Put your Money Where your Mouth Is If you Want a Quality Education for your Child in NOLA.

Despite being upset about my son’s One-App placement results to enter kindergarten, I took my time on this piece because within the topic of education, there is a lot of nuance.  

Adding to the nuance, determining the best pathway for your child’s education, becomes even more frustrating when the availability of quality schools is limited.

Initially, I was outraged because for the second year in a row, the city’s One App did not provide placement for my son into any of the elementary schools I had selected. I’d selected five, ll with performance scores no less than a B. Why would I select anything else for my son whom I want nothing less than the best for?

Some of my thoughts/questions went like this:

“So, because I make decent money, my child can’t get into a high performing school?”

“If I had selected a school with a performance ratings no better than C, my son would have been admitted right?”

But then, I thought about the kids who do benefit from the selection process, the kids whose families likely cannot afford to pay private school tuition and the parents who cannot miss work to commute back and forth to a school to manage the admission process.

And then, I become selfish again. Well, not necessarily selfish, but having attended what I have always considered to be pretty good public schools, I always felt comfortable with the idea of providing my son with the same experience to attend a school where the student population looked a lot like him and provided a solid education.  His family would handle the rest to ensure his village or nurturers was secure.

But the way it’s looking, my options to do that are non-existent. He is number 7 on the waiting list at Lake Forest Charter Elementary and he was given no placement through the city’s One-App enrollment despite selecting five school options. And despite their plea to apply again during Round 2 by May 25, 2018,  according the site none of the schools I selected are projected to even have availability.

I am happy the schools with lower performance are not yet full.  This hopefully means we’ll have more students attending schools that have been deemed to have higher performance.  Unfortunately, the fact remains that we have too many schools with low performance rates and not enough quality schools to choose. This makes the race to seek educational quality in New Orleans, a daunting one, particularly when your income determines your eligibility for resources in a city with rising costs of living and low wage employment.

Nevertheless, I have no choice but to put my money where my mouth is and pay for the education that I not only want my son to have. But when the city whose impoverishment I worked so hard to escape in my adulthood, in turn, penalizes me for it, it hurts.


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