While I don’t have a child of my own, I am pretty involved with students, and know many teachers. It is hard to not know or have an opinion about the new shifts in policy of the Wake County School Board. I can not say for sure which way is better/more effective for educating our kids. There is not, or I have not read enough research that points one way over the other, to offer a public opinion about that part of the issue. I do know we are spending too much time focusing on where kids go to school, and not enough time on what they are doing in the schools once they get there. The general approach is old and outdated, and not really preparing our kids to be thinkers in the world, which is were most agree we need to be developing the young minds. We are so focused on achievement, and passing tests, that we have sunk into a rut of creating a process of accomplishing that, rather than creating young minds that not only can compute, but to identify problems, figure out how to solve them, and then solve them. This is not the main issue in the recent dealings here with the school board, or political machine created by the recent turn of events.
One things is for sure, something needs to be done, rather than just plug along like there is no problem. Credit is due for the fact that something is being shaken up. Maybe its the wrong thing, but its something. The real issue here, which started this whole thing, really had nothing to do with student achievement, racism, segregation, tea part politics, conservatism, or any of the other side issues thrown onto the fire here. The real issue here was the Wake County school board’s ARROGANCE in dealing with the big issue here, which is growth. The Triangle area is growing very quickly in population, and there are too many kids for the schools. Many solutions, in addition to building new schools, were discussed, and then the Board came out with this nugget… Year round schools. Effectiveness of year round schools and block scheduling are a topic for another day, but the issue here came with the board’s plan to FORCE year round schools on the population. Add this to the inflexible policies regarding moving people in and out of new schools, of course, keeping in line with the diversity policies, and you have the storm that put us where we are.
The arrogance came when the board split families up, took no prisoners, and made no exceptions to this. You could have three children in your house going to three different schools. One at high school A, one at high school B, and another back to high school A again. Common sense would dictate that you should be able to keep all of your kids going to the same schools, especially while they are all there at the same time. Forcing you to go to year round schools was bad as well, and ended up in court. The board could not have handled less effectively if they tried. Their arrogance seemed to have them in the position of saying, essentially, that we have this big problem, this is how we are going to solve it, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Who cares how it affects your life. Well, it looks like it ticked off the wrong people. Families with the resources to be politically active can be a dangerous thing, and the school board’s arrogance forced them into action to take back control of their lives, and to not let the school board hold them hostage, just to get an education for their kids.
So, there it is, an alternative take on what is going on here. You can have your diversity. You can have your bussing. You can have your head in the sand approach to education. But… Don’t mess with my family. You do not decide how I live my life. This is America, and we need choices here.
So, who out there knows for certain that going to school close to where you live doesn’t work? Are you sure we have actual diversity now, under the current policies? We have diversity policies, but I question whether we have actual diversity.
No, I am not a republican. I am as surprised as anyone at my take on this.