I was late.
That sucked. I’m sorry.
Missed the interesting part- well most of it. But, there was this part about the Kalamazoo Promise- where the city of Kalamazoo was offering their public schools graduates a free four-year college degree.
Next thing you knew- all the for-sale signs came down.
Instead of tax abatements – Kalamazoo decided to invest in the social capital of their community.
Contrast that with Dayton- where we are busy investing in new school buildings – and a lot less of them, since we have been losing students to charter schools at an insane rate, on top of our population loss.
In the meantime, the Beavercreek school superintendentÂ can’t find enough space for all their students. When I suggested that they use the excess building capacity available in Dayton, Fairborn etc- I was told that State law prevented it- students must attend within the district.
Since school districts don’t follow municipal boundaries- this makes me wonder- who are we kidding. Parts of Dayton are in the Huber Heights, Beavercreek and Mad River School districts.
Another interesting point- while Charter schools can’t locate in a high performing district- they can accept students from them. Makes you wonder- are Charter schools not worthy of the suburbs?
It was made clear that the Ohio school funding formulas are a huge part of our education problem. Considering the State has been ignoring the State Supreme Court for at least 5 years- this isn’t going to be fixed right away.
What became very clear is that there are other ways to address these education issues that aren’t being tried in Dayton. Raleigh North Carolina decided to turn the entire county into one school district, when businesses decided that the graduates weren’t what they needed to keep their businesses running.
Dayton’s biggest problem is a perception one. Dayton public schools have improved dramatically in the last 5 years- however; they are still not being recognized for their many strengths. Once again, Dayton’s low self esteem issue is in the way.
You may not be aware of this, but there are a bunch of programs in the local schools that reward graduates with a 2-year degree from Sinclair at no-charge already- one program is called TechPrep. So, it’s not as if we haven’t started in the right direction- we’re just terrible about letting everyone know that we have some great things in Dayton.
Grassroots Greater Dayton has a forum on their site to discuss these issues- if you have some ideas, which may be the first place to go.
What do you think?