I am a senior at Riverdale High School and even though it doesn't really affect my academic career, they should really change their stance. Not only did they not read the plan they unanimously accepted (which I can't blame them, seeing as we elect people that do the same thing in a variety of our government positions), but also their stance simply does not make any sense.
Let’s examine their only arguments for changing Riverdale into a magnet school:
1.) School Board Member Ellen Kovach says that there is a growing demand for magnet schools.
2.) This inherently prevents “many qualified” students from gaining access to a magnet school.
3.) It’s fiscally responsible to carry out this action.
4.) Old Metairie residents have also complained about traffic.
That’s the only four arguments that the school board can present, all of which can be refuted quite easily:
1.) What demand for magnet schools? For some reason, our school board finds this incessant need to continue building up accelerated programs. They invested thousands of dollars into IBO, the Patrick Taylor Science and Technology Academy, and the current Haynes Academy. The question is, where is the demand for all this? Why don’t we request from the school board how many of our kids in our parish have applied to private universities in the past? I can estimate the number to be relatively small. Even with these supreme magnet schools, large numbers of kids are still going to be utilizing TOPS and in-state programs that can be achieved at the average high school. Now I do not see a demand for magnet schools, which they may see. But what I do see is the demand for adequate teaching across the board. I see a demand for qualified teachers. What’s more important: spending thousands of dollars for kids that could achieve well in less-expensive programs like Gifted and AP, or actually providing a decent education to the majority of the parish? Our school board needs to get its priorities in order.
2.) Exactly. That’s the point of a magnet school. Kids will be utilizing a magnet school to get a better education, but also prepare them for college. One of the biggest aspects of post-secondary education is the competitiveness. One has to apply for colleges and compete against other students for acceptance. In essence, the same thing is happening with the magnet schools. So instead, we should just accept all kids applying to a magnet school because it’s CLEARLY the most ideal system post-graduation. (Note the sarcasm)
3.)While I concede that Riverdale’s loss of students while having a pretty large capacity does show signs of fiscal irresponsibility, it is more costly to put the magnet school at Riverdale. The first thing we have to realize is that our school board has consistently been incompetent in location. They had the science and tech school in a location, which they eventually moved. This magnet school is only going to be at Riverdale for a few years, and then also moved to Kenner. The cost of a brief transition is far greater than leaving things alone. Then another transition to the other school costs even more. The money you wasted on programs at Riverdale like IBO would be at a great cost… It’s so disheartening to hear OUR school board scream fiscal responsibility when they waste money left and right. More importantly, back to my first point, it would be more fiscally responsible to worry about the kids that aren’t the cream of the crop, but those that are struggling. Poor test scores affects us in terms of federal funding. And any money we waste in unqualified and ineffective teaching (while also failing to meet federal statutes) is simply ridiculous.
4.) Oh! THE TRAFFIC!!! Oh, such a real good reason to move a school. So instead, we potentially create more traffic at the Riverdale campus, until they complain? Come on, it’s simply ridiculous. The only reason they would even consider this, is because our corrupt school board is so easily influenced by the wealthy members of Old Metairie.And here is where I go on my rant. Ellen Kovach, the ringleader of this plot to change Riverdale, is clearly the most incompetent person on the school board. She has recently joined, and has already begun to institute some of the most ridiculous measures this parish has ever seen. She lives in Old Metairie, so I’m sure she’s one of the few complaining about traffic… She has a record concerning actions that the community disapproves of. In 2006, an overwhelming crowd protested one of her previous campaigns against the constituents of this parish.
Her plans were considered racist and one person described her as “David Duke with a dress.” She plans on running for judge within the year, leaving her to vacate her position as a school board member; just after she plans on “helping” the system. Kovach looks to advocate ethics and reform, but with a proposal like this, we can see she is clearly lying. She does not care about this school system or the students and parents affected by it. All she plans to do is use these propositions as another mark on her resume and go about her merry way wreaking havoc…
July 17, 2008 1:27 PM
The Integration Report, issue 28
7 years ago