CM Emily Evans is still pondering the public schools in her district and the participation and non-participation by some parents. We could use a few more councilmen to look around their districts and ask similar questions and then look at the BOE and ask for specific remedies. CM Evans blogs:
This purely anecdotal observation is or should be disturbing to public school educators because my district is predominately middle class, property owning and educated. In most cities, people like those who live in the 23rd district form the backbone of the public school system. They are more likely to have the kind of job that lets them out of work to participate in parent-teacher conferences or volunteer as a tutor or teacher"s aide. They are more likely to have a parent that does not work outside the home and is available to organize and execute fundraisers. They are more likely to be educated themselves and as a result have high expectation for the education of their children. They are also generally politically aware and inclined to become activists in support of public education.Then she lists 7 items (she has two #5's) that are part of the decision making process by parents in her district.
1. Influence and controlShe ends with this:
2. Plant and equipment
5. K-4, 5-8 and 9-12
5. School size
6. Academic excellence
But magnets, like private schools, skim the best teachers, students and families off the zoned schools and educate in a way that should be the norm, not the exception. Academic magnets are one of the few ways we keep a limited grip on middle class families. But for reasons I have never fully understood, we only offer this option to a limited number of families each year and force the rest to find other alternatives.I'm with her on this. If you're not lucky enough to win the lottery, know someone who can mentor you in the convoluted choice process or can't afford to live in one of the better districts...the MNPS choices are a cruel joke.