Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This isn't going away

If folks thought that the little dustup at the last BOE meeting over the magnet school process was a blip on the radar--I believe they're completely wrong.

Today's Tennessean highlights a complete waste and an injustice that must be changed. I, as a BOE member, had been lead to believe that there was hope for parents who were on the magnet school waiting list and so I passed that hope on to parents. Apparently, such isn't the case at all.

Current policy states that the roster of students closes on the first day of school. If a student leaves a magnet school on the first day, the spot is not filled, said Sandra Johnson, chief instructional officer for Metro schools.

What a complete waste. Didn't we budget and hire for a certain number of magnet slots? Is the administration committed to the magnet school program or not? Policy can be changed. What is the downside to making this change?

Parent Discoll asks a good question that deserves a prompt and clear answer:

"Why not create a two-week buffer where, if a kid moves or decides not to attend the school, then the next in line gets in?"


As for Driscoll, who hasn't been shy about his disdain, he's thinking about starting a Web site for parents fed up with the magnet school lottery process.

Let me know if I can be of any help Mr. Driscoll.

And as an aside, heretofore, the Tennessean has been providing BOE member contact information in their "Make your voice heard" box. In this article it points people to MNPS alone.

Here's a link for e-mail all the BOE members.

Clicking on the District # will take you to the MNPS website for that district. Not sure which district is yours? Check here. Clicking on the name will bring up your e-mail so you can write them.

District 1: George Thompson
District 2: Joann Brannon
District 3: Pam Garrett (BOE Chair for the moment)
District 4: Steve Glover
District 5: Gracie Porter
District 6: Karen Johnson
District 7: Ed Kindall
District 8: David Fox
District 9: Marsha Warden

Want to e-mail them all? Here ya go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The downside, and I don't mean to defend it, is that it can cause a numbers shift. The argument a few years ago when the policy was changed was that once school started, it was disruptive to remove kids from the zone school- if enough transferred a school caould conceivably lose a position. I highly doubt it.

Yes, high school, magnets are staffed using the same formula that comprehensive high schools are, with the exception that magnets don't generally have special ed or voactional, which do have different staffing numbers as part of the agreement to accept federal dollars for these programs.

The two week window sounds wise, if the student is willing to accept that there may be some catch up.