Thursday, February 24, 2011
South Park community high school debated
Councilmember Kearns drew a harsh response from Buffalo School Board members when he suggested new students to South Park High School take an entrance exam or get there straight from the successful South Buffalo Discovery School. From The Buffalo News...
Some board members bristled when Kearns turned the discussion specifically to South Park High School, which has been identified by the state as persistently low-achieving. He said that it should be changed into a school that students have to test into, or it should become a school that serves graduates of Discovery School in South Buffalo.
“You need the change in South Buffalo. What about the rest of the city?” board member Mary Ruth Kapsiak, who represents the Central District, said to Kearns. “You’re talking about the bottom-tier five [high schools]. You’re addressing one. What about the others?”
Florence D. Johnson, an at-large member of the board, also spoke passionately on behalf of struggling schools in areas of the city that are predominantly minority. If South Park becomes a school that serves its South Buffalo constituents — who are predominantly white — then other schools will become less racially balanced than they are now, she said.
“If we have one school that is majority children and majority race, what is going to happen to [schools in predominantly minority parts of the city]?” she asked.
I can't believe how distorted things have become. We have someone calling for a school to return to it's neighborhood roots. God forbid, a school trying to have community ties anymore. The current result is a school where people come from all over and their is no sense of community. How many times have you heard old timers talk about how great of a school South Park "used to be"? I wonder how many South Buffalo residents have fled to the suburbs over the past few decades, so their kids could get a decent education.
Busing was a noble experiment that failed miserably. Here's an interesting concept. How about holding families in all neighborhoods accountable for their kids at school? Regardless of their skin color, start creating some academic and behavioral expectations for all students when they enter Kindergarten. I'd love to see South Park become a community high school. Then, despite the fact that he remained silent throughout the whole discussion and never challenged Kapsiak or Johnson, Lou "Pinocchio" Petrucci can stand up and say it was his idea all along. You know he will. That's what self promoters do.
Kearns urges School Board to join summit in push for improvement