Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Most Serious Problem

For many years the kids of New Orleans have received sub par education. New Orleans has done a horrible job at educating its youth, me included, for decades. By no means am I trying to free the local school board for the mismanagement and abuse of the system. The state has been trying to take over the schools for years. I always thought local activists were crazy for fighting this considering the condition of the schools. After Katrina, Governor Blanco put the schools takeover in the special session of the legislature and the state took over while the population of the city was still hanging out in hotels. It’s now seventeen months later and some kids just got into school on yesterday after being on a waiting list. The school year started in August. When I saw this the only thing I could come up with is questions.

How in the hell are these kids supposed to learn everything they have missed? Will they still have to take the LEAP test? If they take it and fail it, is that part of their permanent school record even though they’ve missed six months of school time because there were not enough classrooms and teachers? Why did the state fire 7500 faculty and staff without at least estimating how many schools might open first? Some of those custodians would have been here night and day getting those schools together. Why didn't we have a housing plan for teachers that did come back or want to? Why did Lusher School (who already had a dry building) get to move to Fortier High School's building that could have accommodated thousands of kids immediately since it didn't have any damage? Why are there schools sitting untouched since the storm? Why is my mayor talking about a jazz park and all this pretty stuff and not saying anything about kids not having anywhere to go school? Shouldn't he and the city council be holding press conferences in the governor's mansion everyday to protest? Shouldn't this have been the first item in their "crime prevention summit"? Is Cleo Fields the only black politician in the region with the conviction to say something? Is the Recovery School District having public meetings so the citizens can voice their concerns? If they do, why is it I never hear about them? If I had school aged children, would it have been right to bring them back? How many concerned parents like mine with a school aged child didn't bring their kids back because of stuff like this? Doesn't that hurt the recovery of the city if concerned parents either can't come home or have second thoughts when they get here and leave out? The final question is this. How many people will be around to pick up the bodies of these babies from the streets after most of them become victims to the cycle of crime and violence because their country abandoned them during their formative years? Who will tell their story instead of just calling them thugs?

It might take someone more educated than I am to come up with answers and solutions to these things. I can only give you my humble opinion. My opinion is that all of these things are a cause of class warfare, racism, coward black politicians that care more about their political careers than their people, and uninformed citizens too worried about getting over. Parents have to be responsible but there isn’t a government in America that expects parents to build their own school buildings and hire their own teachers. I don't know who it is or where they are going to come from. Hell, it might even have to start with me. Something has got to be done to save these kids from this shameful activity. Maybe we should get as many buses and rides as possible and drive over to those big state of the art public schools in the suburbs and just walk on in. If we keep this up we won’t need a tidal surge and a failed levee system to destroy the city again. It will be done from the inside by the ignorance of our own children when they destroy each other and take the community with them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This would still sound well on NPR.