Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Carthaginians are Coming!

As an educator, I have always been dumbfounded by what happened in New Orleans Schools when run by the New Orleans School Board. Now that the state has control things seem worse. No hot lunches, no textbooks for students, poor learning environments, etc. Now, to top it all off, Hannibal Barca is complaining:
One community activist, Hannibal Barca of the group Neighborhood Unity Emerge, shifted the criticism focus somewhat away from Jarvis, saying ranking state education officials and legislators must be held accountable for troubles faced by students. He scoffed at the notion that Wednesday's hearing would fix anything.
I agree. There must be institutional change. A change in leadership is not going to fix this unless that leadership changes everything which does not appear to be happening. Someone with vision, charisma, and real power must do this. Of course, if such a person were to appear, he or she might be better off as mayor of New Orleans. As it stands now, this job is being done inadequately and the future of New Orleans continues to be at stake. Can't someone just order new hot plates, call textbook companies, and make a list of schools that need to be repaired?

The more I think about this, the more it seems like a distraction technique. If you can focus people's attention on small things, the big things get overlooked. Like educating the children. Why on earth can't the infrastructure and necessary items be deployed so that they are not issues. Without being a conspiracy theorist, I tend to think that this is planned. (The textbook thing alone has been going on for over a month - how is that possible?)

If state officials thought that the city was doing such a bad job, why are they taking over and doing the same bad job? Keep the fire under their butts. They need to serve our children better than this. Especially with education.

TEACHER MOMENT: In case you didn't know, Hannibal Barca was also the real name of the Hannibal who invaded Italy in the 3rd century BC and was a critical part of the 2nd Punic War. His strategy was to surround Rome and have her recently acquired allies switch their allegiance to him and the Carthaginians. Then he would attack Rome itself. The allies failed to see things his way, and the Romans eventually won by invading Carthage. Romans would scare their children for generations afterwards by saying, "Hannibal is at the gates."

So, Mr. Barca of New Orleans, keep up the good fight. I think you can win this time. You have the allies on your side.

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