Neighborhood Schools & Magnets

A gentleman named Jim Langer over on the N&R Chalkboard Blog site wants to discuss neighborhood schools and magnets. Okay. Let’s discuss. In my opinion, GCS is not doing magnets right. There are too many, they are scattered all over the county, there are too many magnets within schools and too many of them are not being supported. Case in point, take Montlieu Math & Science Academy. It is a high-impact elementary school in High Point. It is also a school where Grier’s new Intervention Teams will be sent. It is also a school where supplies aren’t getting to the staff. How can this be when it is supposed to be a math and science magnet? In addition, he wanted to know my additional thoughts on neighborhood schools. I’m not anti-diversity. But diversity doesn’t have anything to do with this argument. I’m a realist. And the realism is that when you live right across the street from a school and you’re bused to another school across town, I have a philosophical difference with that. All schools need the supplies and tools to do the job properly. And unfortunately, supplies aren’t getting to the schools that desperately need it. And it’s not fair to the children. 400 students have left the GCS system due to High Point redistricting. Residential real estate in the entire city of High Point is up for sale because of redistricting. Is it me or is there a problem somewhere? Just my opinion…please take a moment to write, send me an e-mail (hueyforguilfordschoolboard@yahoo.com) or sign my webpage guestbook. I welcome comments and replies to my blog )

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7 Responses

  1. Eric,
    Its 400 white kids and that is not only from Southwest. Its spread across the three schools. We are more segregated in High Point today that ever!

    Good luck with the campaign!

  2. Thank you for responding, Mr. Huey.

    Magnets may well be getting to be too many. Why are they so prevalent? To attract new and possibly more monetarily well-off parents who might then take leadership roles and give of time and money where a school is struggling with local poverty and stresses that discourage strong parental involvement. These newly attracted parents of interested, motivated students can come from any ethnicity (Brooks, for example, has a high percentage of African Americans), not just of European descent. I maintain this is a worthy and noble goal. These magnets also help tailor instruction to the interests of individual children, which is what our consumer-driven and increasingly specialized education industry now offers. Is this not a good thing?

    As for supplies, that is part of the attempt to attract said new sources of funds. Most teachers rely on parents to help defray costs out-of-pocket, that’s reality. If we had to make do with only the county budget, GCS would soon slip back into the abyss that characterized (and still unfortunately does) the Southern states and their divided and conquered levels of education for many, many decades since “Reconstruction” (and, criminally, before that for great numbers of wronged African-Americans denied the most basic of educations).

  3. Jim, Nolies…keep in mind also that the enrollment at Andrews DROPPED GREATLY this year. Last year’s enrollment was over 1,200, now they’re just under 1,000.

    Jim, I think GCS is simply attracted to magnets and is willing to throw money at new programs when very little research is returned. The taxpayers are not getting the proper ROI (return on investment). I’m not saying magnets are bad, and clearly, many magnets across GCS are working and work well, but not all are. That’s my contention. There are too many that are not successful, and again I bring up Montlieu as an example.

    On supplies, there are many that are supposed to be supplied by GCS to every school but many of them are not getting what they need. I have documented evidence of this. Many teachers at high impact schools cannot get printer ink cartridges, paper is rationed, soap is not available in many bathrooms. Basic staples like this.

    I have a problem with this.

  4. Would other schools, where there is greater parental financial off-books support, be missing similar basics were it not for the generosity of said parents?

  5. Jim, I don’t think it is a case of generosity, I think it is a case of alleged mismanagement. And I’ve talked to Darlene Garrett about this in the past several times. The mismanagement part being that in my opinion, Central Office is not budgeting funds properly so that schools get the vital staples they need to operate. Yet, principals are telling the Board that they’re getting what they need (see http://www.geocities.com/hueyforguilfordschoolboard/12-21-06.doc). Darlene told me not long ago that she firmly believes principals were being coached as to how to testify to the board.

  6. Definitely a shocking statement if it pans out. I still suspect that teachers and parents at neighborhhod schools set in better-off areas are more likley to get off-the-books funding for both staples and specialty items than the schools in struggling parts of the community.

    By the way, don’t neighborhood schools by definition militate against the concept of treating all of Guilford County as a single community?

  7. I was at a meeting at Grimsley this week, and on the black board was”tissues needed”-extra credit given! I saw it myself, in black and white.. grades for supplies.

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