Clairborne Elementary gifted resource teacher Chris Wilson (front right) plays special education resource teacher Annie Fox in the chess tournament as Audubon Elementary computer lab teacher Contessa Hunt (back left) and Melsrose Elementary fourth grade teacher Michelle Vinson (back right) scrutinize their moves.
About 200 teachers from 42 schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish district have signed up for workshops this summer to learn how to start chess clubs and use the game in their classrooms. The first batch of teachers capped off their training with a mini tournament Thursday.
Bernard Taylor came into East Baton Rouge Parish as the new superintendent of schools officially in June. He arrived amidst a wave of state education reforms, for which the parish is arguably ground zero.
Roughly a third of Baton Rouge public schools, threatened with state takeover, face new competition from private school vouchers and independent charter schools.
Accountability measures for teachers and administrators are adding to the pressure.
Speaking with WRKF's Amy Jeffries, Taylor does not mince words in his critique of state reforms or the potential of East Baton Rouge public schools.