Today, the Scene’s Pith in The Wind has a couple of posts (so far) about the NAACP’s opposition to the school rezoning plan passed last year. (NOTE: The NAACP’s arguments should be read, considered and debated in full. This is an issue where they have gerat moral authority.) The posts at Pith are informative, which makes this pullquote all the more distressing. Writer Jeff Woods says:
Here’s the choice for superintendent Jesse Register and the school board: Kill the plan and unite the city behind the district’s new leadership, or wage a long, protracted fight to spare white kids in Hillwood the terrible trauma of going to school with inner-city blacks.
How dare you.
Obviously, Mr Woods, you know nothing about the facts on the ground. Yet, you insult the entire population of one particular area of town. How progressive.
I’ve got to say it again, because I don’t feel better yet…
Here are the facts. The inner city kids you claim to be championing ALREADY do not go to school with “white kids from Hillwood” – at least not in any great numbers. Did you not read the great article last May in the Tennessean?
The bulk of Hillwood students come from the poorest areas in the school’s 90-square-mile attendance zone. And because Hillwood is now an island populated by students from other places, the people living in the upscale neighborhood surrounding it have no stake in the school and don’t want one.
So, in effect, Hillwood IS at the current time an inner city school, sitting in the middle of one of Nashville’s wealthiest neighborhoods. What do the kids bussed to Hillwood gain from the current system, except for a 45-minute bus ride per day?
But I don’t really want to discuss the merits of the rezoning plan with you. I am not 100% sold on the idea myself. Yet, you poison the waters by preemptively insulting me and my neighbors?
I would direct you to my Emily Evans’ (no Eric Crafton, she) wonderful research on the subject. She actually spoke to her constiuents, and listed the major reasons why the vast majority of parents in her district send their children to private and magnet schools.
The main reasons were Influence and Control, Plant and Equipment, Teachers,Safety, the Age Divisions of public schools (K-4, 5-8 and 9-12), School size, and Academic Excellence. Read the whole thing. Without it, you cannot possibly have the proper context to discuss Hillwood’s situation.
I’ll let you in on a secret, Mr. Woods. If Hillwood were all lily white, and only had an enrollment from the neighborhood, yet still had the academic and safety record it has now, I would not send my kids (who are not white, BTW) there. If Hillwood had an enrollment of only inner-city kids, yet had the academic excellence and other programs of my kids’ current private school, I WOULD send my kids there, saving myself A LOT of money in the process.
One final thing: why is Hillwood always the negative example, when Hillsboro is in the exact same situation? Hillsboro, which happens to sit in a more, er, progressive part of town, always seems to get a pass in these matters.
I am no longer going to sit back and let others define my motives. I’m sick and tired of it. Educate yourself, Mr. Woods, and then we might could discuss the issue properly.