The Crapola-Journal recently reported “Few seek transfers to closer JCPS schools” and the best quote from the story came from six-figure JCPS goon, Jack Jacobs, Director of Student Assignment (Annual salary, $137,043 + benefits):
We didn’t think there would be lot of interest.
WOW! Has this guy been sleeping under a rock?
Here’s what JCPS assumes when they toss out a comment like that:
Parents don’t care if their children can’t attend the neighborhood school.
Parents don’t care if their kids are at a school that’s fifteen or twenty miles away.
It’s okay to have kids attend a school that’s far from home even if that creates an inconvenience or even a hardship for parents to volunteer or even have lunch once a month with their kid.
Parents don’t care if their child spends two or three hours a day on a bus.
Well, you get the idea. I could go on and on.
The Crapola-Journal, lapdogs of JCPS, proceeded to present readers with a big ‘ole table of numbers to break down how many folks were offered the chance to transfer and how many folks actually took advantage of it. The table is in color and looks pretty cool but the data is statistically insignificant. Means nothing. Bogus data, bogus results. It’s a non-story, really.
The title of the article should have been “Few given option to transfer to closer JCPS school”. THAT’S THE REAL STORY, FOLKS.
73 students transferred. 1714 were eligible to transfer.
Here’s how JCPS skewed the data and read closely:
The district did not release the names of the students who were given the chance to transfer, but officials said that most live in western and central Louisville. Jacobs said the district selected the 1,714 students who were offered a transfer by looking at where they live and if allowing them to move would enhance diversity at a school closer to home.
Parents had to notify the district if they wanted to change schools which means JCPS interpreted no response as an enthusiastic endorsement of forced busing. Never mind if the family never received a letter. This is like the Columbia House negative option billing process – unless you specifically decline, you’re going to receive the product. Didn’t get your JCPS transfer letter because you’re holed up in a homeless shelter? They’ll gladly take that as a hearty endorsement of the failed forced busing program!
The letters went to families in the West End and central Louisville. Read: low-income.
Now, do you recall what JCPS has always said about low-income urban students? JCPS blames them for so many of our failing schools – you’ve all heard about that. JCPS gets especially riled up when anyone mentions that the poor country kids in McCreary or Whitley County are academically outperforming our urban kids. Get this though: JCPS has stated that urban poor are quite different from rural poor because of their mobility. They move a lot. They skip out on the rent. They’re in homeless shelters or staying with a friend, a relative or anywhere they can. In other words, they don’t say in one place very long.
So. Over 100,000 students in JCPS. 1,714 transfer letters were mailed to the most mobile students registered at JCPS. How many of them were returned to JCPS? How many of them actually reached the intended recipients? I’m guessing less than half of them made it to the parents. Heck, 30% tops. I know first-hand how hard it is to reach JCPS parents. Trust me on this one. I’ve personally made thousands of calls over many, many years of first-day-of-school volunteering and the information that parents provided only weeks prior often proved to be a dead-end.
Here we go…
73 students transferred to their neighborhood schools and JCPS uses that number to proclaim that Louisville embraces forced busing.
Here’s how that looks on a pie chart:
Like I said, flawed data. You can see it for yourself right there. 73 transfers? That’s not news. Worst of all, the Crapola-Journal saw fit to put what was essentially a desperate press release from JCPS on the front page, above the fold.
Why doesn’t JCPS offer transfers to everyone? Let’s see how that pans out!
Why do we only hear about the 80% of kindergarten students who were assigned to their first or second choice school? Why don’t we hear the number of students who are denied their first choice school? Let’s hear about the families denied their first choice who end up in Oldham County or scraping by so their kids can attend parochial or private school. Those are the real stories.