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Old 05-02-2010, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
245 posts, read 416,952 times
Reputation: 158

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Good afternoon! I too appreciate the civility, and I enjoy intelligent discussion even more. Thank you for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiten View Post
Regarding the appeal to authority, as I admitted earlier the topic of race and education is very complicated. It's our most intractable domestic issue, as tough a nut to crack as peace in the Middle East, and what has taken experts thousands of articles, studies, and books to try to explain can't be condensed into a few pithy sentences relevant to this thread without investing a great deal of effort and patience. The topic also evokes visceral reactions, and in an anonymous forum like this one, where rational discussions often dissolve into emotional exchanges, you really have to gauge the cost-benefit...

I do appreciate your being civil, and I often enjoy your posts as well.
I'd like to encourage you to try. I think it's important considering the venue. This forum is viewed by people nationwide, if not world-wide. It's apparent from the typical postings requesting inside perspectives that those people have little more than pop culture references to gauge the accuracy of existing stereotypes. New Orleanians, Louisianians, Gulf Coasters, Southerners, etc. and their cultures are poorly represented by The Waterboy. It's unfortunate, but general perception of our region is shaped by ridiculous movies far more than personal experiences, or reasonable common-sense. I don't want to beat up on New Orleans; far from it. I defend her as quickly and heartily as anyone. However, the truth is the truth. People willing to relocate to New Orleans are important to the city's future, and I hope that they flock in droves. But they need to do so with open eyes and informed expectations. I don't want to influence anyone away, unless of course, they're making a decision that will prove to be poor given their own specific set of circumstance. Those folks will eventually do more damage than good.

I'm not asking you to attempt a lecture on historical sociology. But, surely you could accomplish something with a few pithy sentences. As far as staying on topic, I seriously doubt anyone has a complaint. If they do, they should speak up. I have no issue creating a new thread in order to squelch the squawking. You make great posts. I certainly don't mean to insult, much less condescend. I only hoped to chide you just enough to provoke a well thought, logically constructed argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiten View Post
Yes, Ben Franklin isn't fully representative of public schools in New Orleans. I didn't intend for it to be taken that way. The point to white-flighters like the one who called the schools here a "JOKE" is that the public high schools that have consistently ranked highest in the state (BFHS, Lusher) are in New Orleans -- and they far exceed the performance of any in Metairie or the Northshore. BFHS is an exception not just in New Orleans, but the entire state & indeed the whole country, and bearing in mind that most of its students are products of the N.O. public school system through and through, it roundly disproves the notion that the best and the brightest vacated New Orleans. That's all.
First, a couple of easy to find statistics from the LA Dep. of Education:

Quote:
2008 (most recent available) Performance rankings/scores for the districts pertinent to this discussion.

Rank - 1 of 69 Zachary Community SD - Score:112.6
Rank - 2 of 69 St. Tammany Parish SD - Score:105.9
Rank - 17 of 69 Orleans Parish SD - Score:96.1
Rank - 57 of 69 Jefferson Parish SD - Score:73.5
Rank - 69 of 69 Recovery School District - Score:51.4
As you can see, at first glance it may seem that Orleans Parish is a reasonable performer. However, you must consider than a large portion of the public school district in Orleans was taken over by the Recovery District (RSD). The RSD was established to recuperate the poorest performers. While that district does include more than Orleans Parish schools, a quick view of their website shows that 70 of their 84 schools were taken from Orleans Parish. Thus, there are two districts that must be considered when comparing Orleans to Jefferson Parish. Orleans Parish SD now consists of only 16 schools.

The following quotes are from a report in 2008 from The Cowen Institute at Tulane University (also an easy google search away for anyone interested):
Quote:
Before Hurricane Katrina, public schools in New
Orleans regularly scored below the Louisiana average
on the state’s standardized tests. Orleans Parish was
the second lowest scoring school district in Louisiana in the
2004-2005 school year, ranking 67th out of 68 districts. If
all public schools in New Orleans were still in one district,
it would rank 65th out of 68 districts in the 2007-08 school
year.
In addition, Louisiana regularly ranks near the bottom
of states nationally on a variety of national tests. On the
2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),
sometimes referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” Louisi-
ana 4th and 8th graders scored between 43rd and 50th out
of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on reading and
math. Finally, the United States as a whole does not rank among the top industrialized nations of the world on student
performance. On tests conducted by the Program for Inter-
national Student Assessment (PISA) in industrialized nations
since 2000, American 15 year-olds ranked 15th out of 43
countries in reading, 29th out of 57 countries in science, and
35th out of 57 countries in math. Though standardized tests
can never tell the whole story of student knowledge, they do
give a general sense of how public school students compare to
their peers across the state, the country, and the world. These
results lead to the inevitable conclusion that public schools in
New Orleans rank near the bottom in a state that ranks near
the bottom in a country that is far from leading the industri-
alized world in terms of student learning.
While I do agree with you that some of the best and brightest remain in Orleans Parish and are serviced by a few very good schools, a different story is told when comparing Orleans schools, in general, to those in Metairie (or anywhere for that matter). As quoted above, when data is analyzed on all Orleans Parish schools as a district, as it once was, it ranks 65th out of 69. Jefferson Parish, which includes Metairie, ranks 57th. Both are shamefully low rankings. I have a hard time recommending Metairie, in general, over Orleans. However, statistically any school in Jefferson Parish is an improvement over Orleans. Let's keep in perspective here what 17th place means; Orleans Parish (those schools not moved to the RSD) rank in the top 25%. I'm not saying that isn't good, but top 25% is hardly prestigious.

Of the 16 schools remaining in Orleans Parish SD, there are 7 with performance scores over 100. Jefferson Parish has 11 with scores over 100. Of those 11, 4 are in Metairie (with the remainders spread through Kenner, Gretna and Jefferson).

So comparing Metairie to Orleans public schools, in general, shows that Metairie is in a district that outperforms (barely) Orleans, and they have their fair share of high performers. I wish it weren't true, but it is. I think it's important for any new-comers who seek information here to know this before they relocate here. If you have a high-performing child, you can find excellent choices in Orleans Parish, or in Metairie. However, if you have a child that fits in at a level, where most children do, you may want to more carefully consider you choices. Take note that St. Tammany Parish ranks number 2 in the state.

I hope anyone reading this is having a nice weekend. Please to add to the discussion if you have something constructive or informative to say. Or don't.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
245 posts, read 416,952 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pook77 View Post
pointykitty, I like your attitude on New Orleans and reading your posts. But this, to me, was mean and elitist. When we moved here, we couldn't afford a dang thing within the city. Real estate after Katrina was so highly inflated and we had $250K to spend on a house. We can't live in a 1000 sq ft shotgun, so that was way out of the picture (it's about all that was in our price range a the time). I can't say I'm in love with living in a suburb but it's hurtful to see someone so pro-New Orleans shoot down a large area. I work in the CDB and my husband works in Luling so that works a bit better too. I understand it's not your thing, and no, it doesn't have much charm, heck, it's urban sprawl, nothing more, but we make up a large part of the New Orleans "area" (I'm not saying we're New Orleans).

I'm so sorry you feel this way, but some people really have no choice. I'm sorry we're an embarrassment to the area.
I agree with you Pook77.

If you were to remove all the contributions made to "N'awlins" by those major metro suburbs and their residents, you wouldn't have much of a N'awlins anymore. I'm more than certain we could begin a list of the contributions, but is that actually necessary? Do you really wish to thumb your nose at entire areas of the locale whose identity is as much a part of the city proper as the city proper's identity is of them? Do you have any concept of the number of great things about N'awlins that exist out in those suburbs? You don't actually think that New Orleans, as a place, as a culture or as a destination actually resides strictly within some specifically defined municipal boundaries, do you?

I'd love to hear a single reasonable argument for why Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, etc. isn't "New Orleans". Really, seriously.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, United States
4,230 posts, read 9,415,818 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
I agree with you Pook77.

If you were to remove all the contributions made to "N'awlins" by those major metro suburbs and their residents, you wouldn't have much of a N'awlins anymore. I'm more than certain we could begin a list of the contributions, but is that actually necessary? Do you really wish to thumb your nose at entire areas of the locale whose identity is as much a part of the city proper as the city proper's identity is of them? Do you have any concept of the number of great things about N'awlins that exist out in those suburbs? You don't actually think that New Orleans, as a place, as a culture or as a destination actually resides strictly within some specifically defined municipal boundaries, do you?

I'd love to hear a single reasonable argument for why Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, etc. isn't "New Orleans". Really, seriously.
You people would be surprised at how many people, both in the city and in Jefferson, feel that way. You should hear how some from Orleans and Jefferson feel about each other, or how some from Jefferson feel about St. Tammany. Yall don't think this area just became seperated like this overnight do you? There are many in Jefferson, St Tammany, St Benard and St Charles who don't want to be New Orleans and won't hesitate to let you know, regardless of the fact they most of them are from NO and that all of them constitute the current incarnation of it. That's part of the reason the city is where it is right now.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
245 posts, read 416,952 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestbankNOLA View Post
You people would be surprised at how many people, both in the city and in Jefferson, feel that way. You should hear how some from Orleans and Jefferson feel about each other, or how some from Jefferson feel about St. Tammany. Yall don't think this area just became seperated like this overnight do you? There are many in Jefferson, St Tammany, St Benard and St Charles who don't want to be New Orleans and won't hesitate to let you know, regardless of the fact they most of them are from NO and that all of them constitute the current incarnation of it. That's part of the reason the city is where it is right now.
I'm not naive, I promise. I'm not "new" to New Orleans. I've lived all across the metro area. I still own a home in Gretna, and am soon to return to the city proper. My family dots the entire area. However, this is how I feel and is the response I've given many, many times over the years. As such, I've still yet to receive the logical and reasonable explanation I've asked for to justify it. I know the attitude exists on both sides. I don't condone it, won't participate in it and am not afraid to argue with it each time I encounter it.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:04 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, United States
4,230 posts, read 9,415,818 times
Reputation: 1418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
I'm not naive, I promise. I'm not "new" to New Orleans. I've lived all across the metro area. I still own a home in Gretna, and am soon to return to the city proper. My family dots the entire area. However, this is how I feel and is the response I've given many, many times over the years. As such, I've still yet to receive the logical and reasonable explanation I've asked for to justify it. I know the attitude exists on both sides. I don't condone it, won't participate in it and am not afraid to argue with it each time I encounter it.
My apologies. I think that we feel the same way about it.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
245 posts, read 416,952 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestbankNOLA View Post
My apologies. I think that we feel the same way about it.
No worries!
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:42 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
310 posts, read 776,334 times
Reputation: 260
The thing that got me about the post that fired me up is that the poster has been here 3 weeks or something like that. Not exactly enough time to be talking crap about the suburbs.

I am fully aware of resentment existing among those who were either born and raised here or have been living in the area for a significant amount of time and I am accepting of that; I'm not living in the dark. To come here and basically say you're better than others because you live in the city proper is just inexcusable. After living here a whole month, at that.

I consider myself part of New Orleans. Heck, the dang airport is in my backyard. You wanna tell me that MSY isn't New Orleans? I know people who move to the city are all pumped about the culture and the charm and helping to fix things. Not a thing wrong with that. The outlying areas, however, are an integral part of the functioning city whether the atmosphere is "unique" or not. I'll say it again, I didn't choose to live in the suburbs but it is what it is. For anyone to tell me where I live is an embarrassment to the New Orleans area is just disgusting, especially when one is new to the area. Disgusting.

Sorry, I'm very angry. Thanks for reading.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:42 AM
 
194 posts, read 495,414 times
Reputation: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pook77 View Post
The thing that got me about the post that fired me up is that the poster has been here 3 weeks or something like that. Not exactly enough time to be talking crap about the suburbs.
I came from Atlanta, so I know PLENTY about suburbs! They're ugly everywhere, from what I've seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pook77 View Post
I consider myself part of New Orleans.
I never said you weren't. The OP was asking for opinions about Metairie and my opinion is valid. I've never tried to pass myself off as having been here any longer than I have. If I were moving to a metro area and asked the OP's question, I would want to hear ALL available opinions. After all, if the OP moves here, he/she will be a new resident, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pook77 View Post

For anyone to tell me where I live is an embarrassment to the New Orleans area is just disgusting...
Those are your words, I just said it was ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In my opinion, residents of suburbs anywhere could raise a fuss when the next ugly shopping mall gets proposed. They could go clean up the dirty parts and petition the city/count/parish governments for stricter zoning ordinances to keep the ugly sprawl under control.

Listen, my in-laws live in the Atlanta suburbs, in a pristine upper-middle class neighborhood. Go out of that neighborhood and down the street a little way and you've got - what? - ugly suburban sprawl. Convenience stores, billboards everywhere and a drugstore on every corner. No rhyme or reason as to how it's put together, and NOBODY cares that it's ugly.

I'm just saying I, personally, wouldn't live there. Take it personally if you want.

Last edited by thepointykitty; 05-03-2010 at 09:46 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:33 AM
 
194 posts, read 495,414 times
Reputation: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepointykitty View Post
I have no input on the schools or the "origin of the suburbs" theory. Also, some people like suburbs and I ain't one of them, so there's my disclaimer. If I couldn't live in the actual city of New Orleans, I would move to Mandeville.

To me Metairie is, to use an old Southern expression, 'as ugly as homemade sin'. I would characterize Gwinnett County, which is part of metro Atlanta, the same way. It's strip malls, subdivisions, gas stations, and all around "sprawl". The only things inoffensive to the eye, in my opinion, are the homogenous, cookie-cutter subdivisions, and those are offensive to the soul. (However, I have not seen "Old Metairie" yet, so hopefully that has some real character). Again, this is my opinion.

I prefer to live inside a vibrant city OR out in the middle of nowhere. Mediocrity is unacceptable. Clearly, many people disagree with me on that, and I wish them well in the suburbs or wherever. Different strokes for different folks...
Where in this post did I say I was better than anybody? Anyone who thinks that brought it with them, so to speak. I think I was VERY clear that my comments were based on my personal taste and dislike of suburbs in general.

Also, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned in previous posts that we got a great deal on a rental in a nice area. How is that elitist?

In Atlanta, a lot of people who live in the suburbs think they're "better" than those who live in the city. It's all a mindset, and clearly my comments hit a nerve with some of you.

I'm sorry for any hurt feelings but I stand by my opinion, my right to have that opinion, and my right to express it to someone asking for opinions about the area.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
310 posts, read 776,334 times
Reputation: 260
"Offensive to the soul" got me. Certainly you are entitled to your opinion and I understand how ugly suburbs are, however, when you've clearly stated your pro New Orleans stance in other threads and then add this to all that positivity, it hurts some of us in other areas of the city. Atlanta is not New Orleans and vice versa. I agree that suburbs are ugly but to insult us like you did as a new resident is downright rude. Whether you live in a rental or the city's biggest mansion, implying that where you live is better than where we live is elitist, plain and simple. I respect that you wanted to offer your opinion to the OP, but the way you worded your post was jarring to MY soul.
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