• Swamp Watch

Outspoken Superintendent Can't Take Heat

St. Helena Superintendent Dr. Kelli Joseph Blocks Louisiana Swamp Watch on Twitter After Being Called Out for Poor Performance, Consistent Opposition to Student-Centered Reforms

For over a year now, we've covered the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and their consistent opposition to transparency and accountability in Louisiana's public schools.

Lately, LASS, and several local Superintendents, have been especially vocal in opposing efforts to change Louisiana's high-school accountability system. Their excuses are typical- they lack the funds and change is coming too fast. Of course, both of those arguments are baloney- schools are sitting on an unprecedented amount of federal COVID Relief funds, billions of which haven't been spent yet, and the changes have been studied for nearly a year now, with input from stakeholders across the state.

One Superintendent who has lead the charge against this newest accountability proposal is Dr. Kelli Joseph, from St. Helena Parish. In addition to writing letters and leading virtual press conferences, she frequently uses her Twitter account to spar with proponents of raising education quality for Louisiana's students.

In previous posts, we've pointed out that Dr. Joseph's district in St. Helena Parish is one of the districts flush with unspent relief dollars and called her out for proclaiming a decline in Louisiana student's math scores as "great news". On Twitter, we have questioned her justification of nearly 30% of Louisiana high-school graduates needing remediation in English and nearly 50% in math, pointed out that she leads one of the lowest-performing school districts in the state, and that for years now, she has consistently used the same arguments against raising the bar for students- while kids in St. Helena Parish and across the state are falling behind because of the education swamp she has long been a part of.

Clearly, while she is able to dish out personal attacks, she doesn't like being held accountable to her record and past statements. Our efforts to apply accountability and provide context to her arguments for lowering the bar were met with a block, in a clear effort to stop public accountability and avoid criticism as she once again prepares to help lead efforts against higher standards for Louisiana students at next month's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting. Then again, given the record of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, we shouldn't be surprised to see one of their leaders attempt to avoid public accountability.

You can read all of our past stories on Louisiana's education swamp here.

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