Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On the other hand

"Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I felt like I should follow up my last post by disagreeing with myself. It's that balance masquerading as contrariness thing.

That is to say, I am leaning toward voting to dissolve the MCS charter for the purpose of forcing consolidation. I still have misgivings. I still want someone to tell me how this is going to benefit my kids, and by "my" I mean the 164 that I currently teach, the 1800 at my school, and the six who live under my roof. I want to know that this is not about city vs. county, rich vs. poor, black vs. white, or us vs. them, but that it is about these children who are the future of this city, whether David Pickler wants to think they affect his life or not.

Speaking of the devil, I will say this: so many people who disgust me are against this happening that it must be right. I don't just mean Pickler, either. There is fierce opposition coming from both sides of the lines, and at the forefront on both sides are people who make me sick with their ignorance, small-mindedness, and plain old stupidity. Whatever they are for, I'm going to have to be against.

So, as Rooster Cogburn so elegantly put it, I always go backward when I'm backin' up. I don't know what's going to happen, but I am unwilling to believe that the entire metro area would sit back and watch a few spiteful morons rob the children of Memphis of their rightful education just to prove a point.

I am not much of a rule follower, but if there is one rule I try to follow in life it's this: never make important decisions based on fear. This consolidation has been too long in coming, and I think it would be a mistake to let this opportunity pass because we're scared of the unknown. Or of the likes of David Pickler.


Rita said...

I don't know who David Pickler is, but I don't like him. You got get 'em, Sassy.

Stephanie said...

But I AM scared of Pickler, and people like him. They are so hateful and hostile towards the MCS kids- why do I want to put my MCS kids in his hands? Aren't I right to be intimidated by his threats?

At the same time, I'm leaning towards consolidation myself. I can't believe they'd go into it without a real working plan of some sort. I just don't think they'll try to develop a plan until the charter is dissolved and they have no choice. Right now, we all want answers and want to know how consolidation will happen. But no one will quit arguing their side long enough to develop a plan. They'll have to eventually. Right?

Wendy said...

I believe Pickler too, but I believe that his veiled threats are toothless, in the sense that the County Commission will have the authority to truncate the terms of the current board, abolish it altogether, or, as Steve Mulroy promises, add to it in such a way that it reflects the full constituency. Pickler's a devil, yes, but his reign will be short, I think.

Anonymous said...

Is Stand for Children TN pushing for consolidation? I work closely with them here in IL but when I ask about the Memphis situation, the people that work here are too busy to follow TN.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, I need all of the information I can get. Its hard for me to vote for something for which there is no plan. My job is to evaluate proposals and make decisions based on planning, collaboration and ultimately what is best for the community. If I were to make my decision based on what is before me right now- no plan, hostility, VERY high risk factors- there is no way I could support it.

Kelly Fleming said...

The IEP was required by NCLB. However I have to claim the same level of bigotry but you are throwing it at the county.

Kristy, you have written some pretty offensive things on FB about SCS and you don't have the knowledge to judge it (see also your IEP slip...as if it is somehow unique to MCS or they did it prior to NCLB- Answer is they didn't)

MCS has a lot to offer and I am proud of that school system. I have advocated against the current consolidation plans because I believe it will fail the MCS students. I support the current funding of MCS because I believe the community I live in doesn't end in the borders of the towns. I live in Memphis metro and Memphis proper has a lot to offer me and more importantly the effort and money I put into Memphis proper services to benefit me and my prissy cousin community.

Stop thinking all of us in the county are the same. We aren't. And you are no morally better by doing that.

My son has not been failed by his school, in fact quite the opposite. I do not doubt he would have thrived as well in MCS. There are lots of things I don't like about SCS but I am tired of some of the MCS advocates bitching about how much we suck while accusing ALL of the county of being racists. It simply isn't true.

Stop reading the editorial pages and start talking to actual people who live in the county. Like say me..or my inlaws. (you know..the ones who are Wendy's cousins...)Or several of my son's teachers. Or one of the parents of my son's friends. All of whom are far closer to my view (and your rational bit) than the caricature of the county residents. We aren't all white flighters. We don't speak in terms of us against them. What we do speak of is...will this situation improve the educational experience for the MCS kids...and to be honest I can't find a reason I think that is the case. New board, dissolved collective bargaining, fresh start. The economic realities just don't support the idea that they can be sustained for a larger population.

And those who think that the optional schools transfer program, CLUE, and choice transfer wouldn't end? Well then you lack a basic understanding of the financial issues and the requirements that those would now be open to county students. Simply said...even if optional programs continued...with the exception of two IBAC schools in SCS they all are in the City. Well the competition for those slots would suddenly include lots of city students.

There are not funds in the entire county to provide CLUE like services beginning effectively on day 1 to the entire eligible student population. So bye to that.

And choice transfer...yeah. All the stereotypes that Kristy just used? Well don't you think those would be used to end choice transfer into the prissy cousin SCS schools?

Sassy Molassy said...

Where have I said that all county residents are the same and stereotyped them? I have specifically said that I know they are not all the same, and I also specifically said things like "we tend to think..." to make it clear that these are tendencies and general statements, not factual assessments of every single resident of Shelby County.

I grew up in the county and attended Shelby County Schools, and I have made it clear that much of my opinion of the county was based on that (not insignificant) experience. I don't know what "IEP slip" you are talking about. I never said the county doesn't use an IEP; I stated that I know and trust the way that process works in MCS and that I know from personal experience that it has not always worked that way in SCS. You also have no idea where I get information or whom I talk to. I actually spent a long time Saturday talking with a whole group of Germantown parents about the issue and found that most of them were for consolidation. I've talked to parents whose kids go to private schools about it. Unless you are following me around, don't presume to tell me anything about my sources.

You have no basis for saying that funding for optional and CLUE would be lost. You don't know what funding for any given program will look like once the consolidation is complete any more than anyone else does. Everything will change because the whole distribution of funds will be dramatically altered. It would not financially benefit the new district to cut optional programs, and there aren't any other benefits to doing so either. David Pickler wants to say those programs would end because he's trying to scare and intimidate the opposition.

You used the word "offensive" twice. I don't know what I've said that you are taking so personally or finding so offensive. I've made it clear that I am speaking from my own experience as a life-long Memphian, as a parent, and as a teacher. I notice you weren't so offended by those elements when I was agreeing with your position. Just because you choose to live in Bartlett, that's no reason to get defensive.

Kelly Fleming said...

If you don't want people to say you are rude and offensive I suggest you stop using inflammatory language.

If you want me to stop asking you to imply and extrapolate things, then stop doing that.

And yes, your IEP sentence was specifically set up to imply that Memphis does that and that SCS probably doesn't. Or even better than Memphis began doing it for a reason other than federal regulation.

Sassy Molassy said...

No one has said I was rude or offensive except for you. I don't see where I have used any inflammatory language.

How can you ask me to imply something? That doesn't even make sense.

If you are going to analyze my sentence structure for "intended" meaning, maybe you would like to read my palm and tell my fortune as well. And again, I notice you didn't have any comment on that sentence when it was part of a post that supported your position. It's only an issue now that I've disagreed with you.

Shannon said...

well said, sassy. (i didn't read the comments.)