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Williams: Vernon will stay the course despite standards debate, with any changes

BY ELONA WESTON
LEESVILLE -- Vernon Parish will continue to challenge and prepare its students for the workforce, despite statewide discussion -- and with any changes -- regarding standards and testing.

That was the message Thursday from James Williams, Vernon Parish School Superintendent.

Williams said the question has been raised about what Vernon Parish's intentions are regarding standards.

Controversial Common Core education standards and related assessments have put education leaders and state lawmakers at odds, but Williams said Vernon plans to "stay the course" in educating its students amid the debate.

"We're going to continue the rigorous standards, regardless of what they're called, regardless of what they're categorized as. We're going to continue pushing our regular standards and our framework with our principals that we have been doing. We are going to be preparing our students continually for any type of assessment, regardless of what it's called, and we are going to have our students well-prepared for the workforce and the 21st century," he said.

Williams said he looked forward to leading the school system. He said it's one of the best in the state and has a reputation as such.

"I am very humbled and honored to take over as superintendent of the Vernon Parish school district, a well-renown school district on academics and always one of the top school districts in the state. A lot of hard work has been done in the past. The foundation is laid and I hope to continue, for lack of a better word, carrying the torch and making improvements where we need to."

Williams was sworn in Thursday by Vernon Parish Clerk of Court Willie Deon.
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