(Thanks to Lynn Schore)
In response to Kim Melton's coverage of yesterday's "community conversation" at Jefferson regarding the district's plan for redesigning its high schools, Rita Moore, Zone 4 school board candidate, stepped up with a timely response in a letter to Melton.
It reads in part:
"Most disappointing, both Carole (Smith, Superintendent) ... refused to take the opportunity handed to [her] by several members of the community to apologize for subjecting poor and minority students to experimental structures and sub-standard curricula. Carole came close, but the "mistakes were made" formulation just won't cut it and she needs to understand that. Until District leaders are willing to take responsibility and then take steps to fix the problems they have created, we will never be able to establish trust. And many of us will remain forever skeptical of both the intentions and the competence of the District to provide the kind of education that all our children deserve."
Here's the problem as I see it. Community meetings --or "conversations"-- are basically useless. They're devices used by the district to give the illusion that district stakeholders have a say in policy. In reality, district administrators know what they want to do, know what they're going to do, and despite outcry from the "community", they'll go ahead and do it, the consequences or bruised feelings be damned
The "real" Jefferson community had no say in the re-reconfiguration of its secondary programs. And how did that work out? What the district did to Jefferson High School, the very place this latest "community conversation" took place, has been no less than disastrous. Is it any wonder then, at Saturday morning's meeting, that
Until district administrators and school board members address school inequities directly --a good start would be to discontinue the neighborhood-to-neighborhood school transfer policy-- all the community conversations in the world will be of no help whatsoever.
And speaking of the school board, remember to vote. You have my recommendations here and here.