The headline of a Courier-Journal article about a survey on school diversity proclaims, “90 percent of JCPS parents favor diverse schools, survey says.”
You have to read down to the fourth paragraph before finding any hint that maybe the survey says quite a bit more. That’s the first time you learn that large percentages of the surveyed parents are concerned about the reliability of Jefferson County Public Schools’ complex busing for integration plan.
Read father still, and you finally learn that the results of the survey were really contradictory.
Only at the 10th paragraph does the Courier finally admit of the survey:
“The results were sometimes contradictory — showing parents wanted access to neighborhood schools, diverse schools and school choice, which project associate Erica Frankenberg likened to parents wanting to ‘have their cake and eat it, too.’”
You must read all the way to paragraph 12 (pushed to page 2 in the on line version) to finally see this:
“For example, while many parents support diverse schools, almost 80 percent said children should be allowed to attend the closest school — even if it increases segregation.”
Most telling, the survey says of parent responses:
• 90 percent support family choice,
• 79 percent say their child should have the option to attend a neighborhood school, and
• Only 55 percent are willing to send their child outside the neighborhood just to increase diversity.
One thing you can find in this news article: evidence that Louisville is doing a great job of educating the next generation of its students in the art of denial that is so evident in some of the district’s adults.
In a summary of the survey findings, the Courier reports:
“Among high school juniors, 95 percent said they were prepared or very prepared to live and work in a diverse job setting.”
These kids are ignoring the sad message coming from the ACT PLAN test that they took in the 2009-10 school year as 10th graders. It shows very few of them achieved the Benchmark Scores that show the kids have received the educations they need for high levels of success in any sort of jobs, integrated or not.
That denial extends to the people who ran the survey, as well. Despite the fact cited above that 79 percent of the parents want the option to attend neighborhood schools, the consultant hired by the district summarized the results of this district-financed survey by indicating it would be a mistake to do major surgery on the busing plan.
Given the admitted contradictions in this survey, I’m not sure you can conclude much of anything with assurance, but when 79 percent of parents want neighborhood schools, you certainly can’t say this survey justifies that summary.
And, award a healthy portion of denial syndrome to the Courier editor who thinks the title on their article fairly summarizes what actually happened with the survey, or even what is written in the full article. Clearly, the Courier loves busing for diversity. It doesn’t seem much interested in what parents want or in the better educations students actually need.