Because I was interested in the Museum Curriculum. Remember...I applied to NP before it ever won any awards - whereas many of the current zoned people moved there after it became popular. It was also a different demographic back then (I know you doubt me on that, but if you actually read what I wrote, you'll see that NP is way way more diverse than my zoned school and is in line with the populational mix of the Chattanooga demographics).
The issue with NP seems to be zoned vs. magnet, and possibly rich vs. poor. There was also issue with the pre-k program (modeled after Battle and Brown). But the magnet population is not what's changing the demographic, the zoned population is and will continue to do so. Do you disagree with that? What I see is that over the next few years "Hill City" will get their kids phased-in, but if they move from Hill City, they're out...if the property owner sells or raises the rent, they're out. What has really been accomplished but increasing property values and ultimately ensuring that the school will either be overcrowded or the magnet population will become obsolete and the very "poor" people that have been spoken of are out anyway because they can't afford those properties-heck, I can't afford a property that would fit my family in that zone, and I consider myself to be middle class.
So my question to you is. What is your interest in all this? since your name is "Hixsondave", can I assume you have some tie to Hixson schools?...Can you write more than a one liner that is snipey. Give me a feel for what you see as the issues because all I've gotten from you is criticism of my choices without any meat to what you think should happen. The only thing I think you want is kids being able to walk to school?? So you are against magnet programs??
Did you actually read and digest what was written before throwing out yet more of your venom?
You say you want neighborhood kids, but then you say it's too white - which is it, cause it can't be both. That neighborhood, the one zoned to NP and any new areas that will be zoned...will ALL be white in time. Increasing the zone will make it white faster, it will NOT increase diversity. Do you not get that?
I never said or even implied that the neighborhood kids were "tearing it down"...what I said is that people like you are constantly attacking it, keeping the controversy going...it was figurative, not literal. And I also said that if you take issue with the way NP was set up, then you take issue with Battle and Brown, because they are the same zoned/magnet setup....and they still have a guaranteed spot for paid pre-k students in kindergarten...but I don't hear you talking about that...
Yes, there are rich, stay at home parents that give a TON to NP. But they are the minority, not the majority. And some of the people that have been specifically mentioned in various posts, live in the zone. Yes, the "zone" includes a bunch of nice houses...and yes, no one is disputing that many of those parents didn't use the school prior to it's conversion. But the reality is that they are zoned. They did not buy their way in, they just opted to use the school that their tax dollars were paying for rather than pay extra to go private. Just because someone has money doesn't mean they have to spend it on something they can get with money already paid in taxes.
I get that there's a disparity between schools...that's everywhere, not just in Chattanooga. What I still don't get is how "tearing down" NP will improve the other schools. There are several commenters on here that just spout poison. If you are going to attack NP, then you should equally attack CSAS, CSLA, Battle, Brown. They are also attracting students from their zoned schools. Why focus only on NP?
I happen to love the magnet concept. I think it causes people to "buy in" to a common focus. I would love to see more schools like that. I would love to see a math and science school...an area that America is lacking.
So what reason do I have for not using the Soddy schools?? If you want to discuss what some here have said is "white bread"...there it is. I chose NP in 2005...when it was more diverse (73% white, 22% black in 2007, the earliest report card I can see on the web) - should I switch schools now? I don't disagree that it has changed somewhat...but most of the cause of that change is people moving to the zone - yes "white" people...a zone that has been made bigger with the addition of HIll City, which is now at risk of the same demographic change. Which was the point all along. If the current people of HIll City wanted to be at NP...they should have taken the magnet status that was offered in 2010...because then it was not tied to the property.
I get what you are saying...but the inner-city schools are no more diverse than some of the far out county schools. My "definition" of diverse is a population mix that matches that of Chattanooga. So for Chattanooga...looking at the biggest populations...that is about 80% white, 14% black and the remaining 6% are hispanic and "other" minorities in 2010. http://diversitydata.sph.harvard.edu/Data/Profiles/Show.aspx?loc=300
And let's see on the 2010 report card for NP...the population was...78% white and 17% black with the remainder other minorities. My zoned school?? well it's 96% white and 0.7% black.
Is it not every schools responsibility to attract the best teachers? I don't think Ms. Levine has the power to say...you are bad...you go to Howard, or Red Bank, etc...that's just not happening. Each principal puts out their needs and people apply to work there. I'm sure that in 2012 NP is an attractive choice for teachers, but it wasn't so much when it was first converted. I'm also pretty sure that the school had NO idea how my children, or any children for that matter, would behave when receiving a lottery seat, nor did they know if I would do or give any more than the required 18 hours (or what any parent will do).
I can't debate those points with you...because without parent involvement it is very hard to get everyone pulling in the same direction. Where I take issue is that NP is no different then Battle or Brown in how they were set up. Yet it is the only school continually attacked. And yes, the people there are defensive...wouldn't you be? I don't think everyone wants to be or should be a NP...but I think what people are trying to say is try to take some of what's working and use it elsewhere. No, maybe not the parent volunteering...but other stuff. So many people here are obviously intelligent yet these discussions tend to be demoralizing at best.
I am offended every time I hear some of this. I am a working class person. I have to work to earn a living like most people do and so many want to portray us all as rich, etc. that's just not true. I got to NP using the system that was put in place. I have painted and shoveled mulch along with so many others. And just because the zone recovered doesn't make it right to push out the magnet students that built that school.
I'm not going to lie to you. I hope for a high school option. I am zoned to what's considered a good school, but I am not impressed. If the options that are available don't prove fruitful...in my eyes, for my children...and honestly isn't that what everyone works for...then I will go private. I can't risk my kids education, there's no do over. But if everyone in a school is doing what's best for their kid, then you get a group of people with common goals, and that's what works.
I chose NP for diversity. I still want that and I truly believe others do too. I think we all need to find a better way to communicate, try to understand the different points of view and maybe share knowledge. One school can't fix a county, nor should it be punished for the successes it has achieved.
It just plain looks like crap. It's killing the grass which our "tax dollars" will go to repair when they finally exit. Peacefully "assemble" not take up residence. It disgusts me everytime I drive by it.
The irony behind all this is that the "poor kids" of Hill City, as so many posters mention, will lose their spot if...or should I say when....they leave the zone. The "spot" actually goes to the property. So if the people living there are renters, which I believe many are, then when the property values skyrocket, and they will, the renters will lose their house and their spot at Normal Park. So the diversity that people talk about with kids that can walk to the school, etc...will be gone as well. It's practically guaranteed that the "Hill City" properties will eventually house the same demographic as the prior "zone" does.
And just to clear up a few things...I don't drive a volvo...nor were my children "hand-picked." We applied through the lottery before the school was popular and if you want to talk about promises...then the siblings of all the magnet students who came to NPMM when no one else wanted to should be first in line.
I work full time and still find the time to give the measly 18 hours that are asked for by "magnet" schools. The school is very good about offering such a variety of times and dates that even working people can meet the requirements. Amazing!!
Yes...Normal Park was a perfect storm...everything came together and things happened. Personally, I'm in favor of the zone being smaller or non-existent. In my ideal world, I'd take the "magnet" program out of the neighborhood, just like CSAS. Perhaps a new home in the old 21st Century building??...and let the neighborhood be just a neighborhood school with a traditional curriculum. But that's just a dream....
Wow...don't people ever get sick of fighting about this?
It was a neighborhood school...it failed...
It is a magnet...and by definition requires "magnet" students.
I am a parent of 2 magnet students...we got in through the lottery, without any sort of bribes or anything. In fact, it was before anyone even wanted to attend Normal Park.
I'm pretty sure the people who live in the Hill City area were offered spots last year if they wanted to attend...of the 100+ offered, only around 40 accepted. Is that because the parents would have to make committments to the school just like magnet kids? Do they only want in if they have zoned status? I just don't understand that.
There are lots of rumors about the school, the neighbors, the property owners...and there is probably some truth and fiction in all of them.
I personally feel all "magnet" schools should be completely magnet. The setup of Normal Park was an invitation for exactly these types of arguments..and it's sad that Hamilton County has not found a way to make all of the schools as desirable as NPMM seems to be.
Wow...people sure have short memories. They seem to forget that many of these "Magnet" parents are the ones who came to that school when it was NOTHING. When Ms. Levine was asking people to give the school a chance. Five or six years ago you could sail right into that school..I know, because I did. Now everybody is up in arms about it because it's successful-everybody wants what's successful, but they didn't sign on when they could have, when it was questionable. The school board needs to find a way to expand on it's success, take it to all schools so that this debate about space and school quality will be over.
I think in the light of where we are in 2009, the decision was appropriate. I agreee with changing the pre-k program to make it fit with the magnet system, but I will also still pay for the program because it's a great program. I disagree about it being inequitable because I currently pay $8000+ for daycare, so I just see it as a different option with similar pricing, which is what you'd expect for any paid pre-k program in this area. Maybe TN should provide free pre-k for all instead of just select schools...isn't that inequitable too??
I tend to differ...about the student population at Normal Park. I for one am not a "politically connected elite"--and there are many more like me. I actually chose the school prior to it's popularity and I got in through the magnet selection process. Movement to the zone is hindering acceptance of magnets kids.
I personally wish the school had been organized like CSAS or CCA and be fully magnet...because people don't complain that those schools are not taking their "allotted zoned kids" as this article implies about Normal Park. But it wasn't. It was set up as a neighborhood school with magnet features.
In reality people need to open their eyes..take a look at the demographics of zip code 37405..the school zip...it's 85% white and 10% black...so the demographics of the school should not be surprising...they are actually skewwed towards minority when compared to the neighborhood. (zipskinny.com)
This is a discussion about "enlarging" the zone and whether the school can handle that...I see the conflict with the existence of the pre-k and guaranteed entrance. However, some portion of the students in the pre-k are siblings and teacher's kids who would get preference anyway. So the question is how many of the pre-k students are actually getting a paid entrance...
As for Chattanooga Middle School...it was closing and the students were being rezoned, period. If Normal Park hadn't expanded, the school would be sitting there rotting...the school board made promises meant to appease those affected. The school growth could not have been predicted, but it's not working out the way they thought. I don't see more zoning changes fixing that.
People tend to forget that Ms. Levine took that school when no one wanted it...and now that it's a success, everyone wants to throw rocks...