Friday, August 09, 2002

Wee R-unt Lernin Stuf Liek We Shud

Seems the Gateway test results have come out and the story isn't good for Memphis City Schools. Again. In this story, the Commercial Appeal reports on the appalling news.

I don't have children in the school system and am not familiar enough to comment too much. But in the the accompanying chart you can see how for yourself. County schools have test scores between 82 and 100, with two exceptions. But City schools range from single-digit lows to four 100's; many schools score in the 20's and 30's.

The comparisons between the two systems are stark and frightening. We are losing huge numbers of children in Memphis. They will be the decision-makers and citizens of tomorrow and they are woefully unprepared. It will have calamitous results for our city.

How much longer will the City Schools administration and the TEA be given before we stop believing them? Our schools are on the verge of being eligible for takeover by the State, but the State itself doesn't want the task because it's politically untenable. Change hasn't happened, isn't going to happen, unless revolutionary action is taken soon. Dr. Gerry House collected a boat-load of awards for programs that didn't suit our city, that screwed up whole classes. Now she's making big bucks for a New York educational think-tank, peddling what didn't work here. Dr. Johnny Watson has shown the willingness to admit to and tackle problems, but not the strength and fearlessness necessary to do something.

Our City's future is on the line, but all we can do is build arenas. When it comes to money, we can form a "tiger team" that solves all problems in months. When it comes to children, we dither and fret and pass the buck.

When and where will that buck stop?

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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