1. From Third Battle, we learn about The Onion's take on the status of rebuilding in New Orleans ("FEMA Calls Rebuilding Complete As New Orleans Restored To Former Squalor").
My favorite paragraph:
As part of the citywide restoration efforts, downtown medical facilities that flooded during Katrina, such as Charity Hospital, were drained, repaired, and meticulously under-funded based on past financial records and other historical evidence. Hospital officials said the facility could be ill-prepared for overcrowding by uninsured and indigent patients as early as next week.
2. This letter seems serious, though perhaps the estimable Ms. Folse from Harvey is engaging in biting sarcasm or satire:
Parents and teachers choose Catholic schools because they want to avoid the unruly, uncooperative, undisciplined and sometimes violent children that comprise some of the public school students.
You put these students into the Catholic schools, and you will have many angry parents. Where will you find teachers who will tolerate misbehaving students at a Catholic school salary? Can you put a typical public student in the same grade at a Catholic school and expect him to succeed?
Catholic schools have limited resources for helping students outside the classroom. Normally, the parents tutor their children or pay for tutoring. Now maybe if you impose a screening procedure and require placement testing, Catholic schools could educate many public students. But to offer space for any student will ultimately destroy the Catholic school system.
The Rev. William Maestri should have spoken to Catholic school principals, teachers and parents before making a public offer to take in public school students, and he should establish minimum standards for accepting these students.
I'm not a fan of the Rev. William Maestri's work at the Archdiocese of New Orleans, but his announcement of open arms for the families who were wait-listed by the public schools was one of the best things he's done.
I am grateful that Ms. Folse is at least honest about why she and (no doubt) other families (though, thankfully, not all) choose Catholic schools: not because they want to enhance their children's faith lives or instill virtue, but because they're running away from the "unruly" kids. Lovely. Just lovely.