Education Reform in Jacksonville is Millionaires telling poor black folks what they need. (rough draft)

The schools on the Northside of town were long
neglected, now do I think that continues? To be honest no, though at the same
time I do feel problems there are being addressed both begrudgingly and poorly.

Let’s start with the KIPP School that millionaire Gary
Chartrand paid nine million dollars to bring to town to save our struggling African
American youth. Here is the thing about the KIPP school, Gary Chartrand wouldn’t
send his children to it and nor would any affluent white neighborhood accept
it.

It’s no excuses kill and drill philosophy would drive
parents and their children away but hey you poor black folk should line up and
beg to get your kids in.

Now the superintendent and school board well a
majority of the school board two of which are millionaires and all four are republicans
fully entrenched in the city’s power structure want to fix the neighborhood
schools on the Northside of town by converting several of them to magnets, a
repeat of the Paxon and Stanton structure which admittedly gave us two of the
finest schools in the country just at the expense of every other high school in
the city.

It gets even worse because Superintendent Vitti who hasn’t
really been in town that long and the four school board members, Grymes, Smith-Juarez,
Shine and Fischer are also ignoring the parents of those communities and their representatives,
you know because they know better. Coincidently these are also the four board
members that really don’t have any true education experience, and before you
bombard me with Smith-Juarez was a teacher, I don’t believe a few semesters at
the Bolles school counts.

From the Times Union:

Three board members
voiced reluctance about converting another neighborhood school into a magnet
school after already making similar decisions for other schools in recent
months.
Board members Becki
Couch, Constance Hall and Paula Wright said the district should keep R. V.
Daniels and Susie Tolbert as they are and instead bolster the programs and
academics of the neighborhood schools.
“We can’t magnetize
our way into a quality education at every school,” Hall said
.
The debate really
boils down to two camps, the teachers on the board that represent those communities
want to save the schools and bolster their programs and staffs. The non-teachers
on the board, the millionaires and representatives of the republican elite in
the city, and don’t get mad at me my republican readers, Paula Dockery and John
King are and were champions of education, want to destroy those schools and want to
dictate to those communities what they should take.

These board members
fail to acknowledge that a lot of the problems caused on the 
North side of town
and in these schools is because of them and their ilk. Instead of dictating
to those communities, they should be listening to them. 

2 Replies to “Education Reform in Jacksonville is Millionaires telling poor black folks what they need. (rough draft)”

  1. We need to import the attitude of the community activists from Philadelphia who are fighting to save their schools. They understand that their schools are more than schools: they are community institutions that give their neighborhoods an anchor and identity. We should not be throwing that away. Many of us in Jacksonville understand that, but not this superintendent who has no roots and thinks history is worthless subject. If I am misrepresenting his appreciation of the subject, why does he not learn about the history of this city and its neighborhoods? Hey, NV, Duval County existed long before November 12, 2012.

  2. Come visit the KIPP school in Jacksonville. E-mail the principal of the middle school to arrange a visit. They have an open door policy.

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