I recently counted nine teachers, staff members and administrators who have or had their children or grandchildren enrolled in my kids’ school. In every case except one, this is not their resides school. Many of them don’t even live in a cluster that includes this school. In case you’re new to the world of student assignment in Louisville’s schools and I’ve just confused you with talk of clusters and resides, all you need to know is that the student assignment method is convoluted, expensive and flat-out bizarre.
Look, I think it’s great for Mom to come to work with kids in tow. A happy employee makes for a good employee. A happy, secure kid makes for a good student. But I don’t think it’s fair for kids sans connections to be denied admission to their top-choice school that’s right in their neighborhood while the children of JCPS teachers and paper-pushers are assigned to the school that #1 on their wish list.
This is not just unfair. Steve Zissou’s unpaid intern said it best – this is bullshit.
Get this. All of the kids who were bestowed with the special admissions status at my school are white – except one. And the one black kid was initially denied admission for kindergarten. Don’t worry, though. Things ended up okay for this her since she ended up gaining admission the following year, for first grade. Black folks are pretty used to getting treated differently by JCPS so I’m pretty sure the kindergarten glitch was no biggie. Super bonus! It was a great way to prepare the little tyke for a long-term relationship with JCPS and its various mercurial, race-based policies.
If JCPS truly endorses socioeconomic diversity, why is there a policy in place that basically swaps out white, middle-class neighborhood kids for white, middle-class kids of JCPS employees? Suspending the socioeconomic-based admissions criteria for employees completely negates JCPS’ reason for denying admission to all of those middle-class families who want to attend their neighborhood school. Neighborhood kids aren’t getting bumped because of a social agenda, they’re getting bumped because they don’t have a family member on the JCPS payroll. Or on the school board, for that matter.
Perhaps JCPS places a higher value on happiness than diversity when it comes to a bunch of its middle-class employees. If you’re a family with no connections, JCPS is only interested in your participation in a diversity scheme. Your family’s happiness doesn’t count.
JCPS’ preferential admissions policy for its employees applies throughout the district. This isn’t a situation that’s unique to my school, Bloom Elementary. The children of JCPS employees are also snapping up spots in the highest-ranked traditional schools and magnet programs. It doesn’t take much digging to figure this one out since teachers like to brag about their kids’ schools. JCPS teacher with high school-age kid = plenty of gushing about Manual High School. You know what I’m talking about.
If JCPS is really serious about socioeconomic diversity, maybe they need to forcibly bus its employees’ kids to the West End to mix it up a little bit.
But we know that will never happen.