I am supremely disappointed in the Board's decision, but not surprised by Collins. Any adult who uses "U" in what should be a professional email and can't spell "African" shouldn't have been elected to begin with, and certainly not RE-elected. I'm not at all sure what motivated the rest of those folks to vote with him. Rev Collins should have abstained from the vote. As a person closely connected to Hursey and the issue, it was a direct conflict of interest for him to vote on it. It's just beyond comprehension that Tom Ducker, Elizabeth Moffly, & Michael Miller would ignore the overwhelming desires of Hursey parents AND the Neighborhood Planning Team when making the decision. Politics makes such strange bedfellows.
Fish Pimp-I'm both surprised and angry that an elected official would send an email like the one quoted in the article to ANYONE, especially a constituent. I have a low tolerance for grammar and typing errors anywhere, and in what should be a professional email exchange, it's downright unacceptable. Additionally, it looks like the tone of the email was rude and insulting. I agree with vol-2222: Chris Collins should abstain from voting on this issue. It impacts him directly, as he has children at Hursey...one on each "side" of the school. The inconvenience of possibly having 2 kids at different schools is what prompted him to fight the move by the district to transition Hursey to a full Montessori school.
NO neighborhood children are being pushed out of the school. There are fewer than 270 children living in the Hursey attendance zone and 100 of them are NOT attending Hursey. Only 167 of the Hursey enrollment (just under 400 students) come from the neighborhood attendance zone. The students in the neighborhood attendance zone receive FIRST priority in the partial magnet/Montessori school. This is the case currently, and as long as the Montessori school at Hursey is a partial magnet, this will remain the case. Even when the school is at capacity, if a child moves into the attendance zone, he/she will be allowed to enroll in the Montessori school.
As the parent of 2 minority boys, I find the blanket statement that "minority boys...they need more structure," offensive, at best. I do think that parents who are interested in the Montessori school at Hursey (or elsewhere in the district) should receive education on the method and techniques that are used in the classroom. It is definitely different, but I would argue "different" doesn't necessarily mean "less structure." With 56% of students at Northwoods Middle not meeting minimum PASS requirements in English/Language Arts, perhaps different is a good thing.
This discussion should not be about whether Montessori is "better than" traditional, though. It should be about choice. For those neighborhood children that aren't interested in Montessori, there are several other elementary school choices within a few miles of Hursey that are performing as well or better than Hursey (based on the state report card). No one would be "forced" to send their children to 2 different schools. Yes, it would be mildly inconvenient, but we are lucky, in CCSD to have the option of a public Montessori school. We are lucky to have that choice to make!
The bottom line is that the decision that the CCSD School Board will make next week should be based on equity throughout the district, choice (that the that both the Superintendent's office AND the Board have supported to this point), and also fiscal responsibility. The district has spent a good deal of money on construction at Hursey already, making existing classrooms compatible with the Montessori method. If the Board is not going to transition Hursey to a full Montessori school for the residents of North Charleston, then where will that school be? Is the Board prepared to build another new school? If the Montessori school is moved out, what will happen to Hursey? Will the district continue to support an under enrolled school? North Charleston students and families (now and future) deserve the same options as choices available to those living in other parts of the Charleston County School District.
Powered by Foundation
© Copyright 2013,
Charleston City Paper