Is the New Orleans Public School System doing Enough?

Is the New Orleans Public School System doing Enough?

Over the years the New Orleans Public School System has had its ups and downs. We have seen a number of school superintendents come and go with little to no changes. For years, students have suffered from too many greedy hands who shuffle students education around with no consequences. When I look at the obscene amount of money that most of the school board members earn it is a shame. The average salary for a school board member is 144,000.00 per year. While the average amount of funding spent on the student is 9,000.00. For me, that is a great deal of money and it seems like every year it increases. If you take a look at schools in other states, for instance, New York, you find that it spends an average of 19,000.00 per year on their students. Of course, we have to take into consideration the advantages and the disadvantages of social economics, because at the end of the day there will always be two types of education. One for economically challenged blacks and one for whites who are born with the intent to receive a better education than their black counterparts. Are we going to continue to use the same economic rhetoric when it comes to the students? I just happen to feel that it is excessive when teachers make an average of 45,000.00 per year. Teachers work extremely hard. They are the first to arrive at school and the last to leave at night. They put together extensive lesson plans that are conducive to learning, they keep up with attendance, explain and present the lesson for the student, and make crucial academic decisions.

The Recovery School District was put into effect after hurricane Katrina to turn low-performing schools into effective schools.The premise of reinventing charter schools did not prepare most for what was to come. It was unfortunate that we were a community faced with uncertainty and the state saw an opportunity to close schools that were performing below the poverty level. After hurricane Katrina, there were approximately 4,000 teachers terminated from their contracts. Most of them felt abandoned by the city and state at that time. They believe It was an effort by the state to play politics with the lives of black students. Most of these teachers have given a great deal of time and commitment to see growth and prosperity in the student. Yes, there were problems in the school system. Did the state somehow use the efforts of Hurricane Katrina to do away with schools that performed poorly and wasted state funding? Once again, we have taken on another educational experiment called a charter school.

A charter school is nothing more than a public school. It happens to be that they are independent of school districts, they are free, they must meet a number of standards to receive funding, and all educators and students are held accountable for their actions. Two days ago, I went into the community to speak with three mothers who have children in charter schools. All three attended different schools and each was on different grade levels. Elementary, junior high and senior high school. I wanted the opinion of the parents because they understood the dynamics better than anyone. By the way, I thought it would be beneficial if I grouped them according to their education as well. One of the parents only completed high school, one was attending college and the other was a college graduate. I asked parent one about the future of her child’s education. ‘She replied, I hope for the best.’ I help my daughter as much as I can. Some of the homework that she brings home is ridiculous. I am not that good with math and English. I ask parent two what she thought about the future of charter schools and was “One App” helpful in determining if the school that she choose was a valid choice. No! I am not happy with the school choice. I applied to two other schools ahead of time and all I got was sorry! I was pissed. Do you feel good about the future of charter schools? Well, I’m not sure. Every time you turn around there are always changes, along with stress. She also wanted me to know that her son has excessive amounts of homework daily and that he is not lazy, just tired. Finally, parent three says “she believes in education and charter schools should be re-examined.” Overall, I don’t mind the extra homework my daughter receives. I know that in some ways it will help her to prepare for the future. However, there are still serious issues that have to be addressed, after all, is said and done I only want the best for my daughter and her future.

Written by: Deborah Ford

Resources

1. http://www.uncommonschools.org/our-approach/faq-what-is-charter-school

2. http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2018/02/orleans_school_board_teacher_s.html

3. http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/opinion/article_022e4916-dc41-11e7-b05f-37501a01311b.html

4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-orleans-charter-schools-problems-exposed-at-naacp_us_58ff4297e4b0c13feaa5c810

5. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-orleans-charter-schools-problems-exposed-at-naacp_us_58ff4297e4b0c13feaa5c810

6. https://opsb.us/about/superintendent/superintendent-bio/

7. salon.com…Bill Quigley, AlterNet…Article orginal appeared on AlterNet

8. https://thelensnola.org/2017/01/17/study-says-new-orleans-schools-spend-more-on-administration-and-less-on-teaching-after-charter-transformation/ 9. Charter Schools vs. Public Schools – Niche Blog 10. States spending the most on education www.usatoday.com

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