A Republican takes an unpopular school diversity stand and wins a Profile in Courage award

I was intrigued to read that a school board member from Wilmington, N.C., won a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her stand on school diversity. The news announcement contained little detail about what Elizabeth Redenbaugh did to earn the award,  so I searched the news archives of the local paper to find out more about her.

Elizabeth Redenbaugh

Elizabeth Redenbaugh

An attorney and mother of three, Redenbaugh was elected to a four-year term on the New Hanover school board in 2008. Among the news stories was a controversial letter she wrote on why she was voting against a school redistricting plan that restored neighborhood schools and that had the support of many residents.  The plan, Redenbaugh said, would create middle-class enclaves and consolidate poverty in two schools, setting them up for failure.

In writing about her stance, the Wilmington Star-News said:

Rarely does a politician take a stand so bold and so potentially unpopular that it may mean the end of any further aspirations for elective office. But in a letter sent to a few parents and her fellow board members, New Hanover County school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh, a white Republican, outlined the need for better socioeconomic and racial diversity in our classrooms.

She almost certainly will not prevail — her four GOP counterparts adhere to the misleading “neighborhood schools” label. Few neighborhoods are close enough to a school to call it part of the neighborhood, and our neighborhoods are segregated. But she and the board’s two Democrats, Dorothy DeShields and Nick Rhodes, have at least acknowledged that schools cannot guarantee equality in education when the scales are so heavily tipped.

Here is Redenbaugh’s letter, which caught the attention of the Profile in Courage judges:

I cannot vote in favor of any redistricting plan where the overwhelming majority of students at any given school qualify for free or reduced lunch. It has been projected that Map 2B creates a free or reduced lunch population at Williston and Virgo of 64 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Based upon competent data, one can also project that those schools will be failing schools.

Redistricting must be accomplished through the intrinsic lens of our district’s mission statement: to reach children and equip them to achieve their full potential.

Given the overwhelming likelihood Williston and Virgo will be failing schools under the “neighborhood school” maps presented thus far, I do not see how I can in good conscience vote in favor of those maps.

Sending any child from any background to a school where, based upon data, I know will be a failing school does not assist our district in accomplishing its mission. In fact, I consider such a vote to be unconscionable. I respectfully disagree with you. Based upon the foregoing, a vote for “neighborhood schools” is not in the best interest of all children of New Hanover County.

I wish your statement that parents who support neighborhood schools care about children in struggling schools was 100 percent accurate, but it is not.

There are myriad reasons parents support the neighborhood school concept. Many of those reasons are legitimate, and should be taken into consideration, while others reflect an ugly truth about our society. I have literally had parents who wore red shirts and spoke passionately at the elementary school redistricting forums last fall approach me and state, “The bottom line is this: I do not want my children in school with black children.”

I have had parents ask me why we do anything at all for the black children in our county. They look me in the eye and say, “we have spent so much money on black children. We have improved their schools, reduced class size and given them better teachers. Nothing helps. I don’t know why we even try anymore.”

Now that we are about to open a middle school in Castle Hayne, I have even had parents say to me, “I do not want my child to attend school with rednecks.” Such statements literally grieve my heart and beg the question: Who is my neighbor?

I am not giving up on those students. Moreover, I am not giving up on any of our students. When I visit a school, I see hope. I see promise. I see that in all students, regardless of their background. I am also not giving up on this school district. We have the teachers, staff and financial resources that, if leveraged wisely and appropriately, can make this the highest performing school district in the state of North Carolina. I believe each and every one of our schools can be a high achieving school.

Is redistricting based upon socioeconomic status the panacea? No, but it is a good start. There are many other factors that need to come into alignment and my colleagues and I on the Board have set those wheels in motion through the hours we spent this summer creating a Strategic Plan for our school district.

Those who advocate for neighborhood schools would like you to think that people like me have some demonic plan to bus your children all over this county. That is simply not true.

Those who favor redistricting based upon socioeconomic factors want to minimize busing. That is why one of the previous middle school redistricting maps was taken off the table. Our redistricting committee had gone back to the drawing board as requested and came back with a map that was far more sensible with regard to busing, while still accomplishing the goal of capping the free or reduced lunch population at each middle school at 50 percent.

What this board needs from people like you is their trust. Trust that we can accomplish our mission for all students.

I respect the passion you have advocating for your children. I feel just as passionately for my three children; however, I now have the added responsibility of looking out for over 24,000 children. …

Elizabeth Redenbaugh

From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

106 comments Add your comment

Ernest

March 23rd, 2011
11:33 am

Maureen, you are on a roll this week! Good find. The letter speaks for itself….

Suavez

March 23rd, 2011
11:44 am

Nobody wants to send their kids to school with poor black kids if they can afford not to. That’s why I bought a house in Morningside. Even there we have enough disruptive black kids that the teacher cannot spend enough time with kids who are there to actually learn and are on level. Till black parents teach their kids to value education, I’m not sacrificing my child at the altar of diversity.

atlmom

March 23rd, 2011
11:55 am

How about creating community schools and help them to become good schools. It’s not impossible…look at all those charter schools. It’s just that the school board doesn’t want to do the hard work it takes to make a school that works. That job is placed upon the parents…and some parents are better than others at it.
So now what? we make all schools mediocre? We don’t do the hard work it takes to ensure that all children can get a quality education?
When will we determine that our government has no idea how to create and run good schools?

atlmom

March 23rd, 2011
11:57 am

and really, your whole premise – saying that republicans just don’t care about anyone – is obnoxious. just say: she took an unpopular stand. that’s all. you’re implying all republicans are racist.
i think the dems are condescending to people, using them for their own power, not caring about neighborhoods at all.

Jackie T

March 23rd, 2011
12:06 pm

A great letter.

It’s too bad there are so many people who pretend to be so concerned about all children but they are not. You see those examples even in the first few posts…

2 cents

March 23rd, 2011
12:11 pm

what do u think vouchers would do; lol

Suavez

March 23rd, 2011
12:12 pm

My responsibility is to my children, not anybody elses children. Black parents need to step it up. Most black males are nothing more than sperm donors. How many black kids grow up with their father in the house from birth to age eighteen?
I bet the hypocrite school board member sends her own children to their neighborhood school.

Shocked

March 23rd, 2011
12:19 pm

Just like we should not say that all Republicans are racist, we should not say all black parents need to teach their children to value education.
As a black professional with 2 degrees and a product of a family filled with educators I am apalled at your blanket statement Suavez. You have reinfornced several sterotypes in your statement but the main one being Morningside is filled with selfish, stuck up, and narrow minded elitists.

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
12:41 pm

I understand Ms. Redenbaugh’s points, and would generally agree that if school districting, or redistricting, can be worked out so that some racial diversity can be achieved, that’s great. But what if a portion of students from a predominantly white neighborhood are redistricted to a high school that is currently 98% black — which is currently being discussed and considered in a part of APS — are those affected white parents supposed to just shrug their shoulders and go along in the name of diversity? These are tough issues.

Spark stinks

March 23rd, 2011
12:47 pm

So black kids can’t learn if they go to school with other black kids? Only by exposing them to white kids are they able to learn? I didn’t realize that.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
12:56 pm

Awesome post, Maureen. Awesome letter, Ms. Elizabeth Redenbaugh.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
1:04 pm

APS Parent–which high schools and neighborhoods are you talking about specifically?

You are very correct–these are tough issues.

I will post more later.

EducatedMommie

March 23rd, 2011
1:09 pm

Thanks for sharing the letter, Maureen! I think most parents are concerned and want the best education for children. Public schools have public funds and should constantly work hard to provide a high quality education for all children, regardless of their parent’s income. Parents that are affluent and do not want to be in a diverse school, have the funds and options to take their children to private school.

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
1:11 pm

All or part of the current Mary Lin elementary area might be redistricted out of the Inman middle school and Grady high school districts and into the Coan middle school and Jackson high school districts.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
1:20 pm

OK–

I would like to make the following points:

1. Many people automatically assume that diversity in schools means “busing.” This is not the case. It is very possible in most school districts to have “neighborhoodish” schools with more diversity and more balanced socioeconomics/free-reduced lunch populations. Districts just have to be wise/smart in how they draw boundaries–and not pander to elitists, racists, and “enclave-lovers.”

2. Districts should pragmatically take racial percentages into account when redistricting–and not do things based on “pride” and “pain.” It may need seem right to say this, but I do think there does need to be a minimal white percentage for most white families to feel comfortable. This will vary depending on the location of the country where a district is located.

3. It is easy if we remember the “40-60% Rule.” Some say that it is good when free/reduced lunch is 40% or less in a school. Others say that it is important for a school to have at least 40% of the population from stable, middle-class (or above) families–or even 40% white. So depending on where you are this can mean–

a. 60% or less free/reduced lunch
b. 40% or less free/reduced lunch
c. 60% or more non-poverty
d. 40% or more non-poverty

3. Neighborhood schools can still work for diversity/socioeconomic balance if a district has a sufficient/adequate system of magnet programs to bring middle class/non-poverty students to other schools. I personally think just about all magnets should be in schools in more impoverished neighborhoods.

That’s it.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
1:23 pm

But APS Parent:

This would mean moving Toomer Elementary and East Lake Elementary to the Jackson district as well (those elementaries already attend Coan).

Would they really need to bring the Jackson district that far north?

The focus should be on making Jackson/Coan a strong neighborhood school for the immediate intown neighborhoods near the schools (see #3 in my post above).

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
1:29 pm

Killebrew — You make sense and I generally agree. The problem is that achieving the 60/40 numbers you discuss might not be possible in given areas. For example, in the Lin Elementary–Jackson HS scenario that is being considered, at best the resulting numbers would be 70/30 if the entirety of Lin were redistricted, but probably more like 90/10 if only a part of Lin is redistricted. A 90/10 situation is highly unworkable in my view, and will cause a firestorm of outcry if APS tries to implement something like that.

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
1:34 pm

Killebrew at 1:23 — You’re right, this plan would involve Toomer and East Lake as well. Lin is currently over-crowded, and Toomer is way under-utilized capacity-wise, so the thinking is to move some of the Lin kids to Toomer. But if that means also moving those Lin kids to Coan and Jackson, then there will be a major fight. I agree, the focus should be on making Jackson/Coan areas stonger, but not by siphoning off all or part of Lin to do it.

Tony

March 23rd, 2011
1:38 pm

Wow. A politician with courage. That is something to celebrate. We have too many who simply go along with the party line and do not think for themselves. The Georgia General Assembly is full of this kind of politician. Would that we had more like Mrs. Redenbaugh!

Toto

March 23rd, 2011
1:42 pm

Public schools for the rich and famous….nobody does it better than the Rockefellers!

Why must public schools always try to reinvent the wheel? We have the perfect K-8th public school template already laid out SINCE 1931! One of the most wealthy and influential families in the world has built a K-8th public school right on the edge of their Pocantico Hills estate outside of New York City. About 10 Rockefeller families live in the area served by the school. Aren’t you curious about what kind of public school John D. Rockefeller would build (donate) for his clan? After doing some research, here is a list of some of the features of this school that make it a 9 out of 10 by GreatSchools Rating service. All of these features are achievable.

*Highly involved /accessible principal
*Clear, effective discipline policy
*High pressure to excel
*Friendly, open culture
*School is structured but not overly rigid
*Parents are involved but not helicopters
*Parents do NOT volunteer in the classroom, or make personal donations to the school
*Parents DO Receive newsletters, go on field trips, attend parent/teacher conferences, parent nights and open houses, FUND-RAISE, and participate in a parent group (PTA, PTO, booster club or other)
*They fully support the arts, sports, foreign languages, and technology. The students have access to the Rockefeller estate for eco-field trips and organic farming.
*LD students have self-contained, pull out, and full inclusion options.
*Academics:
VERY TRADITIONAL
High teacher commitment
Lots of homework
Gifted/talented grouped for part or all day
Foreign language: dual immersion, immersion
* Testing : 8th grade Lang. Arts, 90% meets or exceeds N.Y.State Assessments standards.
8th grade Math, 83%

http://www.greatschools.org/new-york/sleepy-hollow/3283-Pocantico-Hills-Central-School/#from..HeaderLink

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D02E3D91238F931A35751C0A9659C8B63&pagewanted=3

http://www.pocanticohills.org/

Booklover

March 23rd, 2011
2:13 pm

@Suavez–
I am sorry that you feel that you are only responsible for your own children, and not anyone else’s.

It’s a good thing that I and the many other childless teachers don’t feel the same way! Social workers, police officers, medical professionals, librarians… they are all also helping you raise your children. It DOES take a village.

Do I get tired of doing more “raising of other people’s children” than I think I should have to, even as a teacher? Hell yes. But the only way we can change this is to properly educate the next generation.

Booklover

March 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

Judging by this letter, Redenbaugh is one of a few current politicians with any sense. Hopefully she will move up the food chain and not sacrifice her good sense to pander to special interests and millionaires.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
2:33 pm

Hello APS Parent:

Good points above.

Remember, Toomer and East Lake are in the Grady Cluster–they just go to Coan Middle School.

I think a 70/30 could work–a 90/10…no way!

I think the points I outlined earlier should be a framework and a long-range plan…knowing full well that it will take time.

About the Jackson High area–there are so many families there using Neighborhood Charter School, Atlanta Charter Middle School, etc. that an opportunity is there to make the Jackson Cluster “Grady-esque” long-term. Just think if all the Neighborhood Charterites were putting all of their time, effort, support, and attendance into Parkside Elementary, etc. It could potentially have the growing support that happened in the Grady Cluster over time. It all started with Lin and Morningside…then on up to Inman…and finally Grady. Then, a brand-new elementary (Springdale Park!) had to be built to relieve overcrowding.

atlmom1

March 23rd, 2011
2:39 pm

and for those of us who have the resources, we move to areas where there are good schools. Redistricting is necessary, for obvious reasons, at times. But creating neighborhoods is a great thing. I love that we walk to school, that we see others walking to school, that we know all our neighbors because of our kids, that our kids can just run over to the neighbors house to see if they can come over, etc etc.
What is wrong with creating neighborhoods? Really!?!? That’s why I live where I live.
Diversity for diversity’s sake is an awful idea. WE the people apparently segregate ourselves.
More than ever, we need parents to be able to make decisions for their children – and NOT ONLY the parents who have the means to do so.

atlmom1

March 23rd, 2011
2:43 pm

These are schools, not social experiments.

teacher&mom

March 23rd, 2011
2:47 pm

We need more school board members like Ms. Redenbaugh.

B. Killebrew

March 23rd, 2011
2:49 pm

@teacher+mom…

Indeed!

[...] A Republican takes an unpopular school diversity stand and wins a Profile in Courage award | Get Sch… [...]

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
3:26 pm

Hello Killebrew:

Yes, I know Toomer and East Lake go to Grady at present. Presumably, if Lin, or part of it, gets sent to Jackson HS, Toomer and East Lake will too.

I agree 70/30 is closer to workable, but that would be the approximate ratio at Jackson only if all of Lin got redistricted there, which I think may be unlikely. If, more likely, part of Lin gets redistricted to Jackson, then 90/10 would be the more likely ratio. I hope you’re right that there’s no way that would ever happen.

Your comments about the Neighborhood Charter schools in the Grant Park and Jackson HS area are interesting. I agree that if the NCS folks had put all of their energy into Parkside elementary they could have made that school pretty strong. But I don’t know about King middle school or Jackson HS — those situations would be much tougher. I think that’s why Grant Park is pretty stagnant — there’s no really viable public high school option there.

South Georgia Farmer

March 23rd, 2011
3:28 pm

Sure, just give up on them and improve the customer base for the Dept of Corrections until DOC’s budget eats up over half of the state’s overall budget that’s the prevailing attitude in any given red state.

The Right Thing To Do

March 23rd, 2011
3:29 pm

Being right should not be associated to any political party.

Not ashamed

March 23rd, 2011
3:32 pm

I will be registering my child NOT at the school where I teach (80 % free and reduced) because I see first hand how disruptive, apathetic, and unprepared these students students are. My child will be attending the school with the highest % of scores and best reputation (year after year) and shock-they are white. My child’s education will not suffer because apathetic parents did not do their part.

“Till black parents teach their kids to value education, I’m not sacrificing my child at the altar of diversity.” I agree 100% Suavez!

AJinCobb

March 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

@Suavez and others who care only about their own children,

Who do you think your wonderfully nurtured children are going to be living and working with and alongside when they are all grown up?

Jackie T

March 23rd, 2011
3:37 pm

If someone is concerned about own child(ren), then s/he is perfectly welcome to move to another area or send the child(ren) to a private school to take care of her/his own. Forcing a school district to make decisions that will affect other children is not her/his rights.

HS Public Teacher

March 23rd, 2011
3:38 pm

Wow. It seems that Ms. Redenbaugh is both fair and socially aware. Sounds to me like she needs to join the Democrats!

Not ashamed

March 23rd, 2011
3:40 pm

I will be registering my son NOT at the school where I work (80 % free and reduce). I see first hand the apathetic, disruptive, and unprepared students that come to school daily. My child will be attending a school that has high scores and a wonderful reputation year after year and SHOCK-they are mostly white. My child’s education will not suffer because sorry parents don’t value a good education. Suarez has it right- “Till black parents teach their kids to value education, I’m not sacrificing my child at the altar of diversity.”

APS parent

March 23rd, 2011
3:59 pm

Some of the comments here suggest that if a parent doesn’t like a redistricting situation then they should just move or go to private school. That’s not really fair to people who already moved to a certain area because of the public schools there. That’s the situation with the potential Lin area redistricting — many people moved into the Lin area to take advantage of Lin, Inman Middle school, and Grady HS, which are all good public schools and diverse. To now be redistricted out to schools that aren’t as strong is a tough pill to swallow.

This is not a simple issue, and can be very complex in a given situation. I salute Ms. Redenbaugh and her sentiments, but there is no easy pat solution to these redistricting situations, as each one is likely has its own unique circumstances. And the parents who have concerns about a proposed redistricting should not be dismissed with, “Well move (again) then”, or “Go to private school if you don’t like it”.

HStchr

March 23rd, 2011
4:12 pm

Not ashamed- PLEASE tell me you aren’t a teacher!!!! With that attitude, you don’t deserve to work in a school anyway. It’s poverty, not race that breeds the apathy. Yes it needs to be addressed and there are no simple solutions. But trust me, I teach poor children both white and black, and if you closed your eyes you’d never know the difference. Their issues are exactly the same. So can we now move away from the ridiculous trashing of people becasue of race?

Mom

March 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

“Who do you think your wonderfully nurtured children are going to be living and working with and alongside when they are all grown up?”

Acutually, the only reason this is an issue is because most of us grow to live and work by people very much like ourselves. Very few middle class people live right next to poor people of any race. Educated people don’t live and work right next to uneducated people. And outside of urban areas, most people segregate themselves pretty carefully by race.

So there wouldn’t be any reason for this mother to send her middle class white kids to a poor black school just to prepare them for their future lives among poor blacks.

ken

March 23rd, 2011
4:35 pm

This lady needs to come to Thomasville City Schools. They’ve got no diversity. In fact, their Scholars Academy is pure segregation. How they get away with it is amazing.

ken

March 23rd, 2011
4:37 pm

In the South, the welfare mentality is so prevalent. The government that runs everything so well needs to reduce the welfare rolls.

Teaching Rocks!

March 23rd, 2011
5:12 pm

Redisticting to eliminate 60% or higher free/reduced lunch schools may have the most merit in a theoretical discussion. In reality, though, it ignores just how poor these free/reduced lunch families are. They are so poor that:

*parents cannot afford the taxi ride that will be required to get to their child’s redistricted school when its outside of their neighborhood limits.

*when parents leave at 6am in the morning for one of 3 jobs and their child misses the bus, the student must either walk a long distance to school or stay home in a dangerous environment. I just had one student that crossed the interstate to walk to his redistricted school (beyond normal neighborhood limits.)

*free/reduced lunch students that are redistricted to more affluent schools tend to make up stories at school about their weekends, home life, and material possessions b/c they are faced everyday with a picture of just how much they lack. From my experience, it impacts many of these kids emotionally, with some becoming aggressive bullies and leading others into quiet withdrawal. Either way, many become angry.

I’m both a teacher and parent at a school that absorbed a large population of very poor students into its mix. Our teachers are working hard at meeting the needs of these students. So, yes, these students might (might?) have improved teacher quality. But in exchange, their parents struggle to afford a trip to the school, and its taking an emotional toll on the students. That emotional toll plays out in angry, disruptive students or sad and withdrawn promising students. I’m not sure the benefits of this type of redistricting really outweigh the cost.

NewHanoverMom

March 23rd, 2011
5:17 pm

I am a parent of two children in the distrct that Ms. Redenbaugh sits on the board and I can certainly tell you that you did not dig deep enough and get all the facts on Ms. Redenbaugh. She ran on the Neighborhood Schools platform to gain her elected posistion and then turned her back on the very ones that elected her. When a map was produced that placed her own children in a Title 1 school she voted that map down within minutes. Any other time her neighborhood was purposed she immediately took it off the table. All of the Title 1 schools are open enrollment, yet her children still attend their neighborhood school. She has maligned and seperated this community in more ways than you could imagine.

An award for courage??? Hypocracy yes, Courage NO!

Earl of Ft. Liquordale

March 23rd, 2011
5:26 pm

Back when I was attending school in Atlanta, we didn’t have many disciplinary problems. I am a proud grad of Roosevelt, Class of 1967…Summer of Love, baby! I didn’t go to school with many African American students (just one or two before I graduated). But, we play together (and fought each other!) in the streets. Boulevard is just around the corner from Edgewood and Auburn. But, from my recollections, all of the schools — black and white — back then were full of discipline. You just didn’t think about bowing up to a teacher or a principal. This was unheard of. Heck, you had to stay after school for just chewing bubble gum — and I loved chewing that bubble gum from Penny Baseball Cards. Those were the days in Atlanta. I look back fondly on those days, and I still love the schools of Atlanta because that is my childhood home until I was eighteen. We had real role models in Cabbagetown. Men like “Mr. Claude Lee” (as we called him). He was a tough and irascible man, but he was a good man. His example taught us a lot of things about life. The Mrs. and I read up on the AJC.com and this blog about what is going on in the school systems now, and we know — just from experience — that it’s really about money. About control and money. This might be a little of topic, but I wanted to get this off my chest.

Too many conflicts-of-interest surrounding the Atlanta Public Schools and the Mayor’s Office. Too many people can’t allow themselves to see clearly what is happening because of the conflicts. Money is controlling the dialogue but everyone wants to couch their concerns about what is best for the children. It’s always, however, about what is best for their pocketbooks and wallets. If Atlanta Public Schools were a poor school system (tax-wise) and could not hand out lucrative contracts, I don’t think that we would hear nary’a word out of the Chamber of Commerce/Piedmont Driving Club crowd or from Mark Elgart and SACS or from the Mayor Kasim Reed’s Office. Too much money and too many conflicts.

But, what do I know? I just grew up in Cabbagetown…which is now becoming Lettuceville. It was hard when I grew up on Carroll Street off of Boulevard. We never trusted the Limousine Liberals off Northside Drive. But, now the Mrs. and I just watch the drama from a distance down here in our used condo in Broward County. Abe and Eli are still taking bets about when Beverly Hall will actually leave. Betting on the stated July date won’t win you much money, but the over and under is getting more and more interesting.

I still miss Slanton Elementary and our old beloved Roosevelt High up on the hill. I am a product of APS. I am an Atlanta Cracka…and will be until I die. The White Crackas and the Black Crackas (and don’t forget that there was indeed a team in the old Negro Baseball League named the Atlanta Black Crackers) don’t have much say so about what is going to happen with Beverly Hall or the school board. It is always the money people who control everything. They know the newspaper publisher, the TV managers, Mark Elgart and SACS (and they appear to love using him!), the Chamber of Commerce (heck, they ARE the Chamber people!), and other centers of influence. Poor folk in Fourth Ward and Cabbagetown don’t have much say so…except at the polls, and now they seem determined to take away those for whom we voted. (Well, I don’t vote in Atlanta anymore but you know what I mean.)

Governor Deal, please refrain from taking out duly elected officials. This hysteria is contrived. Contrived by the money folk. I’ve seen it all my life. It’s just about control and money. St. Paul said: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Sister Josie L. Mitchell taught us that in Sunday School, and it’s still true today. The Old Testament Prophets were always railing against the money folk who were screwing God’s humble followers. Corrupt judges…on the take. Corrupt officials with Israel. It ain’t no different today in Atlanta. Atlanta money folk will kill its prophets to shut them up. They are metaphorically trying to kill the political careers of Mr. Khatim El and the other “Four” who finally showed the temerity to stand up against the corruption.

The Mrs. and I will sit back and watch the unfolding of this all too serious drama. Will our democracy last in Atlanta. We hope and pray that it will. We don’t need any Gadhafis trying to dictate who should be on our school board. You hear this Kasim Reed?

Earl of Ft. Liquordale

March 23rd, 2011
5:34 pm

Corrupt officials within [not "with"] Israel. Sorry. The Mrs. caught the typo. She taught English for 32 years! She finally let me back on the computer today. I hadn’t blogged in front of her for over a year. She banned me. Had to sneak over to Abe and Hilda’s or Eli and Wilma’s and use their lap tops to see what Maureen was up to.

Heedabeehoohoo! Ole Earl is blogging again! And blogging right in front of the Mrs.! I’m so happy that I’m gonna joyfully accompany her to the Grand Flea Market (a real monster) in Pompano on Saturday. Yes, miss the NCAA Tourney and just be tickled pink that I get to walk around a flea market for hours! Ain’t life grand?!

Invest In yourself

March 23rd, 2011
6:21 pm

@MOM

“Very few middle class people live right next to poor people of any race.”

This was not clear to me.

In Duluth (Gwinnett Cty), in spite of white flight, it is a very diverse area.

Invest In yourself

March 23rd, 2011
6:22 pm

@MOm – I misread…It’s clear now.

EducationOrBust

March 23rd, 2011
6:26 pm

@AJinCob- If they have quality educations and are well-prepared for college and beyond, they will be able to work alongside whomever they choose. This is true for white children, black children, and purple children. I have no children but when I do you can be certain that they will be my first priority and only accepted responsibility. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her true potential, and it is every parent’s responsibility to provide those opportunities to the best of his or her ability. The successful should not have to shoulder the burdens of the lazy.

Angus

March 23rd, 2011
8:07 pm

While the above descriptions of Grant Park and assertions as to what we should do with our kids are naive, short-sighted, and generally not welcomed, they do this blog an unrecognized service in that Grant Park is such a place where you cannot simply divvy up the area based on free-lunch qualifications. APS tried that and no one participated. If it were not for our charter schools, Grant Park would look a lot different today (and that’s worse than “stagnant”).

There are considerable efforts currently underway to make Jackson a viable alternative for ACMS kids. However, to date, it’s only talk. Not one NCS/ACMS kid from Grant Park that I know of has yet to attend Jackson – of those I know, they’ve either moved, gone to private school, or pay for Decatur High.

Mom @ 4:31 gets it. In Grant Park, you have a well-educated population surrounded by a poorly-educated population. It’s not that we (the ones with the degrees) do not care for the less fortunate, it’s that we want our kids’ one shot at elementary, middle, and high school to be good ones.

Lee

March 23rd, 2011
8:08 pm

More politically correct bullcrap.

The only thing Ms. Redenbaugh’s proposed redistricting will do is to dilute the effects of underachieving minority students. Instead of having two majority black schools (which she has gone on the record as saying they will be failing schools), she simply proposes to spread the bad stuff around and hope that a few bad apples do not taint the entire bushel.

They did the same thing at McEachern HS in Cobb County a couple of years ago.

If she {Redenbaugh] is so “heroic”, when this proposal gets shot down, let her enroll her three children in one of those majority black schools.