What Is At The Center Of The Academie Lafayette Controversy?

4 col southwest h.s.

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

One would certainly like to believe that at the center of the controversy surrounding Academie Lafayette, the Kansas City, Mo., Public Schools and Southwest Early College campus is about the education of all children. But, the reality is  that education may be the least important aspect in this triangle of money, power and racism.
One of the biggest problems that the community has in the proposed plan involving Southwest, Academie Lafayette and the K.C.P.S., is trust. Many people believe that if the partnership happens, Southwest will return to a predominately white school with unlimited resources, giving white youth opportunities for at a quality education that black youth won’t have access to.
Academie Lafayette is one of the most successful Charter schools in the state of Missouri. The French-immersion school has been in existence for about 15 years.
Although students are selected, the Southwest Early College campus has been a sore spot for the  community it surrounds. There have been a number of high profile incidents that been reported at the school. In spite of the diligent efforts of many parents and students who have tried to change the image of the school, the mind set of many of its students are to no avail.
The Stowers foundation recently announced a pledge to cover the $2 million in start-up costs if Academie Lafayette and the K.C.P.S. can agree on a partnership at Southwest Early College campus.
Some people have called THE CALL and inquired as to why Stowers would only put the $2 million up if Southwest was part of a plan that included Academie Lafayette? Southwest currently needs financial assistance with increasing Advanced Placement which helps students with college credits and ensuring a 21st Century learning environment.
The school currently resembles a warehouse, poor lighting, dark and gloomy and in need of updated lockers and several coats of paint.


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