In response to Charles Lussier’s recent article discussing Pathways to Bright Futures in East Baton Rouge, we, the 230 members of United Faith Leaders, wish to offer a few points.
EBR has historically served some students very well, while failing to offer high quality instruction, adequate options, and sufficientsupports to others. We see Pathways to Bright Futures as just one program that will continue the current administration’s efforts torectify inequities in our education system.
As the article pointed out, Pathways to Bright Futures offers students and families options. It does not mandate dual enrollment orIndustry Based Credentials (IBCs), nor will it replace Advanced Placement (AP) classes, but it will ensure that all students – thosehistorically served well and those historically underserved – have access to new and exciting programs.
As we know, some of the most in-demand and high-wage jobs right now do not require a college degree. Pathways to Bright Futureswill offer IBCs so that high school graduates can go directly into a high-wage field of their choice, saving both money and time.
For those who pursue an associate degree and participate in dual enrollment classes, the benefits are plenty: earning an associatedegree at no cost, exposure to new fields, and completing up to two years of course work for a bachelor’s degree, just to name afew.
Finally, Pathways to Bright Futures will offer individualized support to students who struggle in dual enrollment classes andopportunities such as internships and job-embedded experiences to students pursuing an IBC.
Pathways to a Bright Futures addresses an issue that desperately needs addressing: a history of inequitable education services inour Parish. We should support the expansion of options, so our students and families have the best educational choices andexperiences possible.