Monday, April 2, 2007

Wrong Side of the Tracks, Part III

This is the third in a series of posts concerning the ethnic imbalance in our schools. The first of the series can be found here.

Additional community comments about the redistricting, copied without corrections:
  • I could send my children to the district seven miles to the south and have them educated with the same types of students that will be at Crossing with the new proposal for much less.
  • Under Option A for the redistricting for the high school, Ballantrae residents would be sent to Darby High School, from what I understand. I am very much AGAINST this proposal. One of the reasons I chose Ballantrae was for Davidson High School. Many, many other Ballantrae residents feel the same way.
  • I am writing to voice my disapproval of where the Hyde Park subdivision is slated to go to school next year. It is a school with test scores that have dropped in every major area except 4th grade writing for the past three years. I am afraid that not only would I move to another area of Hilliard with better schools, I would have a fairly difficult time selling it due to the elementary school to which children in that area would go.
  • Here is my concern: I left the Columbus Public School District to pay more taxes for better schools. I live in the city of Hilliard proper and now we are going to be redistricted to an elementary school with continually declining test scores and a population taht reminds me a great deal of Columbus/Southwestern City Schools. ( live in Hyde Park, being sent to Crossing on all three maps). I am very disappointed in the way this is turing out. Hyde Park has continuously supported school issues and bond issues and this is the way we are considered?
  • I strongly encourage the Board of Education members to carefully consider the drawing of the zones that are in the central and southern portions of our district to distribute the share of rentals throughout Scioto Darby, JW Reason, Beacon, Hilliard Crossing, Darby Creek, etc. so that they are not concentrated in two or three schools
  • Our major concern as residents of Ballantrae, is the major home investment we made for our children to attend Davidson High School. The property taxes are huge ($10,000 - $20,000 per year). We have been willing to pay and vote "yes" on school issues twice, since we moved here. This has increased our taxes each time. The possibility of being moved to Darby is not acceptable for many reasons. 1.) Many Ballantrae residents formerly resided in Carrington, Britton Farms, and River Landings subdivisions. These are not new Hilliard residents. We are residents who have been in the district for many years. The criteria of "new neighborhood" should not apply here if the board is really being fair. 2.)The construction on Cosgray and Hayden Run will make the next 4 years a nightmare for travel to Darby and Heritage. We have already suffered through the Avery Rd./Hayden Run Rd. 9 month shutdown. This would continue the nightmare for our neighborhood. 3.) The word is out that the board will vote on Option A. The "people in the know" as we shall call them, will only fuel the argument that the board and district adminstrators really are not listening to community input. Rather they are only going through the motions, if Option A is indeed the one accepted by the board. The impact of this decision on the school community will be huge. Looking to the north in Dublin, their school board understands that you don't bite the community hand that feeds you. Their new school openings offered some choice and gave voters(parents) a true measure of respect and value. This is not the case with this situation. The lack of respect will be interpreted as " the board and adminstrators really don't care what you think or want - just keep paying". Unfortunately, this will ultimately alienate the people who have been your biggest backers.(i.e. percentage of yes votes in the last 2 school campaigns). Politically, for the long term financial stability of the district, this would not be a prudent decision. This will turn a 80% - 20% yes vote into a 80 - 20 no vote on future voting. With school issues running close, that could and would change the outcome of those school issues. People in Ballantrae vote. People in Ballantrae will opt for different choices for their children's education outside the Hilliard City Schools. People in Ballantrae will not sit quietly and let the board dictate a change that the people (voters, parents) are vehemently against. The neighborhood emails are flying, the community is organizing. What a shame that a short sighted decision could turn into a long term political nightmare for the district. One that has enjoyed exceptional support from this neighborhood. 4.) While understanding that redistricting is never easy, this is not the same old Hilliard of even 10 years ago. Parents and community expect a different level of service and accountability for their tax dollars.If you want high levels of support from the community, there must be a high level of respect from the board and district adminstrators. If that happens, our children can be the true beneficiaries.
  • Sending the students from Hyde Park to Crossing would be a double whammy for those of us who live here. Not only would it take us away from the children we see everyday, it would send us to a school that has below-district averages on the state standardized tests. In the past, this development has supported the schools in every issue it has faced. I am afraid that if one of the primary plans are used that send our kids to Crossing, this support will be lost. Who would buy a house in an area with subpar schools? There is no doubt that our house values would decrease.
  • Our family and many neighbors are adamantly opposed to "Option A" for High School/Middle School. My wife and I are proud Hilliard graduates. Our family recently moved back to the Columbus area after being in Baltimore, MD for many years. We had many friends & co-workers tell us to avoid Hilliard City Schools because the district had changed for the worse over the past several years. We looked at Arlington and Dublin schools, but we decided on Hilliard City Schools and the Ballantrae subdivision, mainly due to the new elementary school (Washington) and the notion our children would go to Davidson H.S. I can't even begin to imagine our children riding in their bus past Davidson H.S. everyday to get to Darby H.S. I would rather send my children to private school and vote no on all future Hilliard school levies.
  • Some of the redistricting plans have MANY condo and apt. areas slated for the same Crossing may be 8/10 from apt. and condo.I KNOW that this pop. of students is more transient and generally have parents of lower educational/income levels.Is it really the best choice for them to be mostly put in the same school??Is it the best choice for all of Hilliard?Spread out that population to several schools! That is what is in the best interest of all the children of Hilliard!
  • I sincerely hope that the Hilliard Board of Education will insure that all three Hilliard high schools will be treated fairly in regard to socioeconmically disadvanteged families. Please insure that lower income housing is spread equally among the three high schools. We already have a community perspective with the current two high schools as the "haves" and "have nots." Please do your best to distribute the concerns evenly. Research shows that the students who do the best academically come from families with higher socail economic status. While there are many good things that come from diversity, there are concerns as well. The concerns are for each and every student to receive the best education possible, staff understanding/support/development and community education. Please divide the load to help prevent many negative things that will occur if you do not.
  • I had hoped that the board would use redisticting as an opportunity to create diversity in all our schools. I believe that exposure to diversity creates life-long lessons that academics can not, but I believe that it is also unfair for schools with significant cultural and socio-economic diversity to be held to the same standards without additional assistance for our teachers.

It is encouraging for me to see some community members expressing the belief that we need to use the opportunity of this redistricting effort to rebalance so that each individual school has a socioeconomic profile which matches the community at large. I also respect the views of those who say they don't want to see this kind of rebalancing take place.

But I have little respect for those who want to define some schools as enclaves for the affluent and predominately white neighborhoods in the district, but mask their true feelings by making the discussion be about traffic and transportation issues.

Next post on this subject


  1. But I have little respect for those who want to define some schools as enclaves for the affluent and predominately white neighborhoods in the district, but mask their true feelings by making the discussion be about traffic and transportation issues.

    Well, then, you're arguing for the wrong school district. This is what people here are about.

  2. Marcia, I disagree with your comments. I think the comments vary from which side of the tracks or Cemetery Road you live on.

    We have friends that have children that go to Davidson. We were recently told that their child gets very nervous around a specific minority. When this child goes to college or starts his/her career, think about the day to day struggles to get used to the diversity that exists in the world today.

    My children have either graduation from Darby or are attending Darby or Heritage. In all honesty, I feel that my children have become well rounded individuals because of the diversity at the high schools and middle schools.

  3. This is such a late comment, but I was just so shocked to read some Hyde Park comments. As a Cross Creek resident, it's very sad to see that Hyde park neighbors don't want their children to go to Crossing. I just wonder...Are you also the type to not let your child come to my child's birthday party because I live in a smaller house over here in Cross Creek? I happen to be a nice, young mother of two wonderful girls. I am clean, and keep my house well. I am from Dublin and I grew up with this type of nonsense my whole life. Hyde park is nothing to brag about. Crossing this year is mostly made up of Cross Creek students and a VERY nice neighborhood over behind the Kroger's off of Roberts- Western Lakes(NOT apartments). I also don't think our test score are that bad. Remember who all is taking these tests. Just because kids may not have help at home and do poorly on tests does not mean the curriculum taught in the actual classroom to YOUR child is any less. Also, what about the mentally disabled children's test scores that go into the mainstream? or the students who speak very little English? Crossing happens to be a very nice school and I'm proud to live here. Does it make me less of a loving and caring parent because we are young and can only afford to live in Cross Creek? Does that make my children's IQ lower? NO... I happen to know we are quite competent adults and good parents and we most likely do a better job parenting our children than people with sour attitudes. How sad. It's one thing for people to complain about a school with say a 90% problem with non english speaking kids, test scores, help in the classroom... but Crossing? It's a wonderland compared to other schools. How about Hyde Parks is bused to Horizon? Maybe you think that owning a middle of the road home in Hyde Park entitles you to a brand new school and only children from homes that cost over $200 thou are admitted? I'd love to see you survive in Dublin, Tartan Fields/Muirfield side. I had over 30 years there and come from a family who has lived there for over 65 years. Get over yourselves. People there wouldn't wipe their feet on your doormat. I hoped to get away from people like this with the move to Hilliard. Now I see it stems all the way down to the tip of middle classlings.