Saturday, August 18, 2007

Futility of Good Intentions

The local paper,, has been running a series on how screwed up the HSV schools are. Like a few remaining school systems, many in the South, the HSV schools are governed by an agreement with the Federal Justice Department on desegregation. This has been since 1970, and despite as my father states, who lived here in the Sixties, they were one of the first systems in Alabama to desegregate. Because of this the entire distribution of elementary students is screwed up. There is a fancy, model development being built in West HSV. The developer donated land to build a school, assuming the people who bought his houses would go there. They built a K-8 school.

As this is the newest, and considered best, school the system began transferring children from other non-performing elementary schools. They were also attempting to balance the racial make-up of the school. They also zoned it for a huge area of expansion for the city to the West. So now the new school is 20% overcrowded, and there are other elementary schools within a few miles of it that are at 33-50% capacity. They won't transfer students to these schools as it "might" violate the desegregation agreement, and also they don't want to move back to their old schools. There are less then 20 kids going to the school from the housing development it is in. Of course, parents are up in arms over this. The school system basically has labeled these parents as "racist". So nobody will do anything, and the system will stay out of whack with lots of unhappy parents.

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