Monday, December 10, 2007

The Promised Land of Education

Voters have spoken, and district ready for transition to begin
By Kelly Evenson |

Now that voters in both the Independence and Kansas City school districts have approved the transfer of seven schools, the real work is beginning. "This is one of the largest annexations in the history of the state," said Independence Superintendent Jim Hinson. "It is a pretty significant undertaking." Next summer, seven schools currently in the Kansas City School District will become a part of the Independence School District. These schools include Mount Washington, Sugar Creek, Three Trails, North Rock Creek/Korte and Fairmount elementary schools, Nowlin Middle School and Van Horn High School.

From the Blue Springs Examiner

Voting is wonderful. Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Cuba, Chile and the list keeps going of countries where voting has been relegated to a shadow of its original meaning. But as Americans, we enjoy some of the best individual freedoms and security of expression, and some of the most control over what our government does. It may not always seem like that, but it is a great gift from our Framers and Founders.

Voters in Kansas City and Independence recently voted to let seven schools be annexed from Kansas City to Independence. What is significant about this vote is that Kansas City voters had to choose to let the schools go. {Just so you know, I’m thinking about Moses telling the Pharaoh to “Let my people go”, with Moses played by Independence School District and Pharaoh played by Kansas City. Major plot differences include a decided lack of plagues}

But Kansas City voters chose overwhelmingly to let the schools go, even though they would lose revenue—without a plague of locusts swaying their opinion. Kansas City is beginning to understand that no child deserves a sub-par education, and if they can get it better somewhere else, they should have the option to do that. The aptly-named Independence district accepting these ambulant schools will be a sort of trial in the wilderness without a process in place and tested for this kind of migration. Redistricting is difficult and resource consuming endeavor and it is not practical to redistrict every time a school district drops the ball.

We have parents who wanted a change in Kansas City. We have successful districts that understand that the responsibility of bringing poorly performing schools up to snuff is easier than the economic and social impact of failing schools. We see voters in Kansas City who would not benefit from the redistricting saying we understand—students deserve this option. That says to me that parents want choice, and they need a more expedient way to get that.

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