After years of watching this fight (and seeing my own education impacted by it when my parents chose to move to Oldham County) I'm not sure where I stand. In a district with problems and with different programs to offer, I appreciate having a choice. But in my heart, I'd rather simply have access to a great school close to home that allows my daughter to graduate prepared for college with some college credit under her belt, critical thinking skills, and a lifelong love of education.
And while I do think there were benefits from the Student Assignment Plan, the system has been stained for years with a reputation that is not necessarily fair, but is stuck on with super glue.
Today I watched my daughter and her classmates at Biztown, the day long activity from Junior Achievement that allows kids to become working citizens in a fictional town. These kids are the same ones she's been with since Kindergarten, and I realized how sad this year will be. Instead of moving on with each other to a new middle school, these friends and classmates will be split apart, moved to several schools based on both assignment and achievement by JCPS.
If there is one advantage to a neighborhood school to me, it is that these kids have some consistency in the students and families that surround them. There is something special about being tied to the same people for 12 or more years that those of us who grew up in smaller schools take for granted. I know that my daughter will not have the same community I had, and that saddens me. It'll be good for her to meet new friends, but the ability to hang onto old is vital too.
Truly though, I'm just ready for the assignment battle to be over. Teddy Gordon apparently is planning further legal action to keep the fight going. Wouldn't it be nice if we could simply settle this and move on for the good of our kids and community?