After reading the Ed Weekly article, [slightly earlier version quoted here, referred to here. -jsq] I was struck by a very strong dejavu feeling. I checked the date twice and only to realize ( twice) that this consolidation went on more than 15 years ago.
The city schools were in bad shape financially and educationally in Chatnooga city. That is the major difference with our situation here. As much as some want you to believe that Valdosta city schools are not doing well, there are many that can point to the school improvement plan and it being recognized as one of the best in the state, or other notable achievements that differ front the view of VCS propagated by the folks on CUEE.
Other than that we are looking at the same issues; racial segregation, neighborhood schools, professional development monies in the different district, curriculum changes, busing to attain integration requirements, and the concerns about redistricting and moving kids to other schools.
Again this was 15 years ago, yet we are now faced with the same issues. At the time of the article consolidation had passed (19k to 21k). Teachers and parents Interviewed expressed concern about the poor kids of the city not getting a fair shake because the county (largely white) schools had little connection to the issues of the city kids. We would be faced with that just on a smaller scale.
The other strange likeness to this 15 year old consolidation is that Steve Prigozhy seems to have some very vague notions of school reform today that he did back then. These notions have been found to be less than successful in the ensuing 15 years.
Distancing himself from his failures does not make him a success at anything but manipulation of facts. The education of my children is not going to be reformed by a man that spins the truth and panders to the wealthy.
Thank you for sharing the Edweekly article.
Received yesterday on How did we get here? apparently referring to Barbara Stratton’s comment since reposted as Hauntingly familiar Tennessee Waltz. -jsq