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Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates (2015)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2015-04-22

Duration: 00:57:21

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Education | High school dropouts | Graduation rates


  • Sanford, Shauna Host
  • Erwin, Barry Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Davis, Brittni Interviewee
  • White, John Speaker
  • Bradford, Ken Interviewee
  • Brooks, John Interviewee
  • Thomas, David Interviewee
  • Heaton, Destiny Interviewee
  • Phinney, Frank Panelist
  • Flowers, Gayle Panelist
  • Ricks, Dominique Panelist
  • Solis, Jeanne Panelist
  • Luce, Alonzo Panelist
  • Bell-Wickham, Trudy Speaker
  • Scott, Zephra Speaker
  • O'Connor, Debbie Speaker
  • Coleman, Keisha Speaker
  • Webster, Corey Speaker
  • Shepard, Demarcus Speaker
  • Breaux, Lauren Speaker
  • Myers, Wallace Speaker
  • Self, Brielle Speaker
  • Vampran, Trevor Speaker
  • Williams, Kasey Speaker
  • Harrison, Ajita Speaker


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from April 22, 2015, features Shauna Sanford and Barry Erwin leading a town hall meeting between the audience members and panelists on Louisiana’s improving high school graduation rate and the state’s continued efforts to prevent high school dropouts. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Brittni Davis, Youth Challenge Program graduate; Ken Bradford of the Louisiana Department of Education; John Brooks, Jump Start student; David Thomas, a former Big Buddy participant; and Destiny Heaton, a WorkReady U student. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Frank Phinney, the president of the Louisiana School Counselor Association; Gayle Flowers, the director of Career, Adult, and Alternative Education for the Caddo Parish Public Schools; Dominique Ricks, a Baton Rouge Youth Coalition graduate and a teacher in Iberville Parish; Jeanne Solis, the director of health education services for the Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center; and Dr. Alonzo Luce, the superintendent of the St. James Parish Schools. They discuss: the biggest challenges to keeping students in school; teen pregnancy; motivating students to think beyond high school; the importance of mentors; adult education programs; student health issues; the role of athletics; balancing extracurricular activities; the state’s new Jump Start program; how students can help their at-risk peers; using technology to keep students connected to their classes; and combating the achievement gap. This program is a part of the American Graduate initiative.