In a recent story by NPR, it addresses one of the topics we don’t hear about concerning education: zoning.
It sounds super boring, I know. Essentially, schools are divided into districts by the board. Whatever zone a person lives in determines which school he/she attends.
There are ways to contest these zones: Charter/Private schools, a parent teaching at another school, or just a simple request to change, are the major three. The more the education debate continues, the more people refuse to stay within their own “zones.”
Some schools are really suffering for it:
Nearly half of all students in East Nashville don’t attend their zoned school. Part of that is the district’s own doing. Open enrollment, a rising trend in districts around the country, made it so that students in Nashville can attend school just about anywhere they want — as long as there’s an open seat. And in East Nashville, competition is fierce among a crowd of private schools and charters.
I thought this story was interesting because it tells it through the eyes of the unsung sufferer: the principal of the school.
As a principal’s daughter, I can attest to the amount of work and energy that goes into selecting the perfect teachers and picking the perfect classrooms for the right kid. LaToya White feels the same struggle:
It’s Saturday in East Nashville, Tenn., and LaTonya White finds herself knocking on a stranger’s door. It’s awkward. Someone peers out at her through the window. White looks away, pretending not to notice. After an uncomfortable few seconds, the door finally cracks open.
It’s weird to think about school on a Saturday – especially if the assignment is recruiting students for a public school.
“I think we’re just moving to the place where we do have to sell ourselves, where we do have to market ourselves, where we do have to say, ‘Hey, look, this is what we’re doing,’ ” White says.
In today’s Common-Core, College driven world, good schools aren’t becoming a right anymore but a privilege to those who can jump on the opportunity to get their children enrolled. The great teachers that exist in public schools get to focus on under performing kids, but at the expense of a lot of government money:
Traditional public schools stand to lose a lot. With every student who chooses to leave his zoned school, roughly $10,000 of per-pupil funding goes with him. That’s why superintendent Jesse Register wants his schools pounding the pavement.