AISD Is So Full of Crap

RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 26, 2007

Dear Editor,
    AISD is so full of crap. With all of this going on at Kealing Middle School [“Point Austin,” News, Jan. 26], my fifth grader is coming home every week since Christmas with fliers from "Kealing Magnet School" and their "award-winning" whatever they are trying to sell this time. The programs they list sound great, but it seems that the whole place is built on sand. (Sand on crap!)
    AISD whines about low enrollment and closing ghost schools. But they tolerate situations that shatter morale. And on the flip side, AISD keeps trying to screw up schools that are working.
    For example, my fifth grader is about to graduate from Brentwood Elementary in north central Austin, a school in a "gentrified" neighborhood. Brentwood is fighting for the kids! They engage the neighborhood! Parents pitch in to beautify the grounds and paint murals inside. (Parents volunteer a lot!) BES hosts open houses and tagalongs and tours (etc.) for families with potential BES students. In the last year alone, the enrollment jumped enough to add about six classrooms! These are mostly in the youngest levels; meaning that the kids may stay here for years after discovering what a nice school it is.
    I said flip side. The e-mails were flying overnight. AISD wants to bus in perhaps 200 kids from one of the "underperforming" schools. And as "transfer" students, they probably won't count for funding purposes. That is, BES enrollment could go up by about 48% with no additional funding. And this with stressed kids who will need more help.
    I know that AISD is dealing with forces beyond their control from the U.S. and Texas lawmakers. But AISD has to learn to listen to their parents and children. Listen to what they need and want. Otherwise more of the families that can leave, will. And those that can't leave will grow more despairing.
    And that won't be good for the damn test scores, either.
    I'll keep prayin'.
Toni Rayner
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