Spiderman is Waiting for Superman
September 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
Did you know that Marvel Comics’ new Spiderman attends a charter school? He was one of the lucky ones who wins the lottery in the pages below.
Jay Altman of FirstLine Schools often paints a similar scene when he recalls the annual admissions lottery held for New Orleans Charter Middle School- the first charter in New Orleans that was the precursor to FirstLine. Scenes like this rarely happen anymore in New Orleans. There are many reasons contributing to that, but I think the #1 reason is that the number of failing schools has been dramatically reduced and fewer and fewer parents feel that the only way to give their child’s a chance is to get them into one or two special schools.
We’ve still got a long way to go to make every school in New Orleans world class, but the progress & improvement is irrefutable.
Interestingly, the one school that comes to mind where there are parents hanging on to every named called in the lottery is Lusher Charter – the selective enrollment charter where my daughter attends in Uptown. Their waiting list is full of parents who would love to send their children to that school, but can’t because there isn’t room.
Faced with the option of sending their child to another public school or, spend money and send them to an independent school, most parents who are in a position to do so opt for the independent school and figure out the finances later. There are some public schools that are exceptions (Audubon, Hynes, ISL, Lycee-Francais and Morris Jeff), but not many.
It may seem strange, but right now it seems that public education in New Orleans isn’t meeting the needs of kids at all levels of income, and because of that, there’s an opportunity to get middle class citizens invested and engaged in public education because it impacts their kids, not just because it’s the right thing to do by other people’s children.