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What about the Teachers? (Read 8032 times)
still_here
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What about the Teachers?
Mar 29th, 2008 at 8:12am
 
Contest Pays $10,000 to Find Worst Teachers in America

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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #1 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:12pm
 
This article is about St. Louis but it just as well could be Cairo.
They love the city, but not the schools.
By Nancy Cambria
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/25/2008
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"This isn't a white thing or a black thing. This is a family issue,"
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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #2 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:15pm
 
They love the city, but not the schools.
By Nancy Cambria
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Apr. 25 2008

ST. LOUIS — The 1885 Lafayette Square row house was pretty from the street, but
when Stacy Bragg, six months pregnant, saw the big yard and the modern
interior, she was hooked.

"It was perfect in every way," she said. "We just fell in love immediately."

And so began the blissful romance that Stacy and her husband, Doug Bragg, had
with their $192,000 home — and city living: bike rides to the Tower Grove
Farmers' Market, the coffee shop across the alley, the diversity, the group of
friends that put "CITY" stickers on their cars and started a mini baby boom.

But that romance has been put to the test because of doubts about the city
public school system. The Braggs and others aren't sure they can afford to
stay, because they've decided appropriate schooling comes with a crippling
expense. Last month, the Braggs opened the acceptance letter for their
daughter, now 4, to the Forsyth School, a private school with a tuition
equaling a monthly mortgage payment.

"I just thought that was crazily ridiculous. I went right to realtor.com," said
Stacy Bragg, who grew up in Clayton. "I started looking to move."

Spring is the time when young families decide where their children will go to
school. Many in well-regarded districts simply sign their kids up for
kindergarten. Others sell their starter homes for pricier houses in better
school districts.

But for families committed to St. Louis city, these months can be difficult
because they can carry financial or emotional costs: private school with
tuitions as high as $15,000 a year, or schooling options that haven't panned
out or met their expectations.

Robbyn Wahby, the educational liaison for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said
those families' problem is also a city problem. This group, which contributed
to the city's first population gain in decades in neighborhoods like Shaw,
Tower Grove, South Grand, Soulard and Lafayette Square, won't grow unless the
schools issue is resolved for the middle class.

"We can't continue to see this kind of growth pattern without good, affordable
schools," Wahby said.

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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #3 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:16pm
 
cont


LUCK OF THE DRAW

Many parents, like the Braggs, had hoped to get their kids into the city's
prized gifted magnet schools or sought-after preschools — schools like Kennard
Classical Junior Academy or Stix Early Childhood Center. But they were rejected
or lost out in an enrollment lottery. Others were put on a waiting list at
neighborhood parochial schools. And some were passed over everywhere, causing
them to put off kindergarten.

The St. Louis Public School District currently meets only two of 14 state
performance standards and has been struggling with plummeting enrollment,
school closings, infighting and leadership turnover.

The majority of the students who remain in the district are from poor
African-American families. Last year, the district lost its accreditation, and
its elected board was replaced with a state-appointed one.

Though the city has 15 charter schools with 7,700 students, most are performing
only slightly above public schools.

The Braggs, whose daughter was passed over by Kennard and put on a waiting list
at St. Margaret of Scotland School, said they felt they had no viable choice
but to struggle to pay for private school. Stacy Bragg owns an occupational
therapy business, and Doug manages the downtown Flamingo Bowl.

"I think that your public school should be able to offer you something at least
that is appropriate," Stacy Bragg said.

Others are reluctantly heading back to the suburbs.

"The city school district had lost its accreditation," said Mia Levine, a Tower
Grove East resident with two young children who has put her restored row house
up for sale with plans to move into the Ladue School District. "We had to ask,
what does that mean? In my mind, why would I send my kids to a public school
without accreditation?"

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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #4 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:17pm
 
cont

RACE AND CLASS

The school issue is touchy among pro-city dwellers who pledged to roll back the
white and suburban flight that emptied out city neighborhoods for decades. Many
who belonged to Metropolis St. Louis — a pro-city group — said they were aware
of the school issue when they moved to the city, but didn't understand that
gambling on a house in a transitional neighborhood would be easier than taking
a risk on city public schools.

Some, like Claralynn and Matt Bollinger, who are white, argue that newer
residents have an obligation to give the city school system a try. The
Bollingers said the district allowed them to pick any non-magnet neighborhood
school for their preschooler. That enabled them to enroll her in the Meda P.
Washington School, a school they've found satisfactory.

"There are beacons of hope all over the place, and probably way more than
anyone would realize without looking at it," Matt Bollinger said of the
district.

That opinion is complicated, because some families, both white and black, are
given the option of district magnet schools, while others are not.

"If we're having people move back into the city, somehow we need to put our
children in the schools and get them involved to get things changed," said
Tracie Goffe, who is black and has a child at Kennard. "But at the same time,
nobody wants to sacrifice their kid to a bad school district. It's definitely a
quandary."

The lack of options and frustration with a magnet system that's not big enough
or inclusive enough vex Brooke Roseberry, another Metropolis founder, who is
white. Roseberry is a former lawyer who worked under Slay's Neighborhood Life
Initiative.

"I would hear so many people say, 'I'm moving because of the school,' and I
would think, 'You're an elitist, you're a racist,'" she said .

But she said as a parent she now understands.

"I realized that people with kids weren't leaving in droves because they
couldn't walk the walk, but because the forces were geared up against them, and
the systems in place were just constantly pushing people out."

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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #5 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:18pm
 
cont

STAY OR GO?

Wahby, with the mayor's office, said new families rightly deserve more for
their tax dollars.

"This isn't a white thing or a black thing. This is a family issue," she said.

This group, along with empty nesters and singles, has contributed to a
400-person increase in the city's population after years of decline, said Brady
Baybeck, director of the Program in Public Policy Administration at the
University of Missouri-St. Louis.

This growth came despite the fact that St. Louis Public Schools enrollment fell
from about 42,000 to 28,000 in the past eight years. Although demographers
can't fully trace where these city school kids went, city officials assume half
went to charter schools.

Wahby said many families, particularly in northern city neighborhoods, have
moved into St. Louis County. In the Hazelwood school district, enrollment
jumped by 2,600 students this year, with 22 percent formerly from St. Louis
city, an administrator said.

Lifelong city resident Heather Buckley-Wilson said her family will likely be
one of these suburban transplants if her twins don't get into a magnet school.

"The city schools are crumbling," she said. "I love the area where I live, but
you've got to make sacrifices for the kids."

Slay is placing his bets on charter schools. He's formed a support network to
create as many as 30 new charter schools in 10 years.

Melanie Adams, a member of the new state-appointed St. Louis Public School
Board, said parents are overlooking viable public school options. She said a
pending master plan for the district will yield quality options for parents and
their children throughout the district.

"The district didn't get this way overnight, and it's not going to get worked
out overnight," she said. "I know that's a hard thing to tell people."

Nancy.Cambria@post-dispatch.com
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #6 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 9:35am
 
My ex sister-in-law (several years ago) graduated from college and applied for teaching jobs in Southern Illinois and St. Louis (because her sister lived there).  She got a job in Carbondale almost immediately and when contacted by the St. Louis schools for an interview, she declined as she liked the job she had.  Two schools in St. Louis tried to hire her, without an application or an interview, just from her resume.  That they hire teachers, sight unseen, shows the problems that they are having.
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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #7 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 2:20pm
 
Ice-P wrote on Apr 30th, 2008 at 9:35am:
 Two schools in St. Louis tried to hire her, without an application or an interview, just from her resume.  That they hire teachers, sight unseen, shows the problems that they are having.  


We hire Superintendents that way.  Cheesy
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #8 - May 3rd, 2008 at 7:53pm
 
Haven't had a chance to go up to Chicago to check old newspaper articles about Swopes, yet. But, that is still on my agenda, right behind my priority (my 4 legged kids).

But, I read the St Louis paper last week. Finally, after many years, population growth is (was) positive. Those families, black and white, now have school age children and are faced with $ 14,000 private schools or moving back out. St Louis public school enrollment declined from 42, 000 to 28,000 in a fairly short time.

I saw that in California and I could see it in Cairo. Young couples move into areas because home prices are low and the area is interesting and, when their future children reach school age, they move back out.

Someone planning to move to Cairo referred to it as a "gay mecca". And, one of the first things I heard and continue to hear is about which "important" person is involved with which other "important" person of the same sex. Is that the city's master plan? Is that the school board's master plan? Is that why they appear to have no interest in taking any innovative (or even basic) steps in improving our public schools? Is that why they hired Swopes? I don't care if Cairo is a "gay mecca", but can't we still have a decent school system for the children who are already here and who will most likely remain here and give birth to the next generation of school children. Education can break the cycle of poverty. Isn't that what we all want? If not a better world, I would expect we all want lower taxes.

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still_here
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #9 - May 8th, 2008 at 10:12pm
 
I want lower taxes.  Smiley
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #10 - May 10th, 2008 at 8:13pm
 
New Cairoite wrote on May 3rd, 2008 at 7:53pm:
Someone planning to move to Cairo referred to it as a "gay mecca". And, one of the first things I heard and continue to hear is about which "important" person is involved with which other "important" person of the same sex. Is that the city's master plan? Is that the school board's master plan? Is that why they appear to have no interest in taking any innovative (or even basic) steps in improving our public schools? Is that why they hired Swopes?


A town of under 3000 in population can hardly be called any kind of mecca, lol.

What does the number of gays in power here have to do with Swopes?
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #11 - May 11th, 2008 at 10:43am
 
WOW!!! I never knew Cairo was a "gay mecca"!!!!  But now I know why there will never be a Hooters here.............
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #12 - May 11th, 2008 at 10:53am
 
hooters no ,, pooters maybe?? Undecided Undecided Undecided Undecided
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #13 - May 11th, 2008 at 12:00pm
 
Ice-P wrote on May 11th, 2008 at 10:43am:
WOW!!! I never knew Cairo was a "gay mecca"!!!!  But now I know why there will never be a Hooters here.............

Don't be so sure.  Grin Cool
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Re: What about the Teachers?
Reply #14 - May 11th, 2008 at 7:39pm
 
still_here wrote on May 8th, 2008 at 10:12pm:
I want lower taxes.  Smiley



Me too!   Sad
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