Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Snicholsblog takes to the Street!

It's been a long dry spell for Snicholblog. What with our son still recovering from his long term illness and me entering ministerial school in January, I haven't had a lot of extra time. But the Sacramento Bee's editor and columnist Dan Weintraub has coaxed me out of bloggerial retirement and into a new blog he's created at the Sac Bee called "Street Talk" which is meant to cover the word on the street in Sacramento. For technical reasons, I'm just blogging now on a regular Bee log-in but soon it'll be picked up by Street Talk. I'll keep you posted. Hope the link above works. Here's my first post:

Sutter Middle School at Risk?

As the mother of two students at Sutter Middle School (one in 7th, one in 8th grade), I am concerned at the School Board's proposal to split several hundred students and some teachers off and send them to Kit Carson Middle School.

Republicans in the state legislature have forced local school districts to make these kind of insane proposals because they put their insane taxation pledges and policies ahead of the needs of California's children. So school districts' budgets have been slashed, and everything is up for consideration.

Sutter Middle School is rare oasis of success and creativity in California/Sacramento public education. Several years back, a new principal took over a Sutter Middle School with a dwindling central city population and breathed new life into it by attracting top teachers from all over the city, mandating daily physical education and setting high standards for schoolwork, attendance and discipline.

The model worked. Today Sutter is over-enrolled and is top of the wish list for students all over the area who pray for the lottery to pick them through the "Open Enrollment" process.

Fortunately for us, our children are among the precious few who are actually in district for Sutter, a situation so rare the school registrar actually does a double-take when she sees such addresses.

So why mess with success? Kit Carson Middle School nearby apparently has way fewer students than it needs and might have to close. So Sacramento Unified thinks the obvious solution is to break up this successful school to try to infuse Carson with new students and teachers.

Seems pretty crazy to me. Why not bring in a new principal and a new model and re-do Carson from the ground up? Or, if it's not serving the population, maybe it should be closed.

No comments: