Music, New Orleans Public Schools v.s Charter School Education In New Orleans

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When I grew up in New Orleans in the 60’s, 70’s, I was always exposed to some type of record player, musician, music environment. The one thing I remember in my elementary school days, I played bass drum in the band because nobody else wanted to play it and I got to be the section leader over Kevin Smith.( Hey Smitty I still love you Brah!). I went to Catholic schools all my life except for Universities. When growing up, the one thing that always excited me was watching Andrew J. Bell Jr. High School Marching band rehearse at 8am in the morning before going to school. I would leave my house at 7:00am as opposed to 7:30am. I wanted to so much be in that band! I received encouragement from watching those guys rehearse, which transcended me to not look at them as “Public School Boys”. So this brings me to the topic of Public School music programs verses Charter School programs. The Advocate Thursday Addition published an article on Charter School Education in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, more Charter schools were established and taken over by the state. My Nephew goes to a Charter High School that has a great music program. They march in all the Mardi Gras parades, have spring  band concerts. The High School my wife went to John McDonogh, was a fine public school when we were growing up, that had a wonderful band, great band uniforms and talented musicians. In terms of Education, I strongly believe schools should always have some type of art program that promotes kids to challenge their creative ability to dream. Maybe Louisiana won’t remain 49thNew Orleans musician Kenny Sara in Education in the United States for more than 5 decades. If Charter Schools are to present a better educational opportunity, I feel these program requirements should insist that general music classes are required for all students to graduate. When I read or hear the word opportunity, I interpret that as an option to create unity. Education & the arts, both unite communities, they allow our young people to shine while letting them be creative which in turn allows them to arose their seeking spirit, to go further, to dream. When the People are Happy, their land is happy. So what’s stopping us from taking the next step forward for the sake of future generations?

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