Apr 24 2007
08:48 pm

via WBIR. While I respect my friend and neighbor Indya Kincannon, who is quoted in the article as saying, "The last thing we need is for public schools to become a bastion for low income people who have no other options public schools thrive best when everybody's involved," I disagree with where this is going.

The article, in the preceding paragraph, infers that is the parents who are hurting public schools:

But school board members ask parents to wait before making any hasty decisions that could hurt public schools in Knox County.

One must admit that the between marginal magnet schools (hint: key finding is that "Achievement patterns as defined through NCEs, within the five magnet schools have not changed much over the past five years") and this ridiculously ham-handed rezoning plan, you cannot and should not blame parents for the state of affairs in Knox County Schools.

more after the flip.

Perhaps the School Board and the Administration need to look in the mirror and explain why it is losing so many students to private schools and home schooling. Perhaps it has to do with service and quality. I personally think Knox County overall has great teachers. I think its administrative groupthink, lack of creativity in achieving great schools, and its overwhelming bureauracy as its downfall.

I would encourage the Knox County School system to fix our schools, not ask us to sacrifice our children to low achieving schools. While we don't have charter schools, we can vote with our feet with private and parochial schools and homeschooling.

The fact that Knox County Schools are so poorly managed with UT and ORNL so close by is inexcusable.

jbarker's picture

Public Schools' Demise

Current demographic trends have pretty much already spelt the end of public schooling in much of the country. The Knox County system, especially the western part of it, is somewhat unusal in urban america today. The school board's activities may indeed accelerate matters, but it is helpful to remember that resort to alternatives to public schools is pretty much inevitable anyway.

talidapali's picture

The problem I see...

with a lot of this controversy going on about the schools is that parents seem to be complaining about breaking up groups of friends and neighborhoods by the school rezoning. But my question is, if they pull their kids from public schools in protest of the rezoning and then send those kids to private schools or homeschool them, then aren't the parents themselves are doing the EXACT same thing? Either way, their children will not be going to school with the same people they have been, some parents will NOT have enough financial wherewithal to put their children in a private school with all their friends that they have grown up with and have known all their school lives.

All I can see coming from this tempest in a teapot is that a culture of "haves" and "have nots" will be introduced into neighborhoods that got along fairly well until now. The neighborhoods will be broken, friendships will be broken, and the school system will remain broken as well, only now, any public funding of schools will be seriously impacted because all those folks that send their kids to private schools will now fight even harder to avoid supporting public education. The public schools will become less able to educate the children of the less fortunate, teachers will be expected to do more with less and less than they already are asked to do, quality educators that could inspire and push students to achieve will find better financial rewards in private schools and will look at public schools as the job of last resort.

If you REALLY don't like the way the school board has handled things, then get in there and run for school board and do it better. Fix the problems.

People are not tied to one place all their lives anymore. Isn't it a good thing for children to learn how to make a place for themselves and new friends wherever they may find themselves in life? In the new economy you aren't necessarily guaranteed employment for life at the first job you get hired for right out of school or college, you will have to go into new situations ALL the time. Isn't it better for children to learn how to cope with huge changes now while it's relatively safe in a school environment where learning is SUPPOSED to be going on? Or is it better to let kids grow up thinking that they will always have a place where they are comfortable, where everybody knows their name, and they always have friends? Even if it just ain't so in the real world?


"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

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