In EBR’s Alternate Universe, Failure Is ‘Progress’


Trapped by Its Own Narrow Worldview, EBR Clings to One
Notion: Zachary and Central Do Not Exist

by Woody Jenkins, Editor

BATON ROUGE — As people in Southeast Baton Rouge await the action of the Louisiana House on legislation to create the new Southeast Baton Rouge Community School District, they must be thinking to themselves: For God’s sake, let us out of this asylum!
The asylum is the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, which made a startling announcement after receiving the word from the Department of Education that 38 percent of its students had failed the LEAP and iLEAP tests.
The announcement was, “We’re making great progress!”
In the alternate universe headquartered on South Foster Drive, failure is deemed to be real progress.  Afterall, the EBR test score went up by two points from 60 to 62!
Mind you, there is a slight problem with these dazzling numbers.
The problem is, the 38 percent failure rate does not include all the “failing schools” that have been taken away from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System over the past few years.
These are the numbers from the remaining “successful” schools.
The worldwide of the East Baton Rouge is kept alive by clinging to one notion above all: Zachary and Central do not exist.
If Zachary and Central exist, then everything we know and love about our great school system in EBR must be a lie.
So they don’t exist!
Do you notice that in Baton Rouge, you almost never hear anything about the Zachary school system?
Do you know that it’s the No. 1 school system in Louisiana, and it’s right here in East Baton Rouge Parish?  Do you know that white and black students attend schools in Zachary.  Actually, there aren’t any private schools in Zachary.
Is Zachary lily white?  No, only 52 percent of the students in Zachary are white.  Did you know the black students in the Zachary school system outscored the white students in many parishes in the state, including Jefferson?
Do you notice that in Baton Rouge you don’t hear much about the Central school system?  Do you know it’s the No. 2 school system in the State of Louisiana?
Did you know Central has no tax base, no industry.  It has a Wal-Mart and a student population that is 58 percent free and reduced lunch.  But Central runs a surplus in its school system and has $10 million in the bank, while EBR fights off deficits.
Oh, did you hear East Baton Rouge Parish schools are now ranked No. 48 in the state?  Do you also know EBR is the wealthiest parish in Louisiana, with the largest oil refinery in America, other major industries, and much more?
But Zachary and Central don’t exist, do they?  Because if they do exist, there’s really no explaining the East Baton Rouge Parish system, is there?  The main thing is, let’s be sure Southeast doesn’t “break away” and vie with Zachary and Central for No. 1.
Then Southeast wouldn’t exist anymore either, would it?


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