Dr. Brumley Shares Farewell Message with JP Schools Family
JP Schools Family,
When I first arrived in Jefferson Parish Schools, I told you I love to learn, solve problems, and help make things better for kids. I entered JP Schools with a fresh set of eyes; not indebted to anyone and without any preconceived notions. I deliberately engaged people to learn what was working, what wasn’t, and what was possible. My goal was to capitalize on the strengths of Louisiana’s largest and most diverse school system, while improving areas of opportunity. I’ve grown to love this place and its people. In just over two years, we’ve moved our district forward for students. I am humbled to be named Louisiana's State Superintendent, and I am excited to still work closely with Jefferson Parish leadership to keep moving things forward for our kids here.
We’ve flipped the trajectory of JP Schools. I promised we would and we did. We launched 2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve, a bold strategic plan that maps out how we will provide the education our kids deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place. We are progressing on nearly all key data points for success. We passed a differentiated educator pay raise millage, giving our educators their first raise in a decade and providing a living wage for our support staff. We have a plan that gives families greater school choice and improves classroom technology for teachers. We built relationships with stakeholders throughout the community to earn their investment in our school system. We increased our District Performance Score for the first time in four years. We earned a “B” for student growth. We increased our graduation rate. We led Louisiana in Advanced Placement growth. We outpaced the state for mastery rate increase. And I'm confident, had our students been able to test this spring, we would have advanced to a B letter grade as a system.
I’ve been honored to serve Jefferson Parish. We’re a district on the rise because we worked together. Like I’ve always said, I don’t own 2024; we do. The same is true for the continued success of Jefferson Parish Schools. We’re at a critical juncture in American public education. With COVID-19 and the uncertainty of our economy, we face obstacles as a district, state, and country like never before. Adversity is something we’ve faced in the past, and it’s something we can overcome together. This is not the time to back down or lose intensity. In fact, now we need the opposite. We must persevere with strength and hard work. We must hold shared responsibility. We must take the difficult and necessary steps to continue to provide greater opportunities and stronger outcomes for our students. We must have a renewed commitment to overcome adversity through innovation and resolve. It’s our job to give our students the education they deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place. Our students need excellence to be our expectation. That means me. That means you. Let’s be great together.
I hope my time in Jefferson Parish Schools is remembered accurately. I always listened. I worked tirelessly to push for all children, regardless of their race, economic status, religion, or nationality. I worked with an equity agenda, seeking to provide additional support to our kids who needed us most. I never backed down from a fight when it came to doing what was best for kids. I know we didn’t always agree and sometimes the changes we made seemed like "too much too soon." It is my deeply held belief that this work and our kids are simply too important to wait. We had to act with urgency and we did. We made Jefferson better and have primed her to move forward.
I leave you with several things. First, a commitment to continue my support of Jefferson Parish Schools as your State Superintendent. Second, a collaborative community of educators, students, families, and an engaged community. Third, a strategic plan to follow and move forward. Fourth, a school board that is professional, thoughtful, and student-centered. And fifth, my thankfulness for your support as I served our children. We Love. We Learn. We Lead.
I want the best for every student, educator, parent, and community member, both in Jefferson Parish and across Louisiana - they deserve it. Thank you for believing in our kids and for believing in me. As Louisiana's State Superintendent of Education, I look forward to bringing people together to move our state forward. As a little boy who always wanted to be an educator, I am extremely humbled, honored, excited, and a little bit nervous about this new role. But I know this: the best is yet to come for Jefferson Parish Schools and Louisiana.
Dr. Cade Brumley