Author: Lagniappe

In praise of whistleblowers

Dear Kevin, As a mother of a 7-year-old who finally found a love for ballet after her involvement in “The Nutcracker” this year, I am so thankful to you for reporting on what is taking place at Mobile Ballet. I have high hopes that we will be able to return to the once-respected ballet studio after those named in the lawsuit realize there is more at stake in this matter than their ego. My heart breaks for Winthrop Corey and the young ladies that are the best role models a mother could ask for for her daughter. My heart breaks for the families torn between staying for the sake of their children’s enjoyment or taking a stand for what they know is in the long-term best interest of their children and community. My broken heart; however, has recently been filled with pride toward the initial whistleblowers who have put it all on the line with nothing to gain, other than knowing they at least tried to save a sinking ship. May God bring peace and wisdom to all involved. Michelle March,...

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Notes on ‘progress’

Dear Rob, I am responding to your article “Progress inside ‘failing’ schools.” The institutions are failing the students and the city of Mobile. You did receive a dog and pony show provided by our Southern belle of a superintendent. She is extremely good painting a distortion of the truth. Our students in the failing schools are not being prepared for careers in the future. Rivets are being placed on commercial jets using robotics now. Five years from now, people may only be used to monitor their operations. There are students counting on their fingers in high school. Eighth graders are unable to solve more than three-step algebraic problems. They have difficulty composing a 500-word paper. As a concerned citizen, I was able to visit some of the high schools and a middle school. I am a retired teacher with certification for administration and postgraduate degrees. I was sickened by what I encountered within the walls of the Mobile Public School System. I experienced unequal education between the majority-white schools and mainly black schools. The level of expectations were very different. I was not surprised but very disappointed. I did ask people of the educational community, including Mrs. [Martha] Peek, about these discrepancies. I discussed methods by which the problems could be addressed. I was led to believe measures would be taken to make corrections. What was done was a...

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Tests are a part of life

Editor: No one likes standardized tests. My kids don’t. But the truth is, just like in life tests are a necessary part of school. In a couple of months your child and his or her classmates will take the ACT Aspire. It’s a scene that will repeat itself in classrooms and gymnasiums across the state. My children will be among those sitting for the exam. My youngest is in the third grade. This will be his first major test. My other children are old pros at this point. In fact, my eldest has taken the exam every year it has been offered. At this point, I know what to expect on test day. My children will beg me to let them call in sick, but my husband and I will remain resolute. We will make sure that all three of our kids are well rested for the several nights before the test, eat a good dinner and breakfast and are on time to school. Tests are hard, but so is life. Sometimes you just have to buck up and do things that scare you. While I am the only member of the Alabama State Board of Education that currently has children in public school taking the test, several of my colleagues have grandchildren. All of us want a good test. Every single year, we seem to have a big...

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Lagniappe: March 9, 2017 – March 15, 2017

Honor a local hero with the new issue of Lagniappe, where we profile the life and times of Maj. Gen. Gary Cooper. As a Marine, a student, legislator and businessman, Cooper faced adversity nearly everywhere he went. Friday, he’ll receive the 2017 Griot Award presented by the Dora Franklin Finlay African-American Heritage Trail. In Bay Briefs, we have news on legislation in Montgomery that could affect day cares and home births. We also provide more detail about the controversial hangar lease at the Fairhope Airport. Commentary touches on family travel and the Comic Cowboys controversy. Cuisine visits Kazoola’s for...

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Councilman Joel Daves resigns from Comic Cowboys

Mobile City Councilman Joel Daves joined Mayor Sandy Stimpson in resigning from the Comic Cowboys parading organization this week, after many in the community complained the organization’s cartoons were racially insensitive. In a prepared statement, Daves said, “after seeing the floats from this past Fat Tuesday, I made the decision to resign from the Comic Cowboys. I believe there is a place for satire in our society. It can help expose important issues and I think we should be able to laugh at ourselves once in a while. My twenty year membership in the Cowboys was a reflection of...

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