Thursday’s close vote revealed a rift not only among the EBR school board, but among our community, regarding the continued tenure of Dr. Sito Narcisse in the role of Superintendent of EBR Schools. Ultimately, the board’s vote demonstrated a deep commitment to calls for urgent academic improvement, dramatically better operational administration, and a district culture that values transparency, educator well-being, family engagement, and community partnership.
The focus must now shift to the task of finding a leader who will execute on the city’s shared vision for the families and students of Baton Rouge. While we know that superintendent transitions can be difficult, we are certain that this board will urgently but methodically identify a leader who is committed to uplifting the best of Baton Rouge, who doesn’t shy away from the challenge of driving positive progress where inequity or poor performance thrive, and who is ready to go on day one. Ultimately, choosing a leader for EBR is one more task in the full job of being a school board member, and the Alliance will continue to support all the EBR board members as they continue to work on behalf of students and families.
There are certainly achievements to be celebrated from Dr. Narcisse’s efforts and energy in our community. Increasing equity in education is the heart of what we do as an organization, and while recognizing Dr. Narcisse’s work on that front, prioritizing the needs of our most historically underserved students is also why we hold our leaders to a high standard of accountability. At the end of the day, this outcome is not a personal indictment of Dr. Narcisse and his abilities but rather a reckoning with his loss of confidence from the board and community. As we have during his tenure in EBR, we wish for him that his path forward is paved with success and fulfillment because that translates to positive outcomes for the children he serves.
Baton Rouge is a city with incredible potential, reflective of the potential of its children, and we feel confident that the board has a vision for the children of our city that gives them clarity on what they want to accomplish and the kind of leader they need to partner with them in accomplishing it. We are hopeful for what the future holds.