Monday, May 10, 2010

The Faces of the Prichard Committee


Anonymous said...

Great pictures!

By the way, it appears that Fayette County School Board is at its arrogant best again. This is a comment from a member of the Board (posted at the FCPS Facebook page under the heading Congratulations are in order...):

"Amanda Main Ferguson: The student continuation plan would work even better, and people would get in their neighborhood schools, if we would do away with the abundance of out of area students, especially ones who have not been truthful with the district when applying!"

Somehow, I believe that a member of the Fayette County School Board would be much better off thinking about how best to educate its kids instead of calling its parents liars!

ptapeep said...

Maybe next year the PTA could have an invitation? Especially since we all talk partnerships...or did my invite get lost in the mail?

Richard Day said...

Thanks. It was an interesting meeting and one that showed how state and national folks try to coordinate their efforts.I will write more about this as time permits.

As for FCPS, I think we should not only allow, but expect, board members to concern themselves with any policy on the books. I sounds like she was simply sstating a fact. Systems work best when folks don't cheat - and I'm sure you're not arguing in favor of cheating. Fact is, some parents lie. Surely you know it happens and I'd guess Ferguson was not alleging that every parent lies. We're talking about a minority here.

At Cassidy, I was very familiar with parents lying to get their kids into the school. I especially remember the parent who used a fake address that happened to be directly across the street from my home. I knew who lived there, and who did not. Ooops.

The worst cases were the ones where the children knew what their parents were doing. I always thought that taught a very bad lesson and when parents were outed, it was the children who paid the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure it happens, but in a sense the Board is responsible for that.

I'm not advocating cheating (and I wouldn't do it), but the problem I see is twofold: 1) the attendance boundaries are poorly drawn in Lexington with the elementary schools, especially down the Harrodsburg Road and Athens areas. I could not blame any parent for doing anything they could to send their child to the school closest to their house. Having kids live on the Jessamine County line going to Picadome or Garden Springs when three schools are closer just seems silly to me. Given those boundaries, there is no such thing as a "neighborhood school" over there.

Second is the performance issue. I could not blame a parent for wanting to keep their kids at a better performing school. I think we are going to see this occur no matter what, and possibly more often over in the area with the recent boundary change concerning Sandersville/BTWA. If I lived over there, I know I would want my kids to go to Sandersville over BTWA, especially in light of recent events.

I wonder, though, if the Board is now having second thoughts about the viability of the continuation plan and/or out of area placements. The continuation plan was actually working over at Sandersville (the wait list went from 150 to almost nothing), but the Board pulled the plug on it anyway. The parents over there probably feel like the Board ultimately screwed them with very little discussion, and from what I can tell, those parents are correct. It wouldn't be right, but I couldn't blame them.

I agree with you that when parents are outed, the children paid the price. However, if the children were happy and successful where they were, I'm not sure I can blame the parent for trying to maintain stability.

Richard Day said...

Peep: Meeeow : )

FYI, Louisville PTA reps were invited. Brent McKim was on the guest list, but I did not see him. Tom Denton, too, but I don't know him or if he was there. But I'd have to say Prich is about the most parent-friendly group in the state. Alva Clark, Polly Lusk Page, Bill Garmer and other parents from around the state were there, too. In fact, parents would seem to be a primary constituency. I was pleasantly surprised to be invited myself.

May 11, 2010 8:36 AM: Sure, and it is because the board is responsible that I want my board member dealing with it.

I can't speak knowledgeably about the current continuation plan since it went into effect after I left and I have never studied it.

But because every school is limited by the number of students they can accept, and all schools are not equal, and the board has to draw a line somewhere, it is probably impossible to devise a perfect plan.

Even in districts with an open enrollment plan, somebody gets in and somebody is left out. I certainly understand the motivation to try to get one's child into the best school. Education is that important.

Anonymous said...

"Sure, and it is because the board is responsible that I want my board member dealing with it."

I agree, but are they dealing with it? I don't see it. I only see them making the problem worse with some of the decisions that they have made.

With the exception of John Price, I have very little confidence in the members of Fayette County School Board to think pragmatically. From what I've seen at the 5 meetings I've attended, Price takes the time to study the issues and ask questions. Bacon, Sagan and Ferguson (when she stuck around...she left a few of those meetings pretty early) simply rubber-stamped everything. Tinsley said nothing at any meeting I've attended and just simply looked dazed and confused. We need more people like Price and less like the other four.

I also agree with you about drawing the line somewhere, but those lines should make some rational sense. Very few in Fayette County actually do. I would like to see a complete redistricting in Fayette to address the problems, but it won't happen with this Board.

Richard Day said...

I've always appreciated John as well.

In redistricting, kids become demographics and streets define political parties.

Lines extend beyond what would seem reasonable to grab a certain group of kids or to accommodate the powerful.

Sorry to be so matter-of-fact but, my guess is somebody won't like the next plan either...and they'll be right too.

ptapeep said...

Bret McKim is JCTA. I'm the 15th D. PTA President. Can only speak for me: no invite. 15th D. PTA membership is 54,791 members. Parents, teachers, community members, students. That's who I represent. Wasn't asked to represent them at Prichard. Trying to work on that partnership. Bret may be a PTA member at some school, but he does not represent the parents in the district. He represents the teachers. There is often a difference in the concerns of each.

Richard Day said...

Peep: Arrgh. Mental meltdown. Yes, I was confused on Brent.

OK, I surrender.