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Old 06-28-2008, 04:03 PM
 
142 posts, read 637,989 times
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http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/news/121455810341510.xml&coll=1

Huntsville City Schools has announced the site of their proposed middle school for west Huntsville residents -- west of Jeff Road and south of Capshaw Road.

As is noted in the article, Jeff Road is already home to four large county schools - Monrovia Elementary, Monrovia Middle, Sparkman High and Sparkman 9th Grade Academy - with a combined enrollment of about 4,000 students.

Jeff Road should already be a 5 lane road from University/Hwy-72 north to Hwy-53, but instead we have 2 lanes. And I imagine we'll still have 2 lanes for many years to come.

The land for the new middle school in Huntsville City School System is 1.5 miles south on Jeff Road from Monrovia Middle School (Madison County School System) and 3.5 miles from Discovery Middle School (Madison City School System).

While there are pros and cons to having many small school systems, this situation (in my opinion), points out the inefficiency. With multiple school systems in our county, there is not an effective use of facilities. Huntsville City Schools have many under utilized buildings while Madison County Schools and Madison City Schools are needing to build more.

While I may be in the minority, I feel all 3 school systems should be merged, a single administration put in place, and the segregation restrictions on Huntsville City lifted. Today we have the cost of 3 school system administrations and an administration for Huntsville City Schools that has stayed longer than needed. School lines should be rezoned so we are not busing children past one school to reach another. Funding levels for the schools should be equalized, whether residents of Huntsville city, Madison city, or Madison County -- so that all schools are funded at a level equal to or above current Madison City School levels.

There are opinions that the school systems are adequately funded today and the problem is school administrations wasting money. If that is true, then it is our job as residents to express those beliefs at the polls by either (depending on where you live) voting directly for the School Board members or voting for City Council members who then appoint the School Board members.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:16 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,325,939 times
Reputation: 266
I like the fact that Madison City seceded and is on its own as a school district. It appears to give them greater reach and overall flexibility. As part of a large county system here in Fairfax, VA, I've seen a ton of wasteful decisions with the big, central county office and poor management of the specialized services. GT, Spec. Ed., lack of proper differentiation in education, over pandering to whatever the county supervisor's pet project is has lead to a school system that is way too big and not at all properly functioning.

One thing we learned was that Madison City wanted to be a separate entity so it would not be burdened by the county restrictions.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:24 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,325,939 times
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I like the fact that Madison City is separate from the county and Hville schools. That was what appealed to me after dealing with an overburdened, too large system here in FX County. No two schools are alike and no two areas are alike. Some principals understand that while others are still pandering the big, overpriced central office we have here. The fact that Madison City schools are more independent totally appeals to me and makes the schools and admin seem way more accessible.

After dealing with the central office in FX County and seeing how one county supervisor prior to this one in place today could direct the entire direction of the system to meeting his pet project goals while systematically weakening some excellent county programs as a consequence, I do not want to go back to a large system in which I do not have accessibility and accountability as a parent.

We were very fortunate that our daughter had a good principal in her GT Center until he retired the last year. And our MS Principal was amazing. But we were in a great system once my daughter got out of her original elem school. And I saw the differences when they all reached MS as far as their ability to perform, their confidence and more.

But that's another story. Let's just say that if my girl had not tested into the GT Center, we'd be in private school here so she could get the proper education that challenged her and made her grow vs. just teaching to the lowest common denominator.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:26 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,325,939 times
Reputation: 266
sorry about the virtual double posts--still not adroit at handling the edit button--thought I lost the first one
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