Sunday, July 16, 2006

We Have Work To Do

This article really gave me pause and made me morose. The T-P quotes students and teachers who compare schools in New Orleans with their post-levee failure experience elsewhere. New Orleans comes out very poorly. My reactions:

1. I take this very seriously, especially what is implies about curriculum and facilities in New Orleans. We need to get off our asses. And I don't mean just public school teachers, administrators, and families. I read the Orleans recovery district needs to hire 500 teachers. Where are they going to find them?

2. A symptom of why our public schools are so down-in-the-dumps: please note that the article doesn't bother to question Orleanian private school kids who went to out-of-state private schools. I think private schools here often get a free ride from the Picayune and other power-brokers in the city. Private schools need to be held accountable too. Show us your test scores, Fr. Maestri! Let's see those scores, Newman! And not just scores of kids when they graduate. I want to see the scores of when they enter your schools. Then we'll know if real education is going on. If you're taking 88th percentile kids and graduating them as 88th percentile kids, you haven't done anything.

3. I really am happy to see this kind of article, but I think it's completely unquestioning of the "grass is always greener" bias. I think the T-P could've told this story with the same justifiably critical stance about New Orleans schools, but with a few comments about whether those out-of-town schools will still look as good in a year to these kids.

4. I take seriously what I have placed in the masthead (?) of this blog. We care for one another here. I firmly believe New Orleanians are not as lonely as other cities' people. Also, there is no poser action here. Those qualities are part of what makes us special, and I wonder if we can use that in resurrecting our schools. In the beginning, we still won't have the facilities and test scores of other places, though we need to get there SOON. However, I like the idea of my kids hard at work in schools that are mannerly, caring B.S.-free zones. I think that's an asset we can use. B.S-free zones also provide the right environment for cultivating creativity that matters.

1 comment:

ashley said...

1. I have no idea...neither does anyone else.
2. I wanna see these scores as well!
4. Yeah, we do. And as both you and I proved at Lusher crawfish boil day, parents here are willing to work for their children's schools. Not just Lusher parents, everybody.