Friday, December 19, 2014

Temperature's risin'

Fayette Schools redistricting committee passionately debates
'inequity' and Stuart Hall neighborhood

This from the Herald-Leader:
A passionate discussion between members of Fayette County Public Schools' redistricting committee unfolded Thursday about a southeast Lexington neighborhood whose residents have been among the most vocal in Lexington.

It occurred when committee member David O'Neill suggested that the committee fix an "inequity" for some residents of the Stuart Hall neighborhood, whose children he said have to pass three closer schools to get to Breckinridge Elementary, to which they are assigned. Residents of the neighborhood have attended most redistricting meetings wearing red T-shirts as a sign of solidarity.
Some Stuart Hall neighbors have been upset that their homes are assigned to Breckinridge, which is classified as needs improvement/progressing, instead of the closer Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, which is classified as distinguished/progressing and high performing. Some residents have asked to be reassigned to a planned new elementary school off Polo Club Boulevard.

After O'Neill said, "This is our time to make it right and level the playing field a little bit," Astarre' Gudino, who represents the Lexington Fayette Human Rights Commission on the committee, said that she took exception to the word "inequity" in regard to the neighborhood's concern.

"The problem is that their child is going to a school that they don't like. The problem is that their children are going to school with ... children ... that they feel that they shouldn't have to go to school with. It isn't necessarily that it's 4 miles away."


Anonymous said...

School districts inevitably end up screwing this social justice gerrymandering up most of the time. Just trying to homogenize social, economic, assessment results which means kids ride on buses longer and families lose any sense of ownership in their neighborhood school they used to attend and fail to shift support to distant redistricted school

Anonymous said...
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Richard Day said...

Note: I accidentally posted the comment above twice, and removed the duplicate.

As for the comment itself - "screwing this social justice gerrymandering?"

You made social justice sound kinda bad, didn't you?

Well, let's assume for the sake of argument that social justice is a good thing in America. Unless you would prefer unequal protections under law where some rich guy - excuse me, some gentleman - could simply have you thrown in jail on his say so, and you were not allowed to testify against him in court. Is that what you are suggesting?

That said, social justice in a school setting is a matter of one's perspective, isn't it?

I would challenge you to draft a redistricting plan that does not waste district resources, and makes the public happy. It can't be done. Still, the committee is going to draw lines and because county housing patterns are somewhat segregated, the wheels on the bus go 'round.

If our population was better distributed, kids could simply go to the closest school and there would be no loss of educational opportunity. But it's not.

For real gerrymandering, you'll have to look to the state legislatures.

Anonymous said...

So are we saying that citizens' choice to buy property in a free market based upon their choice to live near a "good" school should take a back seat to handful of folks trying to impose greater SES/racial distribution of students?

The population is never going to be distributed better, so maybe we should redistribute resources instead of kids if we are assuming that kids from a certain part of town or whose life circumstances fit societies perceived ideal aren't idea.

You are right no matter how you slice or dice it, someone will not be happy. Just wonder if the well to do kids are actually going to end up being bused to a less than stellar school or if somebody will make an exception - surely not.