A Quality Education: Access Denied

Children have been made to be the most controversial issue in America. When did the education of our children become a gamble?

-Dana Wade

The Parent Advocators

Educationally things have been constantly changing and churning in New Orleans. Which is a good and a bad thing respectively. You see for children positive change is good but you also need a constant and plenty of consistency as well. Now, are there some situations and schools that are working? Sure, there is but with an autonomous school structure, everyone seems to want to do their own thing instead of coming together collectively and deciding what works for kids on a bigger scale.

I feel like we were selected to be the prototype. There have been a lot of good intentions gone wrong. They said: Let’s initiate the development of an all-charter district. Take OneApp for example, the central enrollment system for New Orleans, a good intention gone wrong. We don’t even understand how it works, but we try to explain it confusing you and us even more. Disregard district schools we’ll establish a juggernaut transportation system that will cost millions sending kids all over the entire city taking away funds from education. We can just worry about regular students initially and figure out any of those kids with special needs circumstances as we go. Disregarding any rights that special needs children have under the law. Let’s start a bunch of duplicate education nonprofits to seem as if we have the people on our side. Let’s use cliche phrases like parent involvement and community stakeholders making it look good. However, keep most parents at bay and in the dark about what is really going on. In fact some of them you will literally have to get restraining orders on even though their children are attending the school. Lastly, disenfranchise the entire local veteran educator pool but keep some of those burly black men. Yeah, you know the ones who we can use to keep their children inline. Use them for discipline purposes against their own. They’re good for that. While we interject a younger, less experienced, not as costly, right out college, looking to set up camp for a spell and then leave town educator pool. Educators who won’t resonate with the children that they teach and definitely not their parents. I think that’ll do it for now. If I think of something else and have any changes I’ll let you know.

The search for a quality education in New Orleans is still a chore. It is a task parents and guardians face daily. It is a task that most of us have endured since coming home post-Katrina and I’m not sure when the task will end. A large majority of our citizens opt out of the public school uncertainty by opting into private school enrollment with New Orleans continually being among the cities with the most children on private school rosters. But for parents who can’t afford that luxury, public education is where we land. The before mentioned One app system continues to be interesting and unexplainable to the public it serves although the system is responsible for placing every child within a school in Orleans parish, even preschool children.

Exceptions to the OneApp process are highly sorted after public school that literally operate on a freelance basis. Their application process proves to be a cumbersome duty. Complete with test, deadlines, your children information in a particular color folder and in some cases a who you know nature to get into their sacred walls. Even then there are only so many seats which send the unfortunate students who didn’t attain a place back to the ONEAPP computer algorithm model for placement.

Our kids in New Orleans need to be more than just the prototype. More than a model to be studied, diagnosed and learned from. Our children need educators to have extensive conversations about them and their educational outcomes. Engage in dialogue concerning their well being that includes mental, emotional and.physical aspects of their lives. They need to have pinpoint, personal and strategic solutions to the problems that they will face in their lives. Solutions that are sparked by the obtaining of a great education. A quality education that starts with access. And for too long our kid’s access has been denied. We’re ready



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