16 thoughts on “Heiner’s Latest Ad Focuses On Education

  1. Hal Heiner just won the Mayor’s election for this year. George’s son simply doesn’t have the balls to say and do what has to be done, on this issue, because he’s totally out-of-touch with the ‘everyday family’ in this county. Sad, but true. Good night Irene, It’s been good to know ya.

  2. Doesn’t expanding magnet programs mean students would have to ride buses , sometimes for long distances, to reach the school of their choice?

    All this is interesting, but we are missing the real issue here. Where does Heiner stand on the yoga?

  3. I think “choice” is the wrong way to go to achieve diversity in schools. They should concentrate on combining neighborhoods that are closer together (say, St. Matthews and Field elementaries) and sticking to it year after year. There would be busing, but not as far and pretty consistent. Save the magnets for high school and let kids compete for slots in just a few. If a teen is willing to ride a long way, that’s fine. Choice in public schools is a red herring – most places don’t have it. Make the schools more alike and the rides shorter in elementary school, and it won’t be such a big deal to get the “right” school. Of course, I’m not running for mayor.

  4. There are MULTIPLE (maybe even two dozen) ways/methods to improve the local public school system — however, JCPS/Berman are a drunken horse with blinkers. They are UNWILLING to try neighborhood schools or charter schools or any method OTHER THAN the busing of tens of thousands of kids hundreds of thousands of miles spending millions and millions of dollars – with the result that NCLBehind testing ranks JCPS as 118 out of 174 school districts IN KENTUCKY, WHICH IS THE 5TH WORST STATE IN THE NATION. Time to improve and try NEW IDEAS.

  5. It is time to try new ideas. Diversity and a creative plan for strong schools are not “either/or”. Berman has a one-track mind, he does not understand the Louisville community and when test scores come out tomorrow I would hope there is a huge outcry from the community. Rumor has it that six more high schools will need to be “restructured” making almost HALF of all high schools in trouble. I will comment more tomorrow. It is a mess!

  6. Louisville is segregated. Neighborhood schools would be segregated. A call for neighborhood schools is there, like it or not, a call to return to segregated schools. Busing is not the solution to our “failing”” schools, but Thats not the problem it was designed to solve. It was designed to provide diversity in our schools. It has solved that problem, though I don’t suggest it’s been without drawbacks. But talking about our NCLB scores and busing together is kind of silly. Do you want children experiencing racial and socio-economical diversity in school? Then calls for an end to the school assignment plan without proposing an alternative are irresponsible. Of course, if you don’t see the problem with segregated schools, if you don’t understand why it’s a problem to have schools that are 97% white and 97% black, then Hal Heiner is obviously your man. But know that for 35 years school choice and neighborhood schools have been used as code words in this community for resegregation. And it’s insulting to pretend that Heiner’s position on this is progressive.

  7. I was feeling pretty good about Heiner before this shallow provocation. Now he’s lost me, but I’m stumped: to whom?! The prospects are bleak. I’d check out until 2014, but a lot of damage can be done by then…

  8. Busing and diversity are not the same thing! Using busing as the major–and in reality the only–tool for achieving the goal doesn’t work. I have been a supporter of diversity all my adult life. What I object to is a simplistic and set-up-to fail approach instead of one that uses a number of creative approaches to the issue. What is so great about letting schools in the west and southwest parts of the county languish? What is so great about taking a program that was helping the schools to make progress–Every 1 Reads–and dumping it because it wasn’t born in Hudson MA? What is so great about spending millions of dollars on math and science that have had little or no impact?
    Finally, what is so great that some people support the continued abuse of young children in a very flawed busing program? I am talking about the long term effects that THIS busing plan will have on many children. This is not about Heiner, this is about our kids.

  9. Challenging the student assignment plan may have argumentative merits, but this is a mistake for Heiner, as it could curb his newfound support by progressives, and at the same time be seen as pandering, as the mayor has nothing to do with deciding this matter. If this is about serving red meat to get his base to the polls, that is also likely a waste, as that base already is relatively fired up this election season.

    That said, reducing class sizes and enhancing choice through magnet programs (which increases, not decreases busing) are useful thoughts, and really would enhance local education. But again, he can’t decide these things as mayor.

    Advice to Heiner: Move to another ad quickly.

  10. You’re right on this Steve. I would caution you, though, not all progressives support this particular plan.
    Boston, Chicago, New York and others have moved their schools under the mayor. What would it take to do it here? Would we even want to?

  11. The JCPS Board proved that it was totally tone deaf several weeks ago by announcing late on a Friday afternoon they intended to consider a PROPERTY TAX INCREASE the following Monday. Friday is a notorious light news day – so the information was (in large measure) hidden from the public with NOTHING LIKE the public input would have been if the issue had been publicly discussed for a couple weeks. The next Monday they passed it 6-1 (I THINK). This action was undertaken without ANY EFFORT, WHATSOEVER, to cut costs or reduce salaries of administrators or do ANYTHING to reduce costs. At a time when the economy is worse than at any time since the Great Depression, these blokes raise property taxes. THEY ALL DESERVE TO BE KICKED OUT BECAUSE OF THEIR TIN EAR = EVEN IF THERE WASN’T A BUSING PROBLEM AND A STATISTICALLY FAILED EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.

  12. i’d caution against the direction “Laurie Spezzano”s post heads. i think anytime parents and students (and people in general for that matter) have more choice and are coerced less, then society is better off. people know what they want better than bloodless bureaucracies do.

  13. Most Louisville neighborhoods have a racial population composition in which one group outnumbers others. Put another way, few neighborhoods have a population mix that proportionately reflects racial population percentages county-wide. I don’t know that you can call that “segregration”, 43 years after the Board of Alderman passed the Open Housing Ordinance or whether you might just call it a vestigial sociological phenomenon. Even so, student population mixes at “neighborhood schools”, in the absence of racial enrollment quotas, would, indeed, reflect the populations of the neighborhoods in which they are located. I don’t think this would be the same thing as “segregated”, especially as defined in the old days, as much as it would be racially “oriented”, but I won’t quibble over semantics. Given JCPS’ NCLB scores, I think we’re at a point where we can reasonably conclude that desegregating schools by way of busing, in and of itself, has not increased the quality of education here. Indeed, then, busing is not the solution to our “failing” schools. Busing was, however, originally touted as a tool for remedying widely disparate education performance between white, county schools and black, city schools when the original lawsuit went to Judge Heyburn back in the early 70’s. The concept of “diversity” was not fully in play then, so I don’t think it can be assuredly said that there was ever any intent for busing to promote “diversity”. Again, even so, one thing busing definitely does do is promote diversity by creating student body enrollments of varied racial identities that do not directly reflect the neighborhoods in which they are situated. Therefore, I think the question here is whether or not we can qualitatively say that “busing” for the purpose of racial desegregation, does in fact, improve educational achievement of students. Put another way, does “diversity” improve educational achievement? Or are we going to say that “diversity” is a separate or additional aim of education? 35 years out, there probably still are some people around for whom “neighborhood schools” represents a desired return to segregated schools. For those of us who were bused and are now parents of public school students, maybe “neighborhood schools” just means we want our littlest ones to go to the nearest Elementary school a block or a mile away and let the older ones ride buses cross-town.

  14. JeffnClifton: Your comments and thoughts are (as they say in the UK) “spot on.” I have a few asides. (i) The original case went to Judge James F. Gordon. Heyburn was barely out of law school when the first busing cases developed in the early 1970s; (ii) the NCLB testing has proven that busing of ANY age of students is an ‘academic’ failure; (iii) social engineering of virtually anything (which Louisville politicos encouraged by the CJ have undertaken for a half century) doesn’t succeed — whether it’s the ‘return to downtown’ or Cordish’s retail shopping downtown or two or one way streets downtown, etc. In a free society the public decides these ‘things’ by their personal preferences. Those ‘preferences’ are developed by family heritage and education. SO, IMO, when the languishing NCLB test scores rise, the public’s academic level will rise and THINGS like the CJ will have less and less influence around here and people will begin to ‘think for themselves.’ WHAT A NOVEL IDEA.

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