Friday, November 30, 2007

Johnston High continued

I'd like to respond directly to DMD's comment on my post about Johnston. Yes I think a lot of the responsibility rests with the district (I never blamed the teachers and I still don't, I think the district abandoned them too.) I am the daughter, granddaughter, sister-in-law, niece, and friend of teachers. I think I have a pretty good grasp on the shit they have to go through. The reason I blame the district is because they did not do anything to keep the kids who don't have to work 40 hours a week from leaving. They did not address the problems at Johnston seriously until it was obvious the school was closing. From their actions, one would think that they want the school to close. And nobody wins in that case. If that school closes, other area schools have to absorb the kids and it will hurt the kids in those other schools because a lot of the Johnston kids are going to have the same problems they had at Johnston (abseentism, discipline problems, language barriers, teen pregnancy, etc.) and suddenly they're befriending kids at the other AISD schools and we've got more kids falling prey to the above problems. I also think responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents and the students themselves. But the district needed to do more to get the students and the parents involved. Webb Middle School was turned around by community involvement. But on the other hand, it is very hard for people who have an income of $9,000 a year to get involved in the school. They are probably too busy scrambling to keep their family from starving to death. The parents of the children who left the school in droves, the ones who are upwardly mobile enough to transfer their children, they are the ones whose involvement would have saved it. Which is why I think Dr. Forgione is too late and probably wanted it that way. You would not believe how racist Austin is, it is astounding. Houston is much more integrated. When I first moved here my eyes practically bugged out of head at the segregation: white folk on the west side of 35, black and hispanic folk on the east side. Oh, and don't drive on the east side, white girl, you get a cap in your ass. Which of course is not like it is at all.

Okay, I'm climbing off my soapbox now. Seriously, DMD, thanks for your comment, I really do enjoy thinking about why I have my position on things. I don't get to argue with people I disagree with enough because I don't work with Republicans anymore!


Mindy said...

Is now a good time to mention the abstinence-only credo and the sexual dichotomy reinforced by this program in Texas? (not trying to start a new debate, I just read both posts and I really think this is related) I dont know about Austin, but DFW has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the US and a complete lack of skill sets to help teen parents succeed.

from what I read, it seems that this is ultimately a numbers game and those who dont add up correctly will simply be marginalized. Whats the motivation? Based on my understanding of the links you provided, its too easy to chalk it up as a loss. I imagine Dr. Forgione still has a modicum of job security, even if the people hurt by his actions have to find another way to get by.

Mindy said...

I apologize. I shouldn't go off in a rant on your blog. That's bad manners.

I know I don't explain myself very well. It just makes me sad cause I feel like alot of people are abandoning the public school system instead of staying the course and trying to improve what we have.

dmd said...

What do you think they should have done to keep the good kids from leaving? The magnet program seemed like a good idea at the let kids choose any school as long as they academically qualify for the program. If I were a parent I'd make sure that my kid was a magnet student. If anyone proposed taking it away and I had to make my child go to the school where I work, I'd yank her from HISD in a heartbeat and she's be in a private school.