More on that later. Seriously though the real question is: do you support Neighborhood Schools? Can you believe a duck asked me that question? Hard to believe, but here’s my answer:
Hell no! Here’s a list of reasons why Neighborhood schools will probably fail:
- Not all neighborhoods are created equal and pockets of residential segregation will create a network of alternately successful and unsuccessful schools.
- Funding equity: the stark reality of district leadership and their propensity to allocate resources inefficiently/inappropriately based on how hyper-local stakeholder groups jockey for primary consideration will further the inequity of schools.
- They will create segregated schools in a de facto way that is so predictable as to make then de jure in practice
- They will be used, due to their prescriptive legality, as an affirmative defense to build more neighborhood schools and refine feeder patterns that comport with the sensibilities of monied citizens rather than all citizens
- The betray research about the efficacy of diverse learning environments
They will produce an end product at both ends of the spectrum that will widen the economic divide in our society that is a fundamentally undesirable endpoint for a public education system founded upon principles of equity of opportunity for all the nation’s citizens (and non citizens: Plyler v. Doe)
Politicians will vilify them and seek to destroy them when politically expedient
- The predicate for neighborhood schools is an environment of harmonic agreement by all interested stakeholders. Humans rarely achieve this type of harmony and are motivated very differently than conventional wisdom
Back to the duck. He walks in to the bar and asked the bartender: gotta tomato?
Bartender: no, this is a bar we don’t serve tomatoes
Duck (the next day walks in again): gotta tomato?
Bartender (annoyed): I told you yesterday, we don’t have tomatoes here, now scram!
Duck (comes back the next day): gotta tomato?
Bartender: Look, I’ve told you twice now, we don’t have tomatoes. If you come back here and ask me again, I’ll nail you beak to the bar! (Duck leaves)
Duck (comes back one more time): gotta nail?
Bartender: No, we don’t sell nails here this is a bar!
Duck: gotta tomato?
The moral? The bartender makes public education policy and enforces it, even uses threat of force to convince the duck to stop bothering him at any cost. The duck is the cunning idealist who gets it, no matter what. The duck knows the policy has a flaw and just plods along, toying with the policy maker and ultimately reveals the flaw.
The bartender loves neighborhood schools. The duck knows that they are trouble, that they won’t solve problems they will cause new and bigger and deeper divides in our fabric.
That crazy duck is smart enough to know…. that when it comes to others opinions sometimes it’s best to not even give a %(^*.
Well, meet the duck and the debate winning strategy for NS opponents!
I can be reached at JYD1988@gmail.com