By Jeff Woods
on Thu, May 3, 2007 at 5:38 PM
Mayoral hopeful Bob Clement has come up with Idea No. 2 in his "30 Ideas in 30 Days" blitz and, against all the odds, it's not too shabby. Clement proposes expanding Nashville's magnet school program by creating small learning communities within neighborhood schools. That would let the city end the magnet school lottery, according to Clement.
"Each year about six hundred children are put on the waiting list, and that's six hundred too many," Clement says. "They have made the grades and met the qualifications, but they didn't win the lottery. We cannot gamble with our children's future any longer."
Clement's idea would also help address one of the concerns about academic magnet schools. Critics say the city has created a system of haves and have-nots with a gap in quality between most neighborhood schools and magnet schools. If magnet-quality classes are held inside neighborhood schools, as Clement proposes, at least the kids wouldn't be as segregated as before.