Dawkins pleased with his "swan song" in Caddo Schools

KMSS-TV
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 7:27pm

When the Louisiana Department of Education released their list of academically unacceptable schools, educators all around Caddo Parish cheered, but perhaps none more that Superintendent Dr. Gerald Dawkins. Under his direction, 10 Caddo Parish schools were removed from the academically unacceptable list. While pleased with the achievement, Dawkins is calling it bittersweet, because he won't be able to see the fruits of his hard work.

However, District 12 Board Member Dottie Bell will, and she was ecstatic that in her district, there are no longer any failing schools. Seeing the success of not just her schools, but all 10 removed from the list, she couldn't help but wonder why the board was searching for a replacement for Dawkins. She came right out and said that she wants Dawkins to stay and continue his plan for Caddo Schools.

While others may not have been as vocal, they all spoke of a need for time and patience when a change is being made. Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy principal Marvin Alexander likened the need for time to a coaching position. Coaches are given 4 years to get their team to the playoffs. In his 4 years as principal, Alexander was able to get his "team" off of the academically unacceptable list".

Bell thinks the same is true for Dawkins. Coming in, Dawkins told board members when he was interviewing for his position, that it would take a few years to see major changes. In keeping with the sports analogy, Dawkins and the district had a few rebuilding years, but now, they have made it to the playoffs.

As much as she would like to keep Dawkins as superintendent, Bell knows that all of the credit can't go to him, or even just the staff. She stresses how much parents are responsible for this accomplishment, thanking them for having faith that the failing schools would turn around.

The 10 schools removed from the list were: Booker T. Washington New Technology High School, Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy, Sunset Acres Elementary, Huntington High School, Turner Elementary/6th Grade Academy, Cherokee Park Elementary, Caddo Heights Math/Science Elementary, Creswell Elementary, E. B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary, and Barret Paideia Academy

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