thinking out loud about school in the iowa city community school district and beyond
So Alexander increased...neat. While only one percentage point, it's still the principal that we increased. Will we ever catch a break? And people wonder why Alexander families don't show up to board meetings. It's because we're discouraged and we don't feel like anyone cares about our school. If they did, we wouldn't have opened our doors at 74%. I don't mean this as an attack on you Chris as you have been an amazing advocate for our families and did not support these new elementary boundaries. What will it take to have our voices heard?! Enough is enough.
I can't remember the details - maybe someone can help. What was the deal where students had the option to transfer to a different elementary if their assigned school was not up to a certain level? Was this NCLB? Maybe I am wrong but it seems like that was a major reason why Wood, Twain, and others were very high FRL - and it kept spiraling. Is this program still in place or have we locked down the attendance areas? This alone would be a major step in the right direction to balance FRL. Any thoughts?
Just making kids attend their neighborhood school has long been proclaimed as a fix for the highest FRL schools. I thought it would help too, until I saw these "live-in" numbers this blog post is pointing to. This year, Kirkwood has an FRL of 73.8% (with a 24% transfer out rate and 10% transfer in), without any changes to the boundaries, the data says it would be 71.1% low SES if Kirkwood was only populated by kids who live in the Kirkwood attendance area. However, it would then be 80 kids over capacity instead of about 10. I would rather stick with the 73.8% and not be grossly over capacity.
There were quite a few families in Horn that were re-districted to Weber at the last board meeting, and it seemed to come as quite a surprise to those families and to our principal. What is the reasoning for that section to be re-districted? Is the board's vote final or will there be time for input from those families? They go from an area within safe walking distance to Horn elementary, to crossing Mormon Trek and 218, in order to get to Weber. It's a much less-safe walk now, and they are not going to be provided busing.
I just had a look at that Horn/Weber reworking, and -- what? Honestly, this is once again the sort of thing that makes me want to take Chris Lynch and force him to live in a Greyhound station for a year so he can learn something about poor, because apparently he's one of these imagination-deficient people who can't comprehend other people's experiences unless he's had the same ones himself. Here is what I think the Board had better have arranged with the City, now that the four have screwed these families in this manner:The Plaen View bus arrives at Westside Drive at 7:30. That bus, when it gets to Cae and Mormon Trek, had better go on across Mormon Trek directly to Weber, drop the kids at Goldenrod and Rohret, make the turn, go back directly to Mormon Trek, and pick up its usual route. It'll add 7 or 8 minutes to that run, which can be taken care of either by shifting the early-morning runs back or skipping the loop into Fareway. The return trip can be picked up by the 2:45 run, perhaps skipping the Fareway loop again to make up some time. Fareway's served by multiple routes.And on Thursdays Chris Lynch can lead the walking school bus home himself.
Could someone please explain what the deal it is with Horn/Weber? The district maps don't have a high resolution version so it was hard for me to make out where exactly the boundary was. THANKS!
Why all the emphasis on percentages? This is a convoluted approach to managing education that was introduced by an east side political movement in 2009. Busing and Balancing has never yielded good results, in fact the results aren't good at all. Of all the attempts at solving the "economic status v academic achievement" dilemma this is arguably one of the worst. Yet here we are in a city with a school board under the control of the east side political agenda for the last 8 years and now three terms of mayors who are intimately affiliated with this movement.And to the families that will now be sending their elementary kids to their third school in three years; and to the families that will see their kids go to two different jr high schools in two years; and to the parents who have been threatened with having their kids put on buses and sent cross town; and to the voices of all the neighborhoods that were clear in what they want from the school district... take back the school board and return common sense, practical approaches to education to the ICCSD. The vote is in your hands. Time for Lynch, Kirschling, and the other ring leaders of the district wide debacle to be replaced.
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