Only the Best for Our Children
It has been a trying time for all who have been working in post-Katrina New Orleans. For those in education, the trying times predate Katrina, and the circumstances faced by those in education are both complex and monumental.
Though no one would question the difficulty faced by those involved, it does not excuse a lack of effort or a lowering of expectations. We still owe our children the best education we can provide them. We owe them our best effort to prepare them to contend in an extremely competitive world. We even owe them an environment that is conducive to maximizing the education process.
It is for that reason that I am not just perplexed but absolutely livid over the recent comments (WDSU 6 On Your Side Live Hot Seat Oct. 6) of Orleans Public School Board member Lourdes Moran. When asked if she thought the Orleans Parish school system was sending kids a message that they didn't matter because they were being forced to go to school in filthy, dilapidated and poorly maintained buildings, she replied, "How would they know the difference? They come from homes that are in many cases just as bad or worse." It is my expectation that a school board member should not only be an advocate for children, they should be the standard bearers of raised expectations. They should be tirelessly working to provide facilities and materials of the best quality affordable.
While much of the real estate owned by the school board was substantially damaged in Katrina, there has been a distinctly uneven effort to bring them back on line. Ms. Moran's attitude seems to be that the children who are attending classes in buildings that are in disrepair should not expect anything better, as they come from homes and communities that are in disrepair. Her statement leads one to conclude that children from these communities could not appreciate the tidiness of schools such as Lusher, Ben Franklin High School and Audubon.
In most any other city, a school board member that would utter such a preposterous statement would be summarily drummed out of their position.
While one might argue that this is simply an unfortunate slip of the tongue on the part of Ms. Moran, I believe that it was an opportunity to peer into her actual beliefs. Our children have too much stacked against them already for our key leaders to resign them to the broken down, under-supplied buildings that make up far too much of our current system. If Ms. Moran is not advocating for the absolute best, then what is her purpose as a school board member?
Sheila Williams Executive Director
Rainbow PUSH Coalition/CEF
Clean Our National House
I think the current Congress was ineffective and accomplished absolutely nothing! They refused to pass the oil revenue refund bill, which was desperately needed by the Gulf Coast states, especially considering the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the entire Social Security system is in total disarray, especially after the passing of the part D prescription drug benefit.
The idea of placing a fence around the borders of the United States is foolish and impractical. This nation relies on migrant workers to produce the agricultural and farm items that many, many Americans use for food, not to mention the reduction in the cost of these products on the market.
The current controlling party members need to be fired come the fall elections. They have collectively refused to attack the critical issues facing this nation, like forcing the president to have a definite policy on removing our troops from Iraq. We are foolish if we tolerate this lack of action from another session of Congress.
We have lost our respected position as a powerful, sensible nation, and we have caused other factions in the world to defile our nation and its way of life. It is time for a major overhaul of Congress and the administration in this nation. We are on a slippery slope similar to that which caused the fall of the Roman Empire.
John G. Simms
I think this Congress has accomplished nothing, because the bills they did pass are horrible. They have pretended to put up a fence between Mexico and the U.S., which is a terrible idea. I remember as a kid how proud we were that we had thousands of miles of open border between Mexico and Canada and the good old U.S.A. I say "pretended," because there are thousands of miles and they have only appropriated the money for a little over 100 miles.
They have turned the office of the president into a dictatorship. Whoever he says is a criminal is; no writ of habeas corpus. This do-nothing Congress will find these chickens coming home to roost.
A. R. Leonard