parents and students deserve a moment of praise and gratitude for their untiring efforts to improve — despite the many negative attacks on traditional public education systems.

School boards across the state have risen to the challenge of ensuring quality educational services under financial duress because of reductions in state funding streams. Moreover, traditional public school systems have exhibited exemplary growth while embracing increased standards and poorly written legislation under the guise of “education reform.”

Further, public school systems have stayed the course and remained focused on student achievement rather than dwelling on the undue criticism directed at them during the most recent legislative session.

The great strides in achievement would not be possible if it were not for numerous dedicated, formally trained professional educators at all levels in our public school systems. Too often we take for granted the countless hours our administrators, teachers and support employees spend with our children without taking a moment to say, “Job well done.”

In closing, even the best elected school board members, superintendents, administrators, teachers and school support workers fully realize that they cannot be satisfied with the status quo — and, must strive toward a path of continuous improvement to help all students attain a quality education. However, given the exceptional growth evidenced recently, a moment of gratitude is warranted for all who work to make public education better in Louisiana.

Scott M. Richard, executive director

Louisiana School Boards Association

Baton Rouge