Friday, May 28, 2010

EDITORIAL >>Students take charge

Since it’s election time and seniors have graduated, here’s an idea—let’s have an early PCSSD school board election, vote all the incumbents out and replace them with the outstanding seniors who showed us the ugly side of Jacksonville High School back in April.

Led by senior Nick Stevens, the students recently made an excellent, albeit sad, presentation to the board, called “Jacksonville High School: An Inside Perspective,” about the physical condition of their school. They also provided an analysis of district-fund allocations by zones between 2000 to 2011. According to their report, Zone 3/Maumelle has been allocated the lion’s share – 53 percent, while Zone 5/north Pulaski County has been allocated 1 percent and Zone 6/Jacksonville has been allocated 2 percent. Thirty-one percent of PCSSD students come from Jacksonville.

The slide presentation included photos of moldy surfaces, broken light fixtures and furniture, sagging ceiling tiles and electric wires protruding from walls and ceilings.

“We are not here to whine and complain but to make you aware of the effect of the condition of the school on students and teachers. Low teacher retention rate and dropout rate are associated with a neglected condition of the school and an atmosphere of futility,” the students told the board.

But the board, typically narrow-minded, instead directed its attention to its drawn-out battle to decertify the teacher’s union.

Perhaps a June 8 vote ushering the savvy students in to run things would bring peace and equity to the district and allow the teachers to do their job—produce outstanding students from everywhere in the district.

We will be first to get on board and back former and current JHS students Nick Stevens, Damion Donovan, Ed Calvo, Bill Bouillon and Jericha Wilson for the PCSSD school board if they were on the ballot on June 8.