Monroe City School Board President Bill Willson passed out thanks at the board’s last board meeting, praising President Donald Trump for coming to Monroe and Superintendent Brent Vidrine for raising the letter grade of two of its schools to “A.”
Willson, a Republican, heaped praises on the President for choosing to come to Monroe. He said it was an honor for the President to come to Monroe.
The President came to Monroe to campaign for a Republican candidate who hoped to defeat governor John Bel Edwards. In spite of Trump’s multiple visits to the state, the Republican candidate lost.
Willson praised Vidrine because Wossman High is now rated as an A school by the state. He said the superintendent’s efforts have resulted in improvement in 12 of the district’s 16 schools.
Wossman received an “A” letter grade from the state, even though its academic performance dropped from “D” to “F,” and its average ACT score is only 15.
All South Monroe schools have academic performance ratings of D and F.
At the November school board meeting Willson said:
“President Trump was in town. I had an opportunity to go to the rally. There were about 15,000 people there. A lot of people waited all day. There were no incidents; people seemed to get along extremely well.
“The President gave an uplifting speech, very encouraging, there was over 10,000 I believe, in the Civic Center, it was quite a sight.
“I don’t always agree with what the President does, says or what have you, but it was an incredible event for a sitting President to come to our city, I think it was the third time that it ever happened. I lot of people remember Ronald Reagan coming here in 1983, but we did have a President prior to that coming to the City of Monroe. Y’all may not realize…Teddy Roosevelt, a little history trivia.”
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt came to East Carroll and Madison Parishes to hunt bears; however, he did not come to Monroe.
Willson said, “I just want to appreciate all the city workers getting the Civic Center ready, security, and everything seemed to go without a hitch.”
We had 12 of our 18 schools to improve their scores..and six that went down, so we have work to do on those six. We have a lot of challenges in the Monroe City School system, 85 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
We ask our teachers and administrations to be miracle workers every day. It’s tough enough for two parents to raise a child much less one or nine. When that child comes from a situation where they possibly stay up late to twelve, don’t do their homework, don’t get a meal to eat at night, come to school hungry, unprepared and tired; it’s a tough environment for them to succeed and learn, and for us to overcome the obstacles that we face each and every day in our system, we have room for improvement, but my goodness we made a lot of progress.
Dr. Vidrine, you and your staff ought to be commended when we talk about going from low D to a high C, almost a B, two-thirds of our high schools are “A” rate now, that’s incredible.
“I want to thank all of the employees who work here for a great job. You are appreciated more than you can ever know.
“I just can’t thank you enough.”
Ten of the district’s 19 schools scored less than basic on state assessments. All Southside schools scored less than in recently released state assessment reports.
Neville High School dropped to a “C” in assessment performance, while Both Wossman and Carroll scored “F” academically. Wossman and Carroll averaged 15.8 on the ACT while Neville averaged 20 on the ACT.