FAMU HIGH seems to be a forgotten school. They have suffered from declining test scores and slumping enrollment for years. On statewide standardized tests, FAMU DRS has received a “D” grade the past two years. Trustee James Corbin described the school as “an absolute dump” in the Tallahassee Democrat.There have been so many excuses made as to why the school is doing so terribly, but the answer is very simple. There needs to be more of an effort to improve it.Even the city of Tallahassee has shown neglect toward the school. According to the Capital Outlook, Leon County School Superintendent Bill Montford has proposed that a new south side elementary school be built on FAMU’s property. The location is the same as where DRS is looking to build its new facility. The school will replace Bond and Wesson Elementary schools. Anthony Black, president of the Bond Parent-Teacher Organization, made it clear that the elementary school being built would not be in the best interest of the community.It makes plenty of sense. Why would you spend millions of dollars to build a new elementary school, when the school currently in the community is suffering drastically. The conditions under which these students have to learn would discourage anyone from learning, and the enthusiasm to better the school has seen a downward spiral. There is no excuse. Parents who want their children associated with FAMU are sending them elsewhere because FAMU DRS is not the school that you might expect it to be.Corbin made a statement that if white students were involved, the process to better FAMU DRS would be different. Though this is probably true, we cannot use this as an excuse to be idle. Yes, FAMU DRS does not have the amenities that other schools have, but we should not stand by and accept it.According to the Tallahassee Democrat, there is $1.8 million available to FAMU DRS from public-education capital outlay. This money will be going to expand the media center and improving the intercom system.Florida A & M University recently released their revised legislative budget request for 2002-2003. Thankfully, there was $500,000 requested to enhance FAMU DRS. Hopefully, this money will stretch so that FAMU High can be better. Alumni like Corbin keep telling stories of how great of a school FAMU DRS was when they went there. It may be a long road to get back to that level, but it’s worth it.
-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board.