Unfortunately, many parents and students will look at the KCS rezoning plan from a neighborhood, or personal, point of view.
What is at stake here is larger. It is about quality of education for all of our students enrolled in public school.
Large megaschools are not as effective as smaller schools. So says the research, including the ground-breaking book, "High Schools on a Human Scale: How Small Schools Can Transform American Education."
Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have a foundation that has committed more than $400 million in the past three years to making American high schools smaller, according to the Washington Post.
But unfortunately, Knox County only approaches these issues from an infrastructure and growth planning issue, not from the perspective of valid educational benefit to the students.
We have one high school in Knoxville sitting empty (Rule) while a new one is being built (Hardin Valley). We have growth throughout the county. Rule sits on only 7 acres of land, thus excluding it from consideration under the megaschool paradigm that is reflected in the leadership within the Knox County School System.
Using simple reasoning, if we have growth throughout the county, one megaschool built every 10 or 15 years will result in catastrophic rezoning every 10 or 15 years.
Do we want to shift 20% of our student population every 10 years, or do we want to bring the resources to their communities? That is the fundamental question.
The alternative: Build more, smaller, cheaper schools throughout the ever-growing Knox County, better personalizing the educational experience.
According to the author, several studies show "that high schools are more likely to be successful when they are small and personalized -- when they have four to five hundred students and stress long-term relationships between students and teachers, individualized attention, extra help for struggling students, and an adult advocate for every student. Smaller schools encourage stronger bonds between students and teachers and generate a level of genuine caring and mutual obligation between them that's found far less frequently in comprehensive high schools."
"Students and teachers, as a result, tend to work harder on each other's behalf. Student and teacher attendance and student involvement in extracurricular activities are higher in smaller high schools. Teacher turnover and disciplinary problems are lower. So are dropout rates. There's less tracking in smaller schools. And a wide range of studies reveal that average student achievement is as high as and often higher than that in large schools, particularly among students from impoverished backgrounds."
- AP interview of Trump (2 replies)
- Tonight: Tom Perez/Bernie Sanders - Louisville, KY (34 replies)
- Knoxville SOUP (1 reply)
- Self-driving trolley comes to Knoxville (1 reply)
- Samantha Bee ... (1 reply)
- Trump's Cabinet (115 replies)
- Forget Mar-a-Lago. This is how you roll... (3 replies)
- "Narrow miss" the new low bar for Democrats (5 replies)
- Opening lyrics (9 replies)
- How state policies affect the success or failure of Obamacare (1 reply)
- It's A Tax, Stupid (and on stupid too) (8 replies)
- Great opening lyrics (167 replies)
- Apr 26 2017 - 12:00pm (1 day 17 hours from now)
- Apr 26 2017 - 6:30pm (1 day 23 hours from now)
- Apr 27 2017 - 6:00pm (2 days 23 hours from now)