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Old 02-18-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Subpoenas Issued to Full School Board & Top FCPS Officials – Breaking News « Red Apple Mom
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,574 posts, read 12,677,294 times
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I'll admit I haven't followed this story closely because it doesn't directly affect my kids' schools. However, I was upset that they voted to close Clifton ES. Who's to say they wouldn't do the same thing here in Vienna (although we admittedly have more than one ES)? Honestly, I just hate the size and power of FCPS. I cannot stand that they can pretty much on a whim change your school boundaries or close a school. And many times the schools we are reassigned to are not nearby. They seem to gerrymander boundaries to make sure each school has some low-income students. But by doing so, they create split feeders, strange boundaries, and long bus rides for some students. I honestly wish there were a lot more smaller districts around here. I cannot stand the FCPS bureaucracy.

This rant is not directly related to the issue at hand, but I hope Clifton residents get their elementary school back! And that residents can get some power back when FCPS decides willy-nilly to close schools and change boundaries.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,808,960 times
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Fascinating.

On the other side of things, there are schools in the county surrounded by affluent communities with ridiculously high FARM #s. Concentrating poverty in one school isn't good either.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:37 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,642,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
I'll admit I haven't followed this story closely because it doesn't directly affect my kids' schools. However, I was upset that they voted to close Clifton ES. Who's to say they wouldn't do the same thing here in Vienna (although we admittedly have more than one ES)? Honestly, I just hate the size and power of FCPS. I cannot stand that they can pretty much on a whim change your school boundaries or close a school. And many times the schools we are reassigned to are not nearby. They seem to gerrymander boundaries to make sure each school has some low-income students. But by doing so, they create split feeders, strange boundaries, and long bus rides for some students. I honestly wish there were a lot more smaller districts around here. I cannot stand the FCPS bureaucracy.

This rant is not directly related to the issue at hand, but I hope Clifton residents get their elementary school back! And that residents can get some power back when FCPS decides willy-nilly to close schools and change boundaries.
I've read that some of the people in Clifton are incredulous that FCPS recently renovated Vienna ES in Vienna and Sherman ES in McLean, each of which is about the same size as Clifton ES, but decided to close Clifton, citing its low enrollment. I'm very glad that Liz Bradsher has never been, and will never be, my School Board representative.

The boundaries are weird and gerrymandered, but it's gone on for so long that it's hard to say whether particular boundaries were intended to pull in students from low-income areas, high-income areas or both.

Apparently, there's a group in Clifton that is exploring trying to turn Clifton ES into a charter school. There was an interesting article in the Post earlier this week discussing how hostile Montgomery County has been to an initiative to create two charter schools there. It will be interesting to see whether the same thing happens in Fairfax.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:15 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,962,882 times
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Here's an article about the effort to turn Clifton into a charter school:

Clifton Considers a Charter School (http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=346815&paper=81&cat=104 - broken link)

Of significance:

"Charter schools are also set up so that anyone in the school district has the right to attend them. It is not clear the students in the current Clifton attendance area would be given any preferential treatment over students from other parts of the county when it comes to admission.

"There would not be a guarantee for Clifton students but we would try to negotiate a preference," said Nitz.

"At least 50 percent of students enrolled at
the charter schools in a individual school district must also be considered "in need," such as children with disabilities, the poor or non-native English speakers. Nitz said the committee was working on a way to recruit students who would be considered at-risk to the school."

Not sure this is what the Clifton parents had in mind.

Virginia overall is very hostile to to charter schools, with the result that there are almost none in the Commonwealth. I definitely believe that Clifton Elementary should be kept open, and I'm glad that this lawsuit is going forward. But it will be an interesting situation if Clifton reopens as a charter school while poor children in failing schools all over Virginia are shut out of the opportunity.

This article is a year old so the "Race to the Top" part is no longer relevant, but the rest is very interesting:

Charter Schools: Virginia Laws Hurt Our At-Risk Students | Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/feb/16/ed-chart16_20100215-172403-ar-8644/ - broken link)
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:22 AM
 
11 posts, read 19,889 times
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[SIZE=2]Actual Renovation Cost[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Projected Renovation Cost[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Actual or Projected Enrollment at Time of Renovation[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Cost per Student[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Actual or Projected Completion Date[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Garfield[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 20,557,772 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]343[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 59,935 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Mount Eagle[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 12,510,965 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]274[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 45,660 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Terraset[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 19,754,626 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]474[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 41,676 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Terra Centre[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 20,710,914 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]542[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 38,212 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Franklin Sherman[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 12,753,077 [/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]358[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 35,623 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2009/10[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Clermont[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 18,575,032 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]522[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 35,584 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Vienna[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 14,379,146 [/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]408[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 35,243 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2009/10[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Clifton[/SIZE][SIZE=2] [/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 11,009,544 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]323[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 34,085 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Haycock[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 24,739,852 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]792[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 31,237 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2014[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Westgate[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 16,354,868 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]540[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 30,287 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2013[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Great Falls[/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 15,921,821 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]569[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 27,982 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2010/11[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Freedom Hill[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 14,629,262 [/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]565[/SIZE][SIZE=2] $ 25,892 [/SIZE][SIZE=2]2009/10[/SIZE]
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:50 AM
 
11 posts, read 19,889 times
Reputation: 27
(misformat above)

Forwarded to me:

Actual Renovation Cost

Projected Renovation Cost

Actual or Projected Enrollment at Time of Renovation

Cost per Student

Actual or Projected Completion Date

Garfield

$20,557,772

343

$59,935

2013

Mount Eagle

$12,510,965

274

$45,660

2013

Terraset

$19,754,626

474

$41,676

2013

Terra Centre

$20,710,914

542

$38,212

2013

Franklin Sherman

$12,753,077

358

$35,623

2009/10

Clermont

$18,575,032

522

$35,584

2013

Vienna

$14,379,146

408

$35,243

2009/10

Clifton

$11,009,544

323

$ 34,085

2013

Haycock

$24,739,

852 /792

$31,237

2014

Westgate

$16,354,868

540

$30,287

2013

Great Falls

$15,921,821

569

$27,982

2010/11

Freedom Hill

$14,629,262

565

$25,892

2009/10
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:18 AM
 
2,879 posts, read 6,839,182 times
Reputation: 1166
I'm just glad this isn't about Jefferson admissions. Maybe this will take away the premiums people are willing to pay to live within certain school boundaries. The Deed sure doesn't give you any guarantee of school.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:47 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,962,882 times
Reputation: 1289
A few more details:

FCPS, Board Heading to Court to Defend Charges of Violating Open Meetings, FOI Laws - Mount Vernon, VA Patch
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:18 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,873,297 times
Reputation: 869
I don't trust Bradsher as far as I can throw her, and the emails are revealing quite a bit of arrogance. Whoops.

I'm still not sure how closing Clifton jives with the SoCo Middle school and Gatehouse II expenditures, either.

Of course you have the occasional Cliftonista who starts muttering about their kid having to go to school with poor kids, which pretty much scuttles the pro-Clifton case in the eyes of "neutrals," much like what happened in the South Lakes brouhaha.

On the other hand, the FOIA'd emails pretty much cancel that one out.

If you're concerned aboot going to a bad school, either (1) go to a school surrounded by other good schools and (2) avoid houses right on the boundary of a school that you want to avoid.

It could be that we'd be better served by replacing FCPS with 27 school districts, each with its own board, and the FCPS bureaucracy replaced by a few folks coordinating money flow and TJ admissions.

As it stands now, I'm still not 100% sure what the clusters do.

Of course I've read they're trying to get rid of that in NJ, consolidating lots of small districts into a fewer number of big districts.
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