Your financial obstacles have been disproved on many occasions. If having high quality education at every school is financially unobtainable, why did the TCP recommend increasing all the advanced/honors classes offered? How did legacy SCS manage to have twice as many offerings in less than 25% of the schools? Why then did Hobson say that school closing were necessary to offer students MORE opportunities?
The whole district will be rezoned within the next 18 months. Major changes are coming. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Hobson knows this has to be done quickly. If Gtown decides at any point in time to take SCS to court, he cannot defend keeping the schools in Gtown city limits. Gtown will open with 5 schools over capacity. SCS has almost 30% underutilized. He will have to defend bussing students into GEM, GMS, and GHS when there are other schools within the same driving distance with plenty of space to educate these kids. He will also have to defend the dramatic decrease in enrollment in these schools since Cordova residents are already looking for alternatives like Collierville and Arlington.
Your earlier argument about you child not being tested is a perfect example. Let's say your model was correct. Then you would now be driving that kid to another school as opposed to having academic rigor provided in place. Less than 10% of kids are capable of higher level work. That means we only need 20 schools out of the 200 to house them. Obviously that model hasn't been followed either since there are about 55 optional programs in legacy MCS. It's one thing to have highly specialized programs like Overton's music or East STEM or Wooddale's avaiation. That is more about interest than educational opportunities. There is no reason that every school cannot dedicate 10% of its teaching time to more rigorous academic instruction from the littlest on up.
You are so far off the mark it is pathetic.
The cost issue has been used as an excuse for almost 40 years. It wasn't true then and it isn't true now. More money was spent per student in the old MCS than the old SCS, bot SCS had these programs in every school and MCS did not. The difference was over 20% per student in spending!
As for your statistics, you completely misrepresent what I was talking about, and what you were talking about, replace the original subject with one of your own making that is complete nonsense, and then declare your nonsense to be true.
In the end, you make it sound as if statistics shouldn't be used because they lead to ievitable error.
If that were really true, nothing around us would work. The lights in your house, your car, the dish washer or stove. All of it. Based upon statistics.
To top it all off you conflates a single child with a system that includes 10's of thousands of people.
Pathetic. And you do it on purpose. You've said so yourself.
That would be nice if each school had high quality programs, however, that would be too costly. It is easier to afford when you concentrate high quality programs strategically within a district so that everyone that qualifies can access them.
As far as lowered expectations, that is a function that is done by the school districts. School districts use information from prior studies about the future students, all based on race, socio-economics, etc. They publish reports that says out of so many that enters school for the first time, a certain percentage will drop out, fail, succeed, etc. These studies are made a part of the expectations so all the school has to do is make these studies true. That is how students fall between the cracks.
Once a child is put into one of the categories that aren't supposed to succeed, it is very hard for them to be considered for anything positive. The opposite is true for a child that is placed in the successful group. They will not let these kids fail.
This is the reality of what we actually deal with. You can go into something with a wide open view of expectations or you can go with prior statistics in view. If you use the latter, you will invariably make the prior statistics ring true.
Wat happened to 501/crossroads?i was in the drag scene years ago. But; Memphis has gotta so volatile . There is so much hate here. It's terrible.
There really is a simple answer. Place high quality options in every school. A tiered (?sp) system. It works great. Everyone gets to SEE what hard work and motivation achieve. The parents don't have to drive the student to a different school.
Stop calling everyone a racist. Most of what you are seeing is a function of lowered expectations. Race may be a factor, but relative preparedness and social status are not race bound. Put the same two shirts and pants on an eight year old child every day and the teacher will lower their expectations. This will happen without regard to skin tone.
The school in question, within walking distance of the Germantown city limits considers itself an elite school in the legacy MCS. It used to be a county school 5 years ago. They have every type of equipment and aides that one could want, facilities second to none.
I have noticed that with all of the snobbery, the school performance measurements have been constantly falling. As a matter of fact, it's chief competitor school, Ridgeway/Balmoral out performs it in every facet of academics. Yet, Ridgeway/Balmoral, is in an older facility, but, it has a common feel to it. The ambiance is great. The kids actually love to go to school there. There is less emphasis on being prim and proper, however, they do not, in the least bit, have a discipline problem.
I have stated my concerns a many times to the teachers and the principal, but, they dismiss me as though I don't know what the hell I am talking about, but, yet, each year, the other school, Ridgeway/Balmoral outperforms them.
I can't answer it, maybe you can. Btw, most of the really good teachers, voluntarily transferred away from the school. Seems to me like there is a problem with the principal. It will not hinder my child because of me, but, there again, what about the students that do not have parents like me?
No JR, I'm staying put. I can do the most good from where I am at. You have implied multiple times that you believe I should go with my kind. I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Sorry JR, but reviewing feeding patterns and being part of the gate keepers, JP Freeman has never been a true feeder school to WSHS. Percentages say so. As of recent, WSHS gets just as many legacy SCS kids as it does legacy MCS kids. I was one of those too.
I can promise you that your specific situation is more about your location, the school, than the system of identifying gifted kids. In most other schools they over test, rather than under test. Its good to know because the process is obviously not working there. That can be fixed.
I am glad that you brought up, the gate keeper theory. This is often overlooked by parents, especially parents with limited education and resources.
It is the gate keepers that monitor the entrance to special programs, gifted, social clubs, etc. They are the ones in the background that determines who enters the special realm of advanced learning opportunity, hiring, practically every facet of competitive life. Yes, the rules and requirements are there, seemingly, for everyone, but, it is the gatekeepers job to cull that list and to set artificial barriers to keep certain people out.
My little one, 1st grade, making all A's academically and E's in conduct was just accepted into CLUE after successfully passing the required test. The problem is that schools are supposed to recognize these children and recommend them for placement. Well, you know the story. My child was never recommended. I had to push to get him tested. It was not, I could say, the school, per se, but, the gatekeeper that overlooked him.
I just wonder how many other children who are not as fortunate as mine to have a two parent household, more than high school education and the knowledge and resources to forge past these gatekeepers. How many of our children have fell through the cracks because of this?
Makes one wonder.
(a). In this country and region what some would say is conservative could be viewed as reactionary, bordering on fascist, to others.
(b). Who gets to be the gate keepers to what is viewed as "excellence ", and who gets to set the criteria?
We know the game, and how to navigate the obstacle courses that are facing our children. My question has always been who advocates and who and what stands in the gap for those not as blessed?
Were they right? If so why would you deny them? All schools are not created equal, regardless of what anyone says. The best usually want the best, your kids did.
Equal opportunity, not equal results. It is actually that easy to be a conservative.
Maybe I'm looking at things from a different vantage point then you. I'll put it like this, my older children's social circle (late 90's thru 2008) who stayed at JPF from grade one thru 8 moved onto CHS or WSHS. They considered Whitehaven and Overton not to be their cup of tea.
Will you be taking your considerable talents to the Bartlett City Schools at the end of this year?
First all of, JP Freeman has never been a feeder for WSHS. JP Freeman kids have not been as successful at WSHS as they have been at Overton or Whitehaven.
Snowden is the traditional feeder for Central.
Humes will now feed Overton.
It had nothing to do with "getting" stuff. Why is it that my students in a legacy MCS school are getting their FCCLA trip paid by the board, but I as a parent, am shelling out considerable money to pay for my own child to attend the same trip from a legacy SCS school? They are ALL staying at the same place and participating in the same activities. The BOE is paying for my students but not for my child. That is the problem I have with the system. This is NOT title I.
I didn't care that the legacy MCS paid for music, it came from having more funding per kid. More tax money was available. They sought more investment from the community. I didn't care that I WAS paying for extra activities because my city taxes were lowered.
NOW I care because the system is not playing fair. They could at least attempt some semblance of equality in funding but it's never going to happen. I could list multiple examples of the discrimination, but wouldn't do any good and it was totally expected.
All those programs receive considerable backing from Stax. They provide instruments to more than half the legacy MCS schools. That will not stop as funding for the district continues. Davidson has also managed to find sponsors to support the traditional art teachers to get more consumable supplies paid for. I think this is fantastic that he has managed to get such considerable community involvement.
The model is different in the burbs. They use parental support and each of the large munis has an education association that gives regular grants to supplement the programs. I received a fairly large local grant for science activities when I taught in SCS the first time. Now I have to turn to businesses to make educational investments as a legacy MCS teacher.
One model uses the tax payers to fund the other comes directly from the parents involved.
The problem is there is currently an inequity. Next year it will be up to each muni to determine how to fund these programs and extra curricular activities.
Again, I think Davidson has done a tremendous job as the spokes person for the arts. I appreciate the fact that he goes way beyond the typical administrator with a hand out asking for money. He works every angle he can to get as many resources as he can for these kids. He uses this city to the advantage of the kids he serves. He is one of the bright spots of legacy MCS and the munis could learn a thing or two from him.
AC Wharton's One Memphis: Only for the following
1. His lawyer friends
3. Big Business Republicans
Wharton does not care about the working class. Otherwise he would increase the minimum wage in Memphis to $12 dollars an hour. He rather use the money to buy Autozone Park.
I think the issue about the funding was not that the suburban schools chose to depend heavily on booster clubs for sports/band/theater before. The issue was that if the city wanted to merge the school systems, they were going to have to figure out how to level off policy with regard to those programs.
Since the MSDs are forming, it won't be an issue now. We'll fund those programs the same way we have for years, but the point in the argument was that if the city wanted a merger, and the city wanted its schools to be treated the same way as the suburban schools, then it needed to accept even the less desirable equality.
We weren't going to be a part of a merged system and be asked to give of our own pocket when other schools in the system weren't asked to do the same. That's the way we treated SCS before. All schools were treated equal.
I do admire what's been done at Whitehaven by the way. It's become an all-around great school from academics to athletics to the arts.
On this topic though, it is unfortunate that the arts are seeing a slashing of funds as school budgets tighten. I hope that in Memphis we won't see that. Extra-curriculars, whether sports, band, theater, clubs, whatever, are a big part of getting both students and their parents engaged in the school.
@ homer simpson:
Throughout the debate about the merger of the two systems the issue of "unfairness" in reference to city kids getting "stuff" that suburban kids parents had to pay for kept being thrown out. My contention was, and has always been that the underlying feeling was that "how dare an urban student get something that my suburban child not get, or better."
As funding is downsized across the board, you'll see that city based schools with a sizable group of middle class families will maintain what music and extracurricular options they currently have. The rest of the urban schools will do without until they become ASD schools.
One of the best things that happened in the Whitehaven schools was the former principal of John P. Freeman, Ms. Elaine Parks, encouraging parents to send their children to Whitehaven High School instead of the traditional practice of Freeman students going to Central and White Station High Schols. JPF has an outstanding band and orchestra program, which compliments the schools academic program. And the athletic program is not to shabby either. These students have helped to make Whitehaven a strong school.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the urban farm is going to be in the parking lot of Joe Brown's janitorial service.
I must concur with Homersimpson. The legacy MCS Schools got a huge investment in their extra programs, with most of it going to music.
Strings, well, at my kids elementary and middle schools, string instruments are provided, free of charge to the students, first come, first serve. Now if one wants their child to play the Cello and there are no more available, that parent has the choice to switch to what is available, Violin, Viola, etc or go and either buy or rent a Cello.
I never liked the legacy SCS system. Booster clubs, etc are all good, however, a school should not depend on it for their funding. Of course, there is no reason to think that a superior athlete or musician will not have what he/she needs to participate. A way has been and will be found to supply these people who have special talents. My problem is with the marginal kids. They may start out marginal, but, have latent talent that needs to be developed, but, the family can't afford it.
Legacy MCS has always provided practical 100% funding for it's music and other programs.
An excellent idea. Make the city livable in the fundamentals and stop shoving downtown projects, Elvis, BBQ and Beale Street down everyone's throats.
Thanks for the positive story. This is indicative of the types of investment all public education should make. Let's move from who got what to what can be done to improve the whole. There is opportunity for the arts, science, corporate, professional athletic and general business entities as well as others to invest in development of our students into thriving citizens. Let's not let best get into the way of better.
I was asked a few years ago by representatives of one of the legacy school systems for ideas for improvement. My suggestion was to utilize the various industries throughout the entire area to show real life application and promote interest. Something as simple as controlled visits to a construction site would show mathematic, physics, project management, communication and art skills. I think back to my high school days. There was a young man who didn't do well in school and was labeled as slow. His love was baseball. He could sit and quote baseball player statistics all day. I don't know where he is today but I know that if someone had grasped on to his interest in baseball, they could have used that to motivate and thus improve his academics.
Dear Central Parent
All your instruments are paid for by the school system or donated by Stax. Do you have any idea how much this costs? Many of the legacy MCS high schools have more than $50K in instrument inventory. None of the legacy SCS schools have had the privileged. In most SCS schools, you have to obtain your own instrument to play in extra curricular activities.
Music travel for all legacy MCS schools was paid by the system. This includes parades, national appearances and competitions - all paid by the system. Just take a look at the budget. I know exactly how much the choir and band at received at Central. It is one of the schools I worked closely with. You should also take a look at the travel schedules for schools like Overton. They have substantial support from the system to this day! The SCS programs are not so lucky.
Legacy SCS schools have booster programs to pay for the entire program. The only cost to the old system is the teachers. All travel was at the cost of parents and paid for by dues and fundraising.
The same applies to sports and many extra curricular activities.
By Joe Boone
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