Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weeping may endure for the night but the joy...oh the joy...

We have all experienced either directly or indirectly the confusion and anger, indignation and downright outrage initiated by the actions that the Jefferson Parish School Board was forced to take as a consequence of the Dandridge consent decree. This morning I have been able to experience what I hope to be one of many exhilarating and enlightening conclusions to the stand many magnet and non-magnet parents have
taken for a fair and equitable decree over the last 3 months.

In the Gretna #2 auditorium a group of teachers, administrators and parents sat together to discuss how best to serve students who strive for excellence and whose parents and guardians expect no less. Much of the apprehension, rumor, insinuation and doubt associated with creating an equitable magnet system that would serve the needs of all children was laid to rest as teachers and administrators came to realize as one teacher put it, "we are more alike than different".

The Westbank and Eastbank of Jefferson Parish each have a responsibility to educate its children. In the meeting this morning we have come to realize that this task is better served through open lines of communication, openly sharing ideas and resources, open strategies for study skills and test preparation and open dialog between our administrators and parents.

Textbooks and literature, conferences and seminars, web-links, across curriculum development and parental involvement were among the topics discussed and considered essential to improving student instruction, comprehension and performance at both Metairie Academy and Gretna #2. These topics have always been the charge of these instructors and part of the magnet programs but this morning they potentially have become greater strengths in a system that should set the standard for all of Jefferson Parish schools and their curriculum development.

The challenge still remains for our justice system to see that our children are best serve by an educational system that remains competitive, sharing triumphs and tribulations, reaching goals and setting records while acting in a unitary, desegregated, open and cooperative fashion. This most certainly serves the spirit and letter of the decree without creating a segregated, bipartite, bimodal or duel school system that using the river as the excuse would create. had certainly come this May 29th, 2008 morning!

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