Tom Anselm gives perspective on area history of school transfers

Boomer’s Journal:

School Transfer or Not? That is the Question

Back in the early 1980s, school boards and administrators and lawmakers thought they had the answer to failing schools and underachieving students.   They concluded that sending students in bad schools to more affluent school districts would save these children and solve the problems associated with decades of poor public policy and educational mismanagement.

In the final analysis, the effort that came to known by the noun-verb ‘busing’ was a social experiment that fell short of the fix all had hoped for.  The City of St. Louis’ public schools continued to decline, kids lost a sense of a neighborhood school, millions were spent, and with some  high profile exceptions for kids, the  city schools’ plan of that was supposed to be a panacea did not work.

 

    And now it seems that in our region we are being subjected to a state law that has essentially set up the same ersatz-solution for students of two troubled school districts, Normandy and Riverview Gardens.

Briefly, the law allows any student of an unaccredited school district to transfer to an accredited school.  And the failing districts get to pick where these kids can go, if they want a free bus ride.  Normandy picked Francis Howell in St. Charles County, Riverview chose Mehlville.  Curious choices these,  since there are many accredited districts geographically closer.  Some say this was done to discourage transfers, because the sending group must pay for the rides and the receiving groups tuition out of their already diminished pocketbooks.  The whole thing doesn’t make much sense to me, or to many who study this sort of thing for a living.

But enough of the background.  I wanted to look at this from the viewpoint of the parents in this situation.  How would I feel if I were living in a failing school district.? I would not be a happy taxpayer.  I would want my kid to get a decent education so he could someday make something of his life. I might not have the ability to move into a school district that is accredited.  Here lies a chance for my son, my daughter, to get a leg up, to get away from fighting and disrespectful students. To be able to focus and get good grades and build skills.  Pretty sure I’d be in that line for transfer faster than you could say ‘sign me up’.

But why, you may ask, would I subject my kids to an hour-minimum ride two times a day on a school bus, leaving friends and neighborhood  behind, maybe subject to all the fears that starting up in a strange environment bring?  Because of time.  Kids grow up fast.  They need the best we can offer them, and we have only a short window of opportunity for this to happen.  Plus, I would have little confidence that the school boards or administrators or lawmakers were going to fix things. I mean, let’s recall the effort of the past.  Maybe they can find the answers, I hope they can find the answers,  but I am not going to risk my kids future on the current odds.

And what if I lived in a designated receiving district?  Let’s be honest, Riverview and Normandy schools have been getting some bad reviews lately.  And while there are a good number of students in those districts who are good kids, the reviews aren’t just made-up stories. Do I want my child sitting next to a kid who doesn’t know how to behave in class, or who doesn’t read at anything close to grade level, What about class sizes?  Teachers are already facing heavy class loads. Why should we be punished for having successful schools?

Lately, I have seen some reaching out to those who might transfer.  Inviting these children, welcoming them.  That is incredibly nice.  But is it the main feeling of the people in the receiving districts?  From the sound of things, it seems like it is not.

All I know is that, if it were me, and my kid was going to benefit, I would seriously consider transferring.  History just seems to repeating itself be repeating itself, in a bad way.  And, like I said… time, it does fly.

 

 

 

 

Boomer’s Journal:

School Transfer or Not? That is the Question

Sometimes the lessons of history are never learned.  Take war, for instance. People die, sometimes horribly, often in great numbers, many times for questionable reasons.  But do we then say, “hey, this is dumb, let’s try something else?”  Sadly, the answer ‘no’.

Back in the early 1980s, school boards and administrators and lawmakers thought they had the answer to failing schools and underachieving students.   They concluded that sending students in bad schools to more affluent school districts would save these children and solve the problems associated with decades of poor public policy and educational mismanagement.

In the final analysis, the effort that came to known by the noun-verb ‘busing’ was a social experiment that fell short of the fix all had hoped for.  The City of St. Louis’ public schools continued to decline, kids lost a sense of a neighborhood school, millions were spent, and with some  high profile exceptions for kids, the  city schools’ plan of that was supposed to be a panacea did not work.

 

    And now it seems that in our region we are being subjected to a state law that has essentially set up the same ersatz-solution for students of two troubled school districts, Normandy and Riverview Gardens.

Briefly, the law allows any student of an unaccredited school district to transfer to an accredited school.  And the failing districts get to pick where these kids can go, if they want a free bus ride.  Normandy picked Francis Howell in St. Charles County, Riverview chose Mehlville.  Curious choices these,  since there are many accredited districts geographically closer.  Some say this was done to discourage transfers, because the sending group must pay for the rides and the receiving groups tuition out of their already diminished pocketbooks.  The whole thing doesn’t make much sense to me, or to many who study this sort of thing for a living.

But enough of the background.  I wanted to look at this from the viewpoint of the parents in this situation.  How would I feel if I were living in a failing school district.? I would not be a happy taxpayer.  I would want my kid to get a decent education so he could someday make something of his life. I might not have the ability to move into a school district that is accredited.  Here lies a chance for my son, my daughter, to get a leg up, to get away from fighting and disrespectful students. To be able to focus and get good grades and build skills.  Pretty sure I’d be in that line for transfer faster than you could say ‘sign me up’.

But why, you may ask, would I subject my kids to an hour-minimum ride two times a day on a school bus, leaving friends and neighborhood  behind, maybe subject to all the fears that starting up in a strange environment bring?  Because of time.  Kids grow up fast.  They need the best we can offer them, and we have only a short window of opportunity for this to happen.  Plus, I would have little confidence that the school boards or administrators or lawmakers were going to fix things. I mean, let’s recall the effort of the past.  Maybe they can find the answers, I hope they can find the answers,  but I am not going to risk my kids future on the current odds.

And what if I lived in a designated receiving district?  Let’s be honest, Riverview and Normandy schools have been getting some bad reviews lately.  And while there are a good number of students in those districts who are good kids, the reviews aren’t just made-up stories. Do I want my child sitting next to a kid who doesn’t know how to behave in class, or who doesn’t read at anything close to grade level, What about class sizes?  Teachers are already facing heavy class loads. Why should we be punished for having successful schools?

Lately, I have seen some reaching out to those who might transfer.  Inviting these children, welcoming them.  That is incredibly nice.  But is it the main feeling of the people in the receiving districts?  From the sound of things, it seems like it is not.

All I know is that, if it were me, and my kid was going to benefit, I would seriously consider transferring.  History just seems to repeating itself be repeating itself, in a bad way.  And, like I said… time, it does fly.

 

 

 

 

Boomer’s Journal:

School Transfer or Not? That is the Question

Sometimes the lessons of history are never learned.  Take war, for instance. People die, sometimes horribly, often in great numbers, many times for questionable reasons.  But do we then say, “hey, this is dumb, let’s try something else?”  Sadly, the answer ‘no’.

Back in the early 1980s, school boards and administrators and lawmakers thought they had the answer to failing schools and underachieving students.   They concluded that sending students in bad schools to more affluent school districts would save these children and solve the problems associated with decades of poor public policy and educational mismanagement.

In the final analysis, the effort that came to known by the noun-verb ‘busing’ was a social experiment that fell short of the fix all had hoped for.  The City of St. Louis’ public schools continued to decline, kids lost a sense of a neighborhood school, millions were spent, and with some  high profile exceptions for kids, the  city schools’ plan of that was supposed to be a panacea did not work.

 

    And now it seems that in our region we are being subjected to a state law that has essentially set up the same ersatz-solution for students of two troubled school districts, Normandy and Riverview Gardens.

Briefly, the law allows any student of an unaccredited school district to transfer to an accredited school.  And the failing districts get to pick where these kids can go, if they want a free bus ride.  Normandy picked Francis Howell in St. Charles County, Riverview chose Mehlville.  Curious choices these,  since there are many accredited districts geographically closer.  Some say this was done to discourage transfers, because the sending group must pay for the rides and the receiving groups tuition out of their already diminished pocketbooks.  The whole thing doesn’t make much sense to me, or to many who study this sort of thing for a living.

But enough of the background.  I wanted to look at this from the viewpoint of the parents in this situation.  How would I feel if I were living in a failing school district.? I would not be a happy taxpayer.  I would want my kid to get a decent education so he could someday make something of his life. I might not have the ability to move into a school district that is accredited.  Here lies a chance for my son, my daughter, to get a leg up, to get away from fighting and disrespectful students. To be able to focus and get good grades and build skills.  Pretty sure I’d be in that line for transfer faster than you could say ‘sign me up’.

But why, you may ask, would I subject my kids to an hour-minimum ride two times a day on a school bus, leaving friends and neighborhood  behind, maybe subject to all the fears that starting up in a strange environment bring?  Because of time.  Kids grow up fast.  They need the best we can offer them, and we have only a short window of opportunity for this to happen.  Plus, I would have little confidence that the school boards or administrators or lawmakers were going to fix things. I mean, let’s recall the effort of the past.  Maybe they can find the answers, I hope they can find the answers,  but I am not going to risk my kids future on the current odds.

And what if I lived in a designated receiving district?  Let’s be honest, Riverview and Normandy schools have been getting some bad reviews lately.  And while there are a good number of students in those districts who are good kids, the reviews aren’t just made-up stories. Do I want my child sitting next to a kid who doesn’t know how to behave in class, or who doesn’t read at anything close to grade level, What about class sizes?  Teachers are already facing heavy class loads. Why should we be punished for having successful schools?

Lately, I have seen some reaching out to those who might transfer.  Inviting these children, welcoming them.  That is incredibly nice.  But is it the main feeling of the people in the receiving districts?  From the sound of things, it seems like it is not.

All I know is that, if it were me, and my kid was going to benefit, I would seriously consider transferring.  History just seems to repeating itself be repeating itself, in a bad way.  And, like I said… time, it does fly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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