Logical Education Policy
A Chesterfield resident is unhappy about a proposal to allow students to attend public schools outside of their district. This is the most candid letter to the editor about education policy I have ever read:
This may be logical for students in failing districts[.]
She goes on to complain that the bill wouldn’t just affect failing districts, it would actually send the kids from failing districts to other, not-failing districts. Then the Chesterfield residents wouldn’t be able to set class sizes as small as they’d like.
First of all, if you want to allow students to transfer out of failing districts, they have to transfer into other schools. I don’t know how you could write legislation to do that without affecting districts that aren’t failing–unless you allowed students to use vouchers to go to private schools instead. I doubt that’s what the letter writer had in mind, though.
But what struck me most about this letter is the lack of compassion for students in failing schools. She writes:
This bill threatens to overcrowd those successful districts that might host such students, perhaps setting them up for failure.
As though all the SLPS students aren’t "set up for failure" where they are now.
I encountered this attitude all the time when I attended a Chesterfield public school. They don’t want any outsiders to threaten their small classes, segregated schools, and resulting inflated property values.
This proposal certainly would be "logical" for students in failing districts. It would also be a step towards righting the injustice of public education in the city.