Letter: Baton Rouge Magnet High should be eligible for Blue Ribbon award

The Baton Rouge High School Foundation, the members of which are largely alumni of the school, wish to express our extreme disappointment in the latest rule change to disallow Louisiana public magnet (select) schools from consideration for the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon program.

Baton Rouge Magnet High School has been the recipient of the Blue Ribbon award twice, in 1983 and 2003. This award is one of the most prestigious national recognitions and one in which alumni everywhere are very proud.

With the latest change in the rules regarding schools eligible for the award, BRMHS will no longer be included. Public and private charters, private schools and nonselect public schools will remain eligible.

BRMHS consistently leads our metro region among all schools in categories such as National Merit awards, AP scholars, science/math competitions, Presidential Scholars etc. We therefore are baffled by the prospect that Baton Rouge Magnet High will be arbitrarily and unfairly excluded from Blue Ribbon consideration in the future.

We can think of nothing that justifies such an exclusion, which affects not only our alma mater, but seemingly all magnet schools across the state. We have sent a letter to Superintendent John White respectfully requesting the Education Department immediately reverse this decision and allow all schools that meet the academic, school performance and testing standards, to be considered for the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon program.

We look forward to a favorable outcome per our request.

J. Matthew Robinson

president, BRHS Foundation

Baton Rouge

Lauren Ford

executive director, BRHS Foundation

Baton Rouge