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Re: “County Children Plunged into Apocalyptic School-Like Hellscape

It is true that nothing has changed for the students.
Unless you count honors classes with 40 students as a change.
Unless you count crossing 5 lanes of traffic on foot rather than on a school bus as a change.
Unless you count taking 2 or 3 days longer to get schedules worked out due to having fewer counselors and administrators as a change.
Unless you count several schools still waiting to fill their APEX teaching positions (suburban version of CLUE) as a change.
Unless you count having to send cash with your child every day because nutrition no longer accepts checks and the kinks in the online deposit system are still being worked out as a change.
Unless you count no longer being able to hold middle school volleyball practice in the school gym as a change.
Unless you count riding two deep and sitting on the floor of overcrowded busses as a change.

None of these reductions in service is a disaster by itself. Taken together, they represent a genuine decline that students do feel.

Of course learning will continue. If your point is that things are only modestly worse than last year, my question would be: When did "only a little bit worse" become our goal?

48 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by kenhoover on 08/10/2013 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Texts and Subtexts

Just to remind everyone: When Bunker proposed dropping the lawsuit, Ritz and Mulroy said that there was no point in dropping it. There was nothing left to do but wait on the Judge to rule. Now we see a $100,000 invoice.

$100,000 more challenging the constitutionality of a law that will be removed from the TN code by the legislature within the next two weeks. Beyond sad.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kenhoover on 04/04/2013 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Free Agency in Education

JB, You write some great things, but I don't count this statement among the great ones:

"Depending on how willing they are to raise taxes and how much they have to pay for their buildings, the chances of long-term survival for all six proposed Shelby County suburban school systems could be slim."

I try to see both sides of an issue, but I simply cannot imagine a future where the residents of Germantown would surrender their municipal district back to the mega-district.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kenhoover on 03/28/2013 at 3:44 PM

Re: “John Aitken Gets His Buyout, Bids Emotional Farewell

Before the grammer police catch me, those are all chiefs.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kenhoover on 03/20/2013 at 3:01 PM

Re: “John Aitken Gets His Buyout, Bids Emotional Farewell

Deadline for superintendent applications is May 5th. They'll hire someone sometime in June. He/she will probably be on the ground around July 1.

Here's a question I find interesting: We currently have 2 of everything (except superintendents where we have 0). 2 cheif counsel, 2 cheif finance, 2 cheif academic officer, etc. The consolidated district will have one of each of those positions BEGINNING July 1st. Overall, the central office is slated to shrink by 26%, I think 170 positions.

Since the new superintendent get here in time, who will make these staffing decisions? Hopson?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kenhoover on 03/20/2013 at 2:50 PM

Re: “John Aitken Gets His Buyout, Bids Emotional Farewell


You once again get to the heart of the matter in a way unmatched by any other outlet: Aitken "'..came close to getting an outright appointment as Unified superintendent last summer but was blocked by MCS board holdovers, who forced a prolonged search process"

The MCS holdovers have decided they would rather have a ship with no captain than to endorse the only person who had any potential to rally the troops in an incredibly stressful time.

When the budget is approved, we will get final word on the 4-500 school based positions eliminated in the suburbs. In just 12 short months we will have succeeded in spreaing the low MCS levels of morale and staff satisfaction to the suburban schools.

The board fails to back a superintendent the staff ccan believe in. The County Commission's decides to stuff the board with appointees who share the CC's dysfunctional philosophy. The decisions being made almost seem designed to wreak as much havoc and destruction as possible.

Incredibly wrong-headed and incredibly sad.

42 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kenhoover on 03/20/2013 at 7:06 AM

Re: “Obstructing From Within

Almost Homer. State money is never pooled with County money. State money comes to the LEA directly from the State.

County money is technically WFTEADA (weighted full time equivalent average daily attendance), but the weighting is so slight that it is effectively ADA only, headcount based. The ADA share between districts is calculated by the state and the county has NO option except allocating their funding between districts in that proportion.

The BEP formula has dozens of inputs. The factor for ability to pay is a countywide factor. Other factors, such as ELL and free lunch students, are calculated by district. There is a very wide variation in State per pupil funding from LEA to LEA, even within the same county.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by kenhoover on 03/07/2013 at 10:18 PM

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