Sunday, April 3, 2011

Robertson County Schools: By the Numbers

Sometimes, you do not need hyperbole. Merely conveying something is all that you have to do.
Well, let me share with you some figures. Now, I feel as though you will have the same reaction that I did. I knew that these figures would reveal what they did, but until I saw them, I had no idea.
These are our Robertson County Schools:

City-Data.com 2009
School
Percent
Percent
Percent
Percent
Percent
Percent
Economically
White
Black
Hispanic
Asian
Native American
Disadvantaged
Springfield High School
49.0%
67.6%
25.1%
6.8%
0.5%
Springfield Middle School
71.6%
51.3%
36.4%
11.8%
0.5%
Westside Elementary
77.6%
36.8%
44.7%
18.0%
0.5%
Cheatham Park Elementary
77.1%
42.3%
28.2%
29.3%
0.3%
Krisle Elementary
59.8%
62.6%
28.4%
9.1%
Bransford Elementary
88.8%
41.9%
33.0%
25.1%
Coopertown Middle
26.3%
94.0%
2.7%
2.7%
0.7%
Coopertown Elementary
28.9%
95.1%
1.9%
2.4%
0.3%
White House Heritage
27.4%
95.4%
0.9%
2.1%
1.3%
Woodall Elementary
29.7%
92.8%
3.3%
3.2%
0.7%
Greenbrier High School
23.1%
96.7%
1.1%
1.1%
0.9%
0.1%
Greenbrier Middle
29.6%
97.5%
0.8%
0.6%
0.8%
0.3%
Greenbrier Elementary
30.4%
94.1%
2.8%
2.0%
1.1%
Jo Byrns School
39.7%
95.1%
3.6%
1.0%
0.2%
East Robertson High School
32.0%
93.0%
5.7%
0.9%
0.4%
East Robertson Elementary
38.2%
93.6%
3.3%
2.5%
0.3%
0.3%
Watauga Elementary
35.0%
95.8%
1.3%
2.1%
0.2%
0.6%
2010 Figures from Tennessee.gov
Springfield High School
63.0%
64.6%
25.5%
9.0%
0.8%
0.1%
Springfield Middle School
78.4%
48.9%
36.1%
14.9%
0.0%
0.2%
Westside Elementary
89.2%
35.2%
39.9%
24.9%
0.0%
0.0%
Cheatham Park Elementary
88.7%
45.8%
25.4%
28.5%
0.3%
0.0%
Krisle Elementary
75.5%
59.4%
23.8%
16.3%
0.4%
0.0%
Bransford Elementary
94.6%
31.7%
32.1%
35.2%
0.7%
0.3%
Coopertown Middle
33.0%
94.4%
2.2%
2.5%
0.5%
0.4%
Coopertown Elementary
36.0%
94.8%
2.6%
2.4%
0.3%
0.2%
White House Heritage
28.4%
93.6%
2.4%
2.4%
1.4%
0.1%
Woodall Elementary
27.8%
92.8%
3.0%
2.8%
1.4%
0.0%
Greenbrier High School
31.5%
95.4%
1.4%
1.4%
1.3%
0.5%
Greenbrier Middle
38.7%
94.9%
2.0%
2.0%
0.3%
0.7%
Greenbrier Elementary
42.6%
94.2%
2.1%
2.7%
1.0%
0.0%
Jo Byrns Elementary
53.4%
92.0%
2.3%
5.6%
0.2%
0.0%
Jo Byrns High School
43.0%
95.5%
3.1%
0.8%
0.6%
0.0%
East Robertson High School
38.4%
93.2%
4.5%
2.1%
0.2%
0.0%
East Robertson Elementary
51.0%
92.4%
3.6%
3.5%
0.3%
0.2%
Watauga Elementary
44.8%
96.9%
1.7%
1.3%
0.0%
0.0%


Now, with that said, I believe that they speak for themselves in many ways.
What I would like to point out is the correlation between the economically disadvantaged and the City of Springfield.
Take a look at the Springfield “school district.”
Bransford Elementary School is nearly 95% economically disadvantaged.
Westside and Cheatham Park are not too far behind.
And, if you look at this trend, it has gotten worse sense the last time that these figures were updated. Again, it has gotten worse. If it continues, it will only get far worse, and it will metastasize to other parts of our County.
Why this is a mandate is that if we allow this to happen to one area of our County, it is only a matter of time before all of areas will be affected. Thus, if one school district takes such a turn, it will only be a matter of time before all of the remaining districts are affected.
We have to acknowledge that this is a “County issue” and not just a “Springfield issue.” These children and these families know of nothing else since at least a generation of children has passed through this school district. The children will know nothing different unless we show them that there are opportunities out there. We are not doing anything to show these children opportunity. We need to take ownership of this issue. We need to think outside our own individual schools, and our own individual school districts.
When folks outside of Robertson County think about Robertson County, they immediately think of Springfield, like it or not. So, when our flagship city has such a concentration of economically disadvantaged children; we, the County, must think about this issue. This is why Robertson County has such a negative impression throughout Middle Tennessee.
And, again, like it or not, this is going to have be a conversation we have as a County are going to have this conversation because we can have this conversation, or someone can bring this conversation to us.
This will be a challenge, no doubt, but a challenge we must face together.

15 comments:

  1. Are you saying that we should be moving resources from out in the county into the city? That the schools with "better" (taken from your "worse" comment) populations should surrender their relatively positive situations to meet the challenge of educating Springfield residents? Why would we want to drag others down with them? How about correct the problems in Springfield by using the "county schools" as a model? If we truly believe all populations can succeed equally, then shouldn't we be able to replicate the successes of our system as appropriate? And there ARE successes... in every school in our county, even in Springfield. Some of the opportunities found at Springfield High are ONLY available there. How about we focus on some positives, instead of sitting around saying "Look at how bad it's getting. We have to do SOMETHING!" That is quite fatalistic. Often, that attitude leads to doing "SOMETHING" just for the sake of the doing, without much result. Can you say NCLB? Yeah, 'cause THAT'S worked out just great...

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  2. The previous comment is a good example of the problem.....viewing the school system as separate parts instead of one county school system. Since the majority of the tax revenue for all the schools is generated in Springfield, the schools outside Springfield would be in a budget crises if there were a Springfield Special School District created. The tax rates for non-Springfield residents would go sky high. No one wants this to happen, but the "us against them" folks should realize that we're all in this together. A re-drawing of the school zone lines would also help the problem.

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  3. I applaud you, Mr. Garner, for this eye opening report. All Springfield schools are disadvantaged and the lack of parental involvement is pathetic. I am so proud that my children are out of Springfied schools. If I had one in school now, I would highly consider private school based on the report.

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  4. It appears that moving Dr. Morris from Coopertown to Springfield Middle was not very successful. Guess he sees now how a true inner City school operates. I cannot believe those results.

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  5. How about focusing on improving the schools in Springfield? What about community and parental involvement, additional programs, extended hours, etc.? Are you somehow suggesting that redistricting will solve the socio economic problems? Did this work in Davidson County? As Mr. Whitlow stated, "people live where they live".

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  6. I don't think this presents an accurate picture. To say the situation is "worsening" based only on this data ignores the fact that the entire country faced an economic recession between these years. Almost EVERYONE'S situation got worse. Let's see what 2011 numbers look like. Granted, the population of Springfield schools appears to be more disadvantaged, but that cannot be exclusively the fault of the school system, nor should it be solved exclusively therein.

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  7. Good point. Also, using Bransford as a barometer probably isn't a good idea. Isn't this a school whose FEDERAL programs specifically target children from disadvantaged backgrounds (HEADSTART)?

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  8. Maybe it is time to look at the leaders in the school district. When asked about what he was doing regarding disadvantage schools, Mr Whitlow was quick to say; "people live where they live"..."if they don't like the school they are assigned, they should move." Wow...what a leader. Maybe if they move him, they might get someone who can make a difference in all the schools.

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  9. I have a child who attends Westside. We weren't from here so when we had to move, we trusted our realtor to guide us to a great neighborhood. We were misguided and didn't realize it until it was too late. I called Mr. Whitlow and asked about getting my child transferred to Jo Byrnes and his statement to me was "if you want him in another school the only way that will happen is if you move. If his transfer paper gets to me the answer is no.". I couldn't ask any more questions because "he was too busy" and "he has nothing else to say". I thi k this is horrible leadership. Especially when there are MANY kids going to schools that they are NOT zoned for. Maybe I should lie like everyone else does, that seems to work really well in this crooked city.

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  10. Elected Superintendants would give direct accountablity to the citizens! Call your legislators and tell them to support the elected superintendant bill!!

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  11. Had my daughter in Springfield. Put her in the Private school and now that my son is in the "middle school" grade, I have to home school. The district (middle and high school) needs to be fixed. However it can be done, it just does. I don't know anyone who talks about these schools in a positive manner. "Rough Schools" "ew, your daughter went there?" ya, we moved here too and didn't realize until too late that we moved into a bad district.

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