So, it's quite evident that Scott Cowen knows diddley about New Orleans and its history, diddley about Tulane and its history, and he doesn't care.
As I am merely an alumnus, this doesn't affect me on a daily basis.
However, Cowen was made chair of the "Bring Back New Orleans" education commission.
This man knows diddley about education. He was involved in management, period. He shouldn't be on this committee.
Of course, he has a vested interest. The Lusher school was all set to become a charter school before K. Then K happened, and the chartering was rushed through with a caveat: Lusher was now under the influence of Cowen.
Lusher had a great model: 50% of the students were drawn from their geographic district (sufficiently gerrymandered to include Tulane's dorms), and 50% tested in from around the Parish. This meant that the racial and economic makeup of the school was similar to that of New Orleans. Also, the "best and brightest" teachers wanted to teach there, and they put a heavy influence on the arts. The parents were quite involved as well.
Now Cowen gets to influence the school, if not call all of the major shots.
Already, his $1.5M pledge to Lusher (hmmmm...maybe we could have kept Engineering with that money...nyyyyaaahhh) has exerted undue influence: the admissions criteria changed after K.
Now, the first call for enrollment goes to the children of Tulane employees, and former Lusher students. There is NOTHING on the Lusher website about drawing students from the geographic district.
I have a stake in this, too. As the parent of 3 children, I specifically looked for a house in the Lusher district. I paid about 20% more to live in this district. Now, it appears as if Cowen may take that away.
There is a silver, well, tungsten lining. I asked, via the Lusher website, if the geographic district would still be honored, as no press releases mentioned it. The reply:
Q: I bought a home in the district so my child could attend Lusher next August. Will my child still have a spot then?
A: Plans are still to honor the district in August, 2006.
Oh goody. This means, if you read the Cowenspeak between the lines, that in August 2007, not only will it be the first school year in a long time without a Tulane Engineering, but it will be the first school year in a long time where there is no geographic district for the Lusher school.
In his latest bit of propaganda, Cowen states that students should be allowed to attend any school they wish.
If that's the case, then the math and science school and Lusher would have about 60% of the students in all of Orleans Parish. That ain't gonna happen.
I'm afraid what will happen is that Lusher will simply become a perq for Tulane employees, the minions of Cowen.
Those in favor of vouchers and such constantly drone on about how one should not have to attend a crappy school simply because it is the one geographically closest to them.
I say that one should not have to attend a school far away, when the one that is geographically closest is perfectly suitable.
Save Lusher, Save Tulane. Somebody cut out this cancer that is Cowen, and send him back to Jersey or Cleveland.