Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rezoning Plan Back in the Spotlight

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:17 PM

The school board will decide tonight whether to go ahead with the student rezoning plan that has polarized the city along racial lines like something out of the Sixties. Board member Ed Kindall says he’ll ask the board to suspend the plan for a month of study about whether it’s a good idea to zone 1,300 additional poor, black children to Pearl-Cohn schools. Those kids are bused from North Nashville to Hillwood now. The plan is ballyhooed as a return to neighborhood schools. But as we pointed out in this story, it flies in the face of decades of education research on how best to teach poor, urban children. “Everyone said when they were running for office that they thought we ought to revisit this plan to get some clarity,” Kindall tells Pith. “The mayor even said that at one point. We never had a discussion on this. When it was brought to us that night, it was just, ‘Are you ready to vote?’ I can’t see where it hurts anything to discuss this for 30 days.” The plan's foes question whether the school board can keep promises to spend an extra $6 million annually to improve Pearl-Cohn schools to help them cope with so many poor children. Kindall’s not likely to succeed. Alan Coverstone, a new board member, is seen as the swing vote, and he’s already telling everyone he won’t support reconsidering the plan. Coverstone represents Hillwood, where some white parents object to the presence of black children from North Nashville.


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