BTW, Mr. Cook, thank you for the follow-up article. I was one of those emails you received and appreciate the fact that you actually took the time to dig a little deeper.
I don't know, nucanuck. Why don't you ask school board member Jeff Wilson that question. I asked him that same question last November, since he is my representative on the board. I'm still waiting for an answer.
Nice Dave. Mr, Cook writes a hit piece and you call anyone opposed the mafia. How ironic.
And if parental involvement is integral in having successful schools, why would Normal Park not beg for as many Hill City kids as it can get? Are you suggesting that NPMM should provide preferential treatment to a select group because they meet certain criteria? On one hand you make several attempts to insinuate that has been happening but on the other you are wondering why NPMM hasn't been doing that all along with the Hill City children. Make up your mind Mr. Cook. Do you want NPMM to discriminate and provide preferential treatment or don't you? Or maybe you only want that preferential treatment to apply to Hill City.
If you would like to publish another underdog story, why don't you try the one about a failed school that was literally crumbling and NO ONE wanted to go there. Then a group of highly motivated parents, teachers, and administrators pulled together and though hard work and dedication turned it around to be one of the best schools in Hamilton County.
Mr. Cook, If these are suppose to be serious questions, then it is very telling that you have only sought and reported on one side of this story. Even so, let me attempt to address some of your "questions".
Why didn't the school board stick to its original plan in 2007? Wait, was it a plan or a "promise"? Plans can and do change. As to why it changed, I would direct you to look at the population growth in the zone between the time of the plan and the intended implementation of the plan. Since the zoned students now compromise the vast majority of the spots, how do you propose to implement the 2007 plan in 2012? There is not enough room. Should we kick out the current magnet students? Just say to them "Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to help build this school, now go somewhere else". If you would like specifics, here are the projections for next years kindergarten class. The projected 106 students for next year's kindergarten class at NPMM includes the five spots for Hill City, a projected five from Fairmont, 67 other in-zone children, and 29 siblings of already attending magnet students. (Thanks to another poster for that information).
How can a school give priority -- vast priority -- to kids all across the county but not on its own doorstep? I would like for you to explain the "vast priority" you speak of. How did a child from Soddy Daisy or Harrison get any priority over Hill City children? Hill City children could apply for the lottery just like everyone else outside of the zone. Your question is at best misinformed and at worst, just plain ignorant.
How much do race and class matter in the decision? The very nature of your question implies that you think there was some sort of discrimination involved in these decisions. If that is indeed what you are implying, I think you are doing nothing more than race baiting an issue that you clearly know nothing about. Why don't you actually take a few minutes to talk to people who actually are involved and understand the issues here rather than writing another one sided hit piece that has been told to you by a group that is certainly not above such tactics.
How are decisions made when drawing zoning lines? Again, rather than insinuating impropriety, why don't you simply contact the school board and ask that question. In case you don't know, all the school board members phone numbers and email addresses are posted on the Hamilton County Department of Education web site. I think the more important question here is why you would rather make veiled accusations rather than actually trying to be informed on the subject that you are writing about?
Seriously, the Hill City folks think the plan is unfair? Let me tell you what is unfair. To have a child enrolled at NPMM as a magnet student only to find out that their siblings can not attend NPMM because there are no longer any magnet slots available for siblings. What happened to "the promise" made to us? We were there and involved with NPMM long before any "promise" was made to Hill City. The Hill City group isn't concerned with what is fair. If it were, we would have seen them willing to negotiate a compromise when several options were offered to them. But no, they want it all, even if it means that other families are kicked out after years of working to improve the school to what it is now.
BTW, Meece, I appreciate your thoughtful comments on this matter. You have provided the facts of this situation but unfortunately, there are far too many people that only want to look for the negatives and any information that they can use to their advantage. We have seen this first hand with some of the Hill City group and it seems that the media, as well as some of school board members, have been far to quick to accept the "Hill City Story" rather than seek the real facts of this situation.
It still baffles me why we still don't see, after years of excellent results from NPMM, that our school board isn't more interested in trying to duplicate the success of NPMM in other schools around Hamilton County. If they did, maybe then, I would be willing to send my children to my local school rather than spending two hours each day to transport them to NPMM.
Charles, let me just say this. IF what you said is true and not just part of your delusional world, I hope that person is prosecuted to the full extent possible. However, I fail to see how this justifies your repeated attacks against administrators, teachers, and parents of children at NPMM. It seems to me that you have applied the "One bad apple" stereotype. You and I both know that is grossly unfair to the people who put in so much work for not only NPMM but the other magnets as well.
"I have what I need to win now." I just love listening to someone with an inferiority complex (or was it a Napoleon complex.) Oh well, it doesn't matter. The diatribe is about the same. It goes something like this. "I know I'm a nobody but I have to puff my chest out and talk big so that someone will respect me. If that doesn't work, create a fictitious, ominous event that only I know the details and warn everyone of my impending wrath." Do you work for a secret government agency, too? I can't speak for others but I am very impressed. Congratulations on getting your wife's permission to use the computer by the way. Keep up the good work.
Charles, did you forget to take your meds today? Oh come on, don't get mad at me. I personally don't want you to keep your mouth shut. You bring so much entertainment to the debate. Besides, I suppose you need this venue to stroke your Napoleon complex. The floor is yours, stroke away.
Look at me, look at me. I have all this evidence but I'm not telling. Jeez, Charles are you actually a grown-up or still in grammar school. The reason you won't share your information is because you know that you will be a laughing stock when people actually see your "evidence". Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. All doubt will be removed when Charles blows the lid on the evil lottery.