The newly named superintendent of the Little Rock School District held court today at district headquarters.
Parents - you can expect to be held accountable. It seems we all may learn a thing or two under the leadership of Dr. Morris Holmes.
Dr. Holmes held a press conference today, and made it clear it's not his first choice of addressing issues, but he was encouraged to do it and he did pretty well. He set a tone of progress and achievement he did not waste time speaking to the past - about where and what went wrong. Rather, this is were we are going and this is how we can get our students there.
Early childhood, the board will continue providing support to pre-k programs above what the state provides. Elementary, by the third grade every student will read at grade level or advanced. Children will be exposed to the arts. Behavior and discipline will be factors in their successes and getting them ready for middle school is the greatest challenge he says academically for a young person, as well as finding the time to help them meet the challenge.
As they focus on math science the fine arts calling middle school pre-scchool for high school. Where a student is then prepared for college and life through science, math, the arts, academics and so on, so one can take care of themselves.
Dr. Homes says, "if you want your youngster to acquire and learn in this environment that is rigorous there is no time for apathy and there is no time for slacking off, if you are going to get it, you are going to work for it because we have rigorous standards coming up"
If he mentioned attendance once he mentioned it ten times, as well as tracking students who are late more often than not. He called on parents to get your kids ready for school, have them prepared or at least ready to be prepared to learn. And he tells staff be ready and prepared to teach those kids. He also addressed the budget, and it's going to be lean lrsd over the next few years, "cut the budget that very little fat is is left. We want to cut a budget, present it to the board, see how the district would look if we shave all of the fat out of the budget."
He says much of the fat can be defined as exessive staff, exessive expenditures, not living within the means of the district, not being economical.
He also says staff attendance will be looked at, if you are not showing up for school when you should then the district just might be wasting money, "to raise expectations in this community your children must come to school regularly and must come to school prepared or to be helped to be prepared to receive a good education whatever walk of life you come from and the teaching must be specific."