WFPL Radio has an interesting article up in their web site with an interactive graph and map that discusses the wide variation in school performance across various areas of Louisville. The graph shows that within each of the 13 geographic school clusters the elementary school performance varies dramatically.
For example, in Cluster 3, schools scored from 35 to 52.5 on Unbridled Learning in 2013. The school that scored the 5.25 only bested 31 percent of all the schools in Kentucky.
In Cluster 10, the bottom school scored 48.4 while the top school racked up an accountability index of 78.3. This cluster’s top elementary school did better than 99 percent of the elementary schools in the state.
The difference in opportunity across the clusters and individual schools is obviously stupendous.
Clearly, there is a lot of pressure on many Louisville parents to get their student into a better school. And, the article has some interesting comments about that process.
“Heading into this school year, parents of 1,147 incoming kindergartners applied for a transfer after getting their child’s school assignment. Among those children, 71 percent were allowed to transfer.”
But, here is the rub, as WFPL writes:
“Transportation can be a challenge for some parents. Except for most magnet school students, JCPS doesn’t provide buses for children who go to school outside their cluster.”
But, if a parent wants to get their child out of a miserably performing school (and Jefferson County has plenty of those), they have to provide their own transportation. Yup, that’s a great choice program.
Now, if Jefferson County would get behind charter school legislation, they would have a much better chance of establishing high performing schools in places like Cluster 3 where the traditional schools have been unable to make much, if any progress. It would be better for the district (shorter bus routes) and much better for the students, too.