Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Three Steps Forward in Education

The Times-Picayune has published two excellent articles about education in New Orleans this week, and it is only Tuesday. First on Monday they reported how special needs children were being systematically excluded from charter schools. Then today on the front page there was an article about the incopetancy of the RSD in getting schools ready, and how we will be facing a major shortfall of classrooms in the Fall. And just now I read that the RSD superintendant Robin Jarvis will be retiring at the end of May. I consider these developments to be good for the public school students in that the media is looking past the rosy front painted by the charter school lobby, and I'm sure the RSD could be better managed. I still feel the answer lies in getting control of our schools out of the state's hands and back into a Orleans Parish school board, one that is competant. As the chair of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization's Education Committee, I along with the Northwest Carrollton neighborhood representative Karen Gadbois have been trying to arrange a meeting with Una Anderson who represents our neighborhoods on the school board. So far we've received no answer. The Orleans Parish School Board is only running five schools at the moment, so how busy could she be? Anyway if you see Una tell her I said "hey."


Blogger Terri said...

Hannah is dyslexic, dysgraphic, and has inattention ADD; she has a 504 plan in place and is considered 'handicapped' by her learning disabilities, a designation we can update or remove every 3 years. Her teachers at 'big' Lusher have done none of the things to help her that are outlined in her 504 plan. Yesterday we received a letter from Lusher telling us she will probably not be retained there. We're at a complete loss as to what we'll do next. She's been there since kindergarten.

Terri Stoor

9:22 PM  
Blogger Leigh C. said...

Did you see this week's Gambit article on the attempts to get Wilson Elementary going again in Broadmoor?


This city and state oughta be ashamed of themselves...

7:35 AM  
Blogger Michael Homan said...

Leigh, I did see the article in the Gambit. They've done some great reporting about education lately. And Terri, I'm at a loss as to what to say. Hannah is a great friend of our daughter. The status quo regarding education is so awful. It's almost daily that I hear something that is hard to believe because it is so wrong. We really need some serious changes.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Howie Luvzus said...

Aren't there laws on the books about students like your daughter? Not only is it unconscionable what's happening to your daughter, It HAS to be illegal.

Keep me posted about what you intend to do. I know it's hard to buck the Lusher administration, but what have you got to lose?

9:58 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

Thank you. This situation makes Hannah feel terrible about herself - hard to exlain to an 11 yr. old that neither her grades nor her learning disabilities define her! We're meeting with Lusher (yet again) on Friday; not sure what to expect. I've researched section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to the best of my ability, however it appears that charter schools in N.O. right now may be exempt from its provisions until the city is "fully repopulated". Of course, there was no definition given as to what constitutes full repopulation, so the exemption could go on indefinitely. That's my understanding, anyway. It's a quandary: do we want to fight to keep her in a school that is not meeting her needs? But now that her grades are so low, what quality school would take her? Ironically, this child is also certified as academically gifted . . . .

10:44 AM  

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