A heated debate affecting the Cool Springs area over a Williamson County School rezoning continues with a vote set for tomorrow evening at 5pm.
The majority of parents we’ve spoken with in the Cool Springs area, still feel a lack of transparency on behalf of the Williamson County School Board and the new Superintendent of school Dr. Mike Looney in regards to the rezoning.
The following letter was submitted by a concerned Williamson County parent who has requested anonymity:
“In November of last year, the Williamson County School (WCS) administration proposed a rezoning plan that moved a small number of students out of the Kenrose-Woodland-Ravenwood feeder system into Centennial High School (CHS) with a majority of kids they don’t know. After extensive public outcry questioning why this group of kids, why it was proposed on the last day of Interim Schools Director Dr. David Heath’s tenure, and why a wider zoning plan wasn’t considered, the school board rejected the plan.
After spending more than $80,000 of tax payer money on an Educational Logistics, Inc. (Edulog) software package, the WCS administration appears to be back at it again. However, now they have implemented a third party software package to develop the same plan rejected last year. Why? And why haven’t they published what the inputs were to the program? Was this rigged from the beginning to give the answer they wanted, and if so, again, why? Is the Williamson County plan setting up Centennial for failure? The evidence seems compelling:
– Though CHS was designed, funded, and built as an 1800 student high school, in recent years, it has been operating with less than 1400 students
– Last year’s WCS Administration rezoning plan and both rezoning plans (Edulog’s and WCS Administration’s) this year assume capacity at CHS of 1600 students. This week the administration counted the school classrooms and lockers, and measured the cafeteria to verify that in fact, Centennial should have 1800 students.
– After building Ravenwood High School, the exodus of students from Centennial resulted in a concentrated population of minorities and financially disadvantaged kids at the school (30.3% minorities and 25.2% economically disadvantaged per TDOE 2009 Report card) with a relative lack of minority and economically disadvantaged representation at the other northern county high schools (less than half the percentages at Ravenwood High School, Brentwood High School, and Franklin High School).
– Other high schools in the county (Page and Fairview) both have smaller enrollments than Centennial, yet have higher test scores; so, clearly a small school can succeed, but not one that has become an economically disadvantaged “dumping ground”
– The plan in November of last year, the original Edulog plan last week, and Dr. Looney’s current plan all have Ravenwood minority and economically disadvantaged representation decreasing, and Centennial minority representation increasing. Is this progress?
Is this a plan for capacity utilization? What inputs were used to get this plan? We don’t have all the answers, but in light of this new evidence, parents and tax payers are wondering how the board can vote yes for a rezoning plan this Friday, and why the board can’t use their eighty thousand dollar investment to start from scratch with published goals and the relative weights of proximity, capacity, and broken feeder system BEFORE determining a plan. This appears to be the best way to ensure a fair and objective plan.”
We’re very interested to see how things play out tomorrow evening with the Williamson County School Board and Dr. Mike Looney.
It seems there are still many questions left answered about the rezoning, although a vote is scheduled for 5pm.