• 57°

Batiste: Magnet program misses local mark

Restoring America’s world leadership in Science, Engineering & Technology requires making scientific research a budget priority.

In a speech in 2009 concerning the Race to the Top grant, President Obama drew attention to the business sector regarding education policy. He bundled STEM readiness concerns with the Race to the Top initiative, a large education funding competition that began in 2010 to support the state education program.

With a lack of dedicated resources in STEM in Louisiana, independent, private stakeholders had taken it upon themselves to propose a similar program to Texas (they  left).

STEM is a program with focus starting as early as elementary school leading into high quality STEM courses and programs (AP, Dual credit, IB). This cannot be thrust on students without student interest.

Louisiana’s long-time effort to improve public education achievement is even more pronounced when it comes to science and related fields.

We have school counselors; they should be given every opportunity to begin working with students where there is an interest in STEM fields. Test scores alone should not be used.

Research shows the interest in the state is not as high as the economic needs may be. Students learn by playing with robots. We need to stop and think; playing is different from becoming a robot.

ACT scores tell it all in the results of ACT STEM Benchmark, which is 26. Based on that benchmark, only 20 percent of students in the 2016 ACT-tested high school graduating class were ready for first-year STEM college courses.

Careers must be an individual’s choice. Those days when we choose the careers for our children are long gone. Let the children decide.

We need to build on improving our schools, supplying every classroom with qualified personnel whose job is to encourage student achievement and be proud of their success, which should be tracked throughout school.

Talking about opening another school in this parish when we have so much building to improve on our school success level is like closing the doors of success for the children of this parish.

President Obama said, “America will not succeed in the 21st century unless we do a far better job of educating our sons and daughters, let them fulfill their God-given potential.”

We have lost too much ground in education in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Board Members, the challenge is yours, DO THE RIGHT THING for the children of this Parish.

— Carolyn J. Batiste, LaPlace