Arne Duncan has backtracked on his claim that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.” But schoolchildren in the Crescent City probably think the Saints making the Super Bowl is the best thing to happen, since the city’s schools are likely to call an emergency day and stay closed on Monday.
“We feel that it is not in the best interest of our students to be required to attend school on a day when a significant number of absences or tardiness will be the reality, and when learning will not be optimal,” says one school official.
Not one to let les bon temps rouler, PBS’ education correspondent John Merrow thinks closing for the day sets a bad example for the kids. “Call me an old fogey, but I find closing schools to be irresponsible behavior on the part of the adults,” Merrow writes on his blog. “Are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders going to be worn out from partying? What are working parents supposed to do, or are they also exempt from going to work?”
By canceling school, says Merrow, the adults “are inadvertently revealing who’s really in charge: the kids. The unspoken message is clear: what we offer in schools isn’t enough to hold students’ attention.”