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View Diary: Poor, Minority Pupils Are Now a Majority in South (31 comments)

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  •  Here in New Orleans, I do not see it as a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, dle2GA

    problem having to do with race or ethnicity as much as a problem having to do with class.  All of the middle class here have abandoned the public schools -- white, African American, Hispanic, Vietnamese.  Unless your child attends one of the handful of decent magnet schools -- where the racial make-up is carefully and intentionally balanced to reflect the community at large -- parents by and large have abandoned public schools.  The big alternative is the Catholic school system, which is supported in part by donations and which maintains affordable tuition for many families.  Ironically, they are "progressive" in a way that many here would like.  Every year, the high schools have a big big fundraising drive.  They know the parents and have a good idea of their economic situation, and they put a whole lot of pressure on parents with means (doctors, lawyers, owners of businesses, professionals) to be big givers to that school so that the tuition can remain affordable for those without as much in the way of financial resources.  If you've never been pressured by the priests or nuns running the schools your children attend, let me assure you that they are usually very very successful.  They do a good job of keeping tuition low enough for the middle class by making up the difference with "donations" from the more well-off families.

    There are many very good, predominately African American grammar schools, and all grammar schools are integrated.  Catholic schools also take low income children with vouchers, and there are some children for whom tuition is waived completely (although the schools keep this very hush-hush so as not to stigmatize the children).  All the Catholic high schools are integrated (at my children's school, their circle of immediate friends includes about 5 white children, 2 African American children, and an Asian child).  In addition, there are some very very good historically African American high schools like St. Augustine.  

    All of those parents -- white, African American, Asian -- have abandoned the public school system.  In addition, since they do not benefit (in their view) from the public school system, and because they are "forced" to pay tuition (in their view) because the public schools are so lacking, they resent paying taxes for those schools.  

    In New Orleans, the middle class white, Asian, and African American parents have all abandoned support for the public schools.  

    •  Didn't I read that the storm (0+ / 0-)

      was used as an opportunity to destroy the public system in NOLA and ram through an experiment in charters ? I suppose their kids are leading the nation now. I was wondering, have middle class parents there abandoned support for the public schools ?

    •  African-American middle class have abandoned... (0+ / 0-)

      ...public schools in Memphis, TN, as well.

      You couldn't pay me to send my kids to the public schools here.

      They are awful. By design.

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