Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jefferson County draws the line

The Jefferson County Suburban Journal has a story about school and neighborhood pride and isolationism in Jefferson R-7. A few quotes from the story offer a look at why it’s important to keep opening up communication and options for all students.

“R-7 officials said their only concern was the well-being of the students of the R-7 district, but refusing to consider the potential benefits of even discussing a combined district seems like leaving out the opportunity to find something that might be in the best interest of district students. Part of the reason for the rejection is history. The people of ‘Hornetland’ snubbed the Blue Jay faithful in the past, so the latest turn is payback. However, two wrongs never make something right, they perpetuate more wrongs. Are we really that parochial that we can't find common ground between Crystal Heights and Selma Village?

“Area residents do not have to look far to see undersized districts struggling to provide the total experience for their students. Many of these high schools were created on population projections and growth that is yet to arrive. The fortunes of the housing market are frighteningly evident these days.”

It’s an interesting conundrum I hadn’t considered. I’ve known that in poor areas, good education in the district is hard to get at the public schools, but when even up-and coming neighborhoods are feeling the way that public education can not always accurately reflect the needs of the students they serve. Even more problematic is the idea that keeping the status quo and comfortable parameters is more important than making a smart change that could help students get a better education.

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