We’ve written a ton of articles over the years about the expensive, environmentally unfriendly, and largely ineffective busing-for-integration effort that is still going on in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) (just search our blog using “busing Jefferson County” in the search window).
But, it looks like citizens of Kentucky’s biggest city just love to bang their head against the busing wall.
So, a new WAVE3.COM article about continuing violence on the buses is no surprise to us.
What is a surprise is the low learning curve about things that just don’t work for schools in Jefferson County. The Supreme Court figured out that busing wasn’t getting the job done years ago and dropped the mandate to bus for integration in Louisville.
Louisvillians keep on doing it to themselves, anyway, never seeming to realize that moving a black child to a school with better test scores for whites provides no guarantee that the black child will get the same education. In fact, that black child might not even wind up in the same classroom with the whites.
The WAVE3 article says that fights on Louisville’s school buses are down from 269 two years ago to 172 last year.
But, the article also says that John Stovall, president of Teamsters Local 783, the union that represents bus drivers, claims, “When some bus drivers report fights to the principal, who is the only one with the power to suspend a child from the bus, the incident is sometimes swept under the rug.” So, who knows what the real fight numbers are?
In any event, one fight is too many, but having something on the order of several hundred fights a year signals problems.
When you couple the bus violence with the evidence we assembled a couple of years ago that moving kids all over the map in Louisville didn’t result in better scores for the under-privileged kids who got sent to supposedly better schools on the East side of Louisville, it’s clearly past time for Louisville to fix its neighborhood schools, especially those in the West End. That way, students can thrive in a nearby school and parents can be close by for support, too. This would be a far better solution than burning huge amounts of diesel to operate what too often turn into rolling fight arenas.
JCPS doesn’t know how to fix those neighborhood schools you say. Then let’s – finally – try the charter school approach! We obviously need them in Louisville – and now in Lexington, too.