So we waited all this time for the so-called experts (definition: somebody from out of town) to tell us what we already knew about parents’ attitudes toward the JCPS’ student-assignment plan — parents want diversity, as long as it doesn’t affect what school their kid attends. They want the freedom to choose neighborhood schools and they sure as hell don’t want their kids spending an hour or more each way on a bus. TV stations have been doing meaningless polls that show the same overwhelming sentiment.
Now that the expert from California, Gary Orfield, has spent 2 months doing a survey, he needs more time to come up with recommendations. And in keeping with consultants’ mantra of managing expectations, he says whatever he recommends is unlikely to be ready to implement this fall.
The unfortunate truth is that the goals of diversity and convenience for parents are mutually exclusive, as long as our city is divided by race geographically. And there’s no magic pill, so don’t expect the issue to go away.
The Mash Lobby: Gov. Beshear has recruited a Kentucky legend to try and convince lawmakers to pass a bill raising the age at which students can legally drop out of school to 18. Jamaal Mashburn joined the team pushing for the legislation, saying “I know how hard it is for young people who don’t complete their high school education. And I want to do everything I can to help kids realize they need to stay in school.” Of course, there’s resistance to the bill, which passed the House and stalled in the Senate last year. 6,000 Kentuckians dropped out last year.
Oddly and Endy: The City of Hustbourne hired Jim Leidgen to an $85K job as city manager. Among the 99 candidates, we hear, was his former boss in Jeffersontown, Clay Foreman. Where else but the Shawnee neighborhood would residents fight so hard against economic development — Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton is leading the fight against liquor stores there, where 3 years ago a vote made some precincts dry. Did they not consider new liquor stores might open across the street? Who knew that in Old Louisville, business owners can’t hire piano players? David James is trying to change that.
Seum Says: While we’re discussing education, the backer of the Kentucky Senate bill challenging Jefferson County’s student assignment plan, state Sen. Dan Seum, is celebrating his 71st birthday today.
Thanks Terry: I had a great time hanging with Terry Meiners at WHAS Radio yesterday, discussing Rand Paul, schools and Greg Fischer’s ideas for the city. He had a funny bit about Fischer, who delivered what could have been an inspiring speech in such a low monotone that he it was putting Rotarians to sleep.