Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jones Elementry School: How Does Relocating Students Solve Problems?

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the one who should be writing on the issues of the Guilford County Schools. My fake high school diploma given to me by the then Greensboro City Schools after failing to attend English classes and others during my 3 years at Dudley Sr High School doesn't qualify me to write, much less criticize our school administrators. That said, some in our community feel as if they haven't a voice and have asked me to help.

And while the stat counter on your right only topped 700,000 readers just today and can't compare to the likes of the N&R or local TV it appears we're the best chance they've got.

The issue as I understand it is that 186 mostly African-American neighborhood students living in the Warnersville neighborhood immediately surrounding Jones Elementary are for the most part doing poorly in school while 496 magnet students enrolled in the Spanish Immersion Program from other neighborhoods, many of them from financially stable families, are seemingly doing great in school.

Yes, I'm sure there are English teachers cringing at that last paragraph. See the first paragraph for an explanation.

Now some are saying the reason the neighborhood students are doing poorly is because not enough resources are being devoted to the neighborhood students. I don't know if that is true but this PowerPoint presentation from Jones School suggests it might be.

What I also found interesting about that same PowerPoint presentation was the proposed solutions, 1. bus the mostly black kids somewhere across town or 2. move the Spanish Immersion Program to another school.

What is also interesting is what is not in the PowerPoint presentation. There's apparently some pressure from some white families to convert Jones School to 100% Spanish Immersion so that the parents who work in downtown Greensboro won't be inconvenienced as Jones Elementary is about if not the closest school to downtown Greensboro.

And then there's the other issue: if in fact not enough resources are being devoted to the neighborhood students then how will busing them across town change any of that? Dudley High School lacked resources before white kids like myself and others made up the first class of racially integrated students at Dudley and Dudley still lacks resources over 40 years later.

Black or white our poor students do not get the same quality of education as students who come from families with more money. I challenge the Guilford County School Board to find the right solution to this problem and not cave to the whims of Greensboro's elites.

And folks, as always, share this post with everyone you know. Only when our audience is as big as the local main stream media will we be able to effect real change. That part is up to you.