On Saturday I went down to the beach in Mississippi. I can’t say that was our end of summer event but it might as well be since school is starting already. Kids all over New Orleans are going back to school at the beginning of the hottest month of the year. I think the days of waiting until Labor Day to start school are over. I like to joke that if school started this early back when I was in elementary school half of my class wouldn’t have been there. I’m sure I would have had friends with two weeks worth of absences before they ever met the their teacher. I’m joking and exaggerating but there would have been a few people like that. Actually, there were a few people like that even though school started later. It’s just a small component of how we got to the situation we have in our city.
We are trying to break free from some of those problems now. That’s why as much as I want another few weeks to sleep later and make pit stops to drinking establishments on the way home from work I won’t make a big fuss about school starting today. According to state statistics black students in New Orleans are finally closing the achievement gap. I don’t know what this means in the long run for the community but it is positive. I wouldn’t be surprised if the smart people sent her to change our educational system decided that all of the kids need to be in school all year around to close the gap just a little bit more. If that happens we’ll just have to deal with it and do what we need to do. We need to get the kids in school now as prepared as possible to take care of themselves because the way things are going there won’t be any safety net to keep them from suffering if we fail.
I guess going to school in early August isn’t so bad. The kids now have a few things going for them that many of us didn’t have like working water fountains and air conditioning. It was hard to focus on reading and math when it was 100 degrees inside the classroom. The kids had a short summer but at least they will be cool at their desk.