Certain parts of the St. Louis metro are up in arms over a controversial decision to allow students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to other districts within the area. While the students may choose to transfer to any other school, the unaccredited district has chosen one accredited district that it will provide transportation to. It has really brought out the ugly in people. The unaccredited district is mostly minority, the accredited district is mostly white. The unaccredited district is economically depressed, the accredited district is better off. I am sure you can see where this is going. The AD parents are up in arms about this. The Un-AD parents want a good education for their kids. They are also not happy because the AD is quite a distance away. They would much rather their district be better. Many AD parents are convinced that these transfer students will only bring drugs, guns and violence, in addition to bringing down the districts test scores. Many of the people in the AD fled from the suburb I live in. In fact, the district I live in will probably pick up just as many of these students as the AD. Yet - we aren't complaining. The difference? We already have a large minority population. In fact, we are pretty close to 50/50, if not already majority minority.
It has been hard to read what people are saying. Yes, the Un-AD has a bad reputation. That does not mean every child there is bad. Failing school districts are a product of many problems. There is no one cause. AD is not free from problems itself. There is no such things as perfection. Nobody is happy about the situation, but to continue to put down children you don't even know based on rumors and mis-understood data doesn't help anyone. It saddens me that we don't see ourselves as a larger community. This is an opportunity to reach out and help raise people up, instead folks are choosing to keep the *others* down. It appears that it is ok to help from a distance, but just don't come up to my door.