Home » Education »Featured »Politics/Policy »STL Region »Sunday Poll » Currently Reading:

Poll: Should schools be forced to take students from unaccredited districts?

October 6, 2013 Education, Featured, Politics/Policy, STL Region, Sunday Poll 19 Comments

The poll this week is an exact duplicate of a poll run by the St. Louis Business Journal in June:

Should schools be forced to take students from unaccredited districts?

  • Yes, education is that important
  • No, it isn’t fair to taxpayers and students

I couldn’t come up with any better phrasing, so it’ll have to do.

Left to right: Sharon Reed (KMOV), Eric Knost, Mehlville superintendent, Ty McNichols, Normandy superintendent, and moderator from St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Unaccredited schools are now paying overcrowded schools to accept transfer students. The transfer process was chaotic. Is this really the best we can do as a region?

The poll is in the right sidebar for a week.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Is this a regional problem or a statewide issue? State law created the current chaos, but the desire for “local control” seems to be the real, underlying problem. We already have some semblance of equal per-pupil spending, and we continue to have vastly different experiences and outcomes. Why? Some (many?) parents are engaged in their children’s education and some (many?) parents have strong opinions about which style of teaching (Montessori, back-to-basics, language immersion, arts-focused, science-focused, etc, etc, etc.) and they continually push school districts to offer whatever “flavor” they think will work best along with small classes. Add in the trend to mainstream “special needs” students and you also have a wide range of teaching needs within individual classrooms. This results in a major fragmentation of resources, both between schools and within schools.

    Adding a new layer, by shifting students out of underpeforming districts, seems to offer little opportunity for real change in outcomes. The major benefactors seem to be the bus companies and the advocates for using public funds to support private schools. We will NEVER get to the point where every student is above average, it’s a statistical impossibility! We can continue to “raise the bar”, but the basic intellectual pool is going to remain constant. Some students will be smarter and do better. Some students will be better prepared and do better. Some students will fail and/or drop out. This has been going on ever since we began offering public education. Should we be surprised that there’s a direct correlation between demographics and student performance? Will putting all students in the “best” schools (and closing the “worst” ones) result in real change? Or, will the Law of Large Numbers kick in? Are we chasing a statistical impossibility?

  2. moe says:

    The system is broken from State legislators ‘buying’ votes by passing their latest pet project with the lure of proceeds going to school funding but taking the same money out the back door of the school budget to local boards having power trips to parents not having the resources to commit to educating their children to those in power not having any knowledge of proper education techniques or subject matter, and on and on and on.
    Who loses: the kids. From all districts.

  3. RyleyinSTL says:

    This is an American wide issue and goes way beyond transfer problems. The American Education system is a joke. Almost as if the USA has given up on it’s children. I had always assumed that most Americans were just misinformed when claiming that their education system was broken and insured that kids (particularly poor kids) received a deplorable education. I mean, why would ‘Merica put up with that?!

    Turns out the short answer was “my money is for my kids education and screw everybody less fortunate.” Not really my ideal but then I’m not an American.

  4. Tom says:

    We may all be born “equal”, but we don’t die “equal”. And in the path between life and death, maintenance of equally should not be guaranteed. It should be worked for. Daily, we in America move further down the path of socialism. Opening up our better performing schools to “outsiders” because of under-performance in city and some county schools is nothing but socialism personified. Kids are taught that they will benefit despite their own efforts–that “someone” else will always “fix it”. A healthy learning environment has nothing to do with brass and glass and marble and huge, modern gyms, swimming pools and carpeted classrooms. It has to do with attitude, hard work and commitment–and parental involvement, guidance and encouragement. And without parental involvement, guidance and encouragement, students will fail, whether they’re attending school in their own neighborhood in a 1904 vintage three-story Ittner-designed building or a sleek Trivers-designed one-story in Town And Country. Does anyone think that these transfer”parents” are going to show any more interest in their kids’ educations just because their kids travel 60 minutes one way to get to their new school? Hell NO! Dad will continue to sit in front of the TV from 6:30 to 10:30 each evening, watching football or one of the too-many reality shows that clutter the airwaves, while the kids are hopefully trying to concentrate on their homework in the next room, despite all the TV racket! Or the luckier kids will have a quiet house to study in because Dad is out whoring around in some neighborhood bar. When kids learn that they can be rescued, they’ll become willing victims of rescue. And I wonder how far will this government go to rescue people from themselves? Next year, will the government issue all parents, whose whose kids are being rescued, a brand new Lexus so the kids aren’t embarrassed when Mom or Dad picks them up in front of their school peers? It’s entirely possible, based on current trends! Obama care is already well on its way to destroy the element of personal initiative in the medical profession, and now our president is working on all facets of society to “even the playing field” among those who have worked for an education and successful lifestyle and those who got through school because they outgrew the desks, got their first job when they were still living in their parents home, making $4.50 an hour–enough to buy the brand new sports car–and still today don’t make much more than minimum wage because they lack education, personal initiative and the tenacity to stick with an effort until it’s achieved. I challenge the parents whose kids are being transferred to show some interest in their kids’ schoolwork, to turn off the fucking TV after the 6:00 news is over so that their kids have a quiet environment to study in, to stay with their kids every evening and encourage them in their studies, on their special projects, checking up on their homework each evening, demanding and rewarding excellence, encouraging the kids to get involved in SOMETHING at school (Band, orchestra, football, chess club, newspaper, yearbook–whatever), and making sure the kids get plenty of rest in the evenings so they can go to school the next day to do their jobs! My TV is OFF between the hours of 6:30 and 10:00 PM, whether or not there’s a football game I want to watch or a movie I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t! I create an atmosphere that encourages academic excellence, and the results are visible. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure it all out!

    • JZ71 says:

      Disagree on several points. One, the parents of transferring students care way more about their kids than the parents who are just leaving their students in failing schools in failing districts – they’re trying to do the best for their kids within the constraints of the current laws and their own economic resources / limitations. Two, if you’re being bused, the opportunities to participate after-school opportunities are limited by one’s need to get back home (which gets back to the not-so-subtle politics of busing students way further than necessary to find better-performing schools). Three, quiet may work for your kids, but one size does not fit all. And four, poverty / lack of income / lack of parental involvement does NOT necessarily equal a lack of effort, especially in today’s economy. Many parents have been laid off, many are working in minimum-wage (or slightly-better) jobs, and many are working more than one job to keep the family afloat. Judging is easy. Yes, there are plenty of slackers out there, but there are also many out there that haven’t caught the breaks that you apparently have.

      • Tom says:

        So I wonder what makes the old school bad and the new school so good? Could it be the attitude of the students who attend? But a “pupil” is not a “student”. Certainly you’re not one who believes that a fancy classroom will necessarily serve the students better than wood floor, wood desks and strip lighting! And I’m certain the teachers from the old school are, on average, as well prepared as those in the county school. Or if they’re not qualified, or if they haven’t been keeping up to date, they should be terminated–regardless of ethnicity. I sense that at least some of the parents who took advantage of the transfer offer did it ONLY because it was another freebie. We’ll see. And we’ll see what effect the transfer has on the transfer students, and on those who were there first! Unless the test scores are manipulated, I sense disaster. And I didn’t get any breaks, JZ71. My grade school was far from even the standard of even a 1900 Ittner school building. I wasn’t handed a transfer to Fairhope or Daphne school systems. I made do with Elberta school district, long before the new school building was constructed.. I really think that all the money spent on gasoline, tires and bus drivers today should be spent on educating parents to learn how to be parents of school age kids. And until someone can prove differently,I wonder what better environment than “quiet” there could possibly be to learn reading comprehension, math functions, study the Periodic Table, and read and interpret history at home.

        • JZ71 says:

          Hey, I agree on why the better schools are better and I share your concerns about “lowering the curve”, by bringing in less-well-prepared students. I also agree that money spent on busing would be better spent in making neighborhood schools better. My comments were aimed primarily at your (apparent) characterization that all students and all parents in poor-performing districts are slackers out looking for freebies from “us” hard-working, tax-paying ‘mericans. Some are, but many more are struggling for reasons that may or may not be beyond their control. One major one is single parenthood, another one is outright racial prejudice; others include job loss, bankruptcy and/or major medical expenses. It’s great that you can afford to live in a great school district, but as both you and I know, the price of admission can be steep. I certainly don’t want to see your kid’s district degraded, and I sure don’t have the answers for keeping poorly-performing districts from going completely into the crapper, but to say that “I’ve worked hard for mine” and that everyone else should just suck it up and work harder is pretty damn elitist. If we don’t like the law, let’s get our Republican legislature to FIX IT – as it stands now, their only course of action seems to be to ignore it and it’ll just go away – it WON’T!

    • moe says:

      “Opening up our better performing schools to “outsiders”…” In other words, we have ours, screw everyone else.

      • Tom says:

        The verb is wrong, Moe. It should read, “We earned ours; screw everyone else.” Certainly there are exceptions to the stereotype I outlined above. But until we as a nation force those who can’t keep their zippers zipped and their legs closed to live by the choices they intentionally make, we are going to nurture a nation of piglets sucking at the teat of the American taxpayer. It’s perfectly fine for rams, billys and bulls to spend their days rutting and devoting their attention to finding yet another female to rut as soon as they’re done doing this one! But when we reward members of our own species for this same behavior, we have gone overboard. We’ve admitted to them that we expect this type of behavior from them, (that they’re really no better than a billy) and we’re going to do everything in our power to make their lives less miserable, even though they themselves are probably not doing the same. Sorry, Republican here through and through, and I’ll never accept socialism in my life.

        • moe says:

          Then maybe the republicans can pull their heads out of the collective butts and start realizing that sex education needs to be taught in school. Then and only then will we begin to end the endless cycle. But “forcing” those to keep their zippers zipped and legs crossed is like outlawing abortion and thinking that by outlawing it, it’s going to disappear. That ‘intentionally make’ is the conservative talking point bull (along with the teat of the American taxpayer). It’s not like 14 and 15 year olds go out and purposely get pregnant. Ask how many do and your response % will be extremely low….almost all will be by accident. Because they weren’t taught…doesn’t matter where or how….they weren’t taught. Period. Address that before complaining of all the moochers.
          But I have yet to hear from one of the affected school district anything along the lines of “our system seems to be working and we will be more than glad to share our successes…either by pointing others in the right direction or willingly opening their doors. And those that are opening their doors are doing so only because they can make money off of it, not for the better of the students.
          So yeah, well you may think you have ‘earned’ yours….try to remember that not everyone has the opportunity to ‘earn’ theirs….due to a number of societal and family issues. Your family is lucky. Perhaps you should remember that.

          • Tom says:

            Actually, my comment about unplanned pregnancy was not directed so much to the students, as to the parent! (There typically seems to be only ‘one’ in the family unit. And it’s strange that this is becoming an accepted norm!) It’s all part of the parenting-thing. If parents were responsible, if they were the grown-ups, then their kids would learn responsible and grown-up behavior from them. But this unfortunately isn’t the case.

            Moral behavior cannot be legislated. Moral behavior can only be learned from parents. When the parents lack an appreciation for moral behavior, it’s obvious that their kids will as well. And sex education isn’t difficult to understand. I seriously doubt that anyone old enough to engage in sexual behavior doesn’t understand the potential consequences of his behavior. But when society rushes in with a bucket full of social programs and bail out money, medical vouchers and free food available to anyone who sits at the table, what’s the motivation to abstain from sex or to even use protection? Why not fill up that kitchen table with as many children as the table will accommodate?

            Things are only going to get worse–not better, until we establish consequences and penalties for lazy and irresponsible behaviors that are becoming the norm in certain segments of our society.

            Now I’m leaving to go to WORK.

          • JZ71 says:

            You seem to think that most single-parent households with school-age kids are the result of unplanned teenage pregnancies. Most single-parent households I’m familiar with are the result of divorce. While we can argue the merits of staying married for better or for worse, especially if kids are involved, the reality is that half of all marriages end in divorce, in ALL segments of our society. If you want to feel / believe that you’re inherently superior just because your marriage remains intact, so be it.

          • moe says:

            Actually, Tom made no claim as to the sanctity, validity, length or NUMBER of his marriages. I’m sure he’s been married only once, same with his relatives, his parents, their parents, and on and on and he never had sex outside of marriage either, afterall this is the internet. He just points out many of the thoughts behind the, and again, “I’ve got mine, screw the rest” attitude so embedded in the republican platform.
            This poll was about forcing school districts to take in students from failing districts. Tom’s typed his view. Mine is that as a gay man, I will never use the primary education system again, yet I continue to fund it through my taxes. (My WORKING taxes). Do I wish I could keep that money and use it for something personal? Sure do. But then again, I also realize that schooling the next generation is probably the most important thing our society can do as a WHOLE and paying for someone else’s education is the cost of living in society. Some get it, some don’t.

          • Tom says:

            You are right, Moe. I have been married only once. My parents were married once. All my married brothers and sisters are still on their first marriage. Younger brothers are still in college, and who knows how their lives will be impacted by today’s values? When we marry, I really believe in the commitment that we make to remain married until we die. I believe in the sanctity of that commitment. Sex outside of marriage? Hell, it’s just not worth it! After all, when I’m on the road and “things” are looking good, I stop and remember that in 10 minutes it’s all over with anyway…and once it is, it really doesn’t matter what form it took, does it? And like you, I have chosen not to use the “primary education system” as well, since my kids attend private schools. I too wish the taxes I pay for schools could somehow be diverted to a more personal use, but that doesn’t happen in the real world. Yet like you I still pay my taxes.

          • moe says:

            Well aren’t you and your family just perfect! Isn’t the internet wonderful?

          • Tom says:

            It’s not perfection. It’s the right thing to do. And it has nothing to do with the internet.

    • RyleyinSTL says:

      “Daily, we in America move further down the path of socialism.”

      This right wing qwip is getting bothersome and is absurdly ignorant. The USA is not even close to a socialistic state. My native Canada often gets this criticism from Yanks and even that assumption is misplaced.

      Ensuring all Americans have a better standard of living will greatly improve this nation. Just ask every other western democracy.

    • samizdat says:

      Short reply: you’re a degenerate. Long reply coming, with my steel-toed boot to follow up your ass.

      It’s late, and I don’t want to go to bed with a headache thinking about this smug jerk who doesn’t know that he’s mighty lucky to still have a job, and lives in a municipality which gets most of its revenue from retail (and hasn’t collapsed as of yet), and who has one of the most monochromatic and ignorant views on life I’ve seen this side of a StlToday or Freeper comment thread, and whose views are all too common in our society, somehow cannot reconcile his views with his Christianity (such as it is).

      Oy, where do these people come from, and where did their consciences disappear to?

      • Tom says:

        Your initial comments would indicate that you are on the receiving end. Strange how that skews one’s perspective. I seriously doubt that your expanded comments will suggest anything different.


Comment on this Article: