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Destination: Graduation (2014)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2014-11-26

Duration: 00:55:54

Subjects: Education | Filmed panel discussions | High school dropouts


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Scott, Robert Travis Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Leon, Crystal Interviewee
  • Boudreaux, Burnell Interviewee
  • Jackson, Jonathan Interviewee
  • Morrow, Laurie Interviewee
  • White, John Interviewee
  • Byrnes, Matt Interviewee
  • Gaines, Keishad Interviewee
  • Moore, Hayden Interviewee
  • Smith, Ronald Panelist
  • Ratcliff, Kellye Panelist
  • Daniel, John Panelist
  • Drake, Warren Panelist
  • Smith, John Panelist
  • Rocheleau, Juliette Interviewee
  • Lee, Jourdan Interviewee
  • Evans, Jonah Interviewee
  • Young, Craig Interviewee
  • Ganucheau, Andrew Interviewee
  • Craven, Simone Interviewee
  • Jackson, Kayla Interviewee
  • LaCour, Mark Interviewee
  • Clark, Richard Interviewee
  • Yessayon, David Interviewee
  • Johnson, Justin Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from November 26, 2014, features Beth Courtney and Robert Travis Scott leading a town hall meeting between the audience members and panelists on Louisiana’s high school dropout prevention programs. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Crystal Leon, the early learning coordinator in West Baton Rouge Parish; Burnell Boudreaux, the chairman of Project Excel with the 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge; Jonathan Jackson, a Project Excel student; Laurie Morrow, the dean of the Northwest Louisiana Technical College; State Superintendent of Education John White; Matt Byrnes, the principal at the Rapides Alternative Positive Program for Students; Keishad Gaines, RAPPS student; and Hayden Moore, RAPPS student. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Ronald Smith, the executive director of the Exxon Mobil YMCA in Baton Rouge; Kellye Ratcliff, a ninth-grade counselor at the Ruston High School Freshmen Academy; John Daniel, executive director of Boys Hope/Girls Hope in Baton Rouge; Warren Drake of the Louisiana Department of Education; and John Smith, the vice president of operations for 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge. They discuss: the biggest challenges to addressing the high school dropout problem; the reasons for the higher dropout rate for minority students; the importance of community engagement; after-school resources; the reasons why students dropout of school; helping students with behavioral issues; extracurricular activities; and help for teenage parents. This program is a part of the American Graduate initiative.