That fight for control of Orleans Parish Schools appears to have been shrouded in high stakes testing, where our children were required to learn tests, and were primarily denied the opportunity to learn anything along the lines of independent thinking. The high stakes testing as is required under former President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, had a terrific impact on the continued take-over of Orleans Parish Schools, with the end result being the proliferation of Charter schools. This is not to say that Charter Schools are good or bad. But the outcome, or the establishment of Charter Schools has lead to mistrust, dissention, and a belief that Charter Schools are more geared to the economic benefits they have for those whose interests lie more in the money to be gained, or generated from a Charter School than how the students can learn and/or achieve.
This run-off race hangs in the balance as President Barack Obama’s plan to give states the opportunity opt out of the No Child Left Behind Act. How will these 2 candidates affect or influence Louisiana’s opportunity to choose?
This run-off race is not just about the two women who are running for the office, however, if you only vote once or twice every 2 years, you may want to believe that as long as it is a black person in the office, that that is a good thing. It isn’t a good thing, and here is why. Let’s look at what’s on the table as you consider voting for a representative for District 2 BESE Board representative, Orleans Parish:
The above list is a selection of issues that are either directly or indirectly behind selecting the next BESE Board representative for District 2. There are so many other issues that just don’t come to mind. These issues should be in the forefront of every voter’s mind as we look at, if nothing else, governance, and who will be the best possible candidate to fight for the district to maintain or gain governance over the future of Orleans Parish’s educational future.
This piece is not to tell you who to vote for, but to look at what’s on the table for the future of education in general. This election for BESE Board representative is bigger than any of us. It is an election that will pit the past against the future; the control by parents within their own districts, against the complete take-over and control by the State of Louisiana.
This is that one opportunity like no other again, in the history of this state where we, who are currently able to make the best possible decision for the future of our children, do so, having studied what’s on the table. Yes, look at the candidates, not because they are black, or because they are white. But because you believe that the children of Orleans Parish, in particular, whether they are your children, are not, are worth getting up for on November 19, 2011 and casting a vote for the best possible candidate.
Whether you cast a vote for Ms. Louella P. Givens, or Ms. Kira Orange Jones, vote for the best candidate that you believe will ensure that your children’s future and the future of the children of District 2 will have leadership that is controlled within the boundaries of the District, and not exclusively in Baton Rouge. This much we owe all of our children.
Last, but certainly not least, our means of selecting a candidate should not be limited to race. The fact that both candidates are black females should be of no consequence. However, the fact that the majority of those who will be impacted by our means of voting should be of note. This run-off election, from a historical perspective, will affect black families. As I said earlier, I believe that wherever black children are subject to benefit from public education in the State of Louisiana, any controlling interest is bound to make sure that black children will be denied, deprived and/or have withheld any opportunities that should be given to all children.
Remember to vote: November 22, 2011.