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Jefferson County Public Schools Magnet Programs


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To prevent affluent families from fleeing to the local Catholic school system or surrounding counties, the district turned its magnets into the equivalent of private schools: fashioning them so only children with pristine academics, behavior and attendance could attend.

The consequences proved disastrous for Iroquois, which, by 1991, was hemmed in by three magnet high schools: Manual, Butler and Male.

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In 2019-20, Jefferson County's lowest-ranked high schools — those deemed a "1-star" school by the state — saw more than a quarter of their zoned students siphoned to the district's five stand-alone magnet high schools: Brown, Butler, Central, duPont Manual and Male.

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7 minutes ago, Bluegrasscard said:

This must create a lot of stress in families where the child is borderline to qualify for the magnet but misses out and then lands in the 1-star. 

 

Yes. Some parents when can't get in Traditional program or Manual send their kid to private schools. Ballard is in a affluent area so it does well even though not a magnet school. 

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I struggle with the answer here.  As a parent, I have and would again take any advantage I could for my kids.  I also know that lower performing schools in poor districts face a multitude of problems.  Years ago the SEEK program was supposed to more evenly distribute money among schools, but that is not enough. Not a teacher myself, but I have a few teachers in my family.  The socio-economic problems are so complex that I have no idea how to fix the problems with the public school systems.

 

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Didn’t mean to repeat the above.  I did want to say that one of my close relatives initially taught at a private wealthier school where the patents drove her nuts with endless petty complaints/requests.  They were quite entitled, and Catholic school teachers do not make much money.  She left for a poor public school district.  There, few parents took any interest in their children.  Many kids were from broken homes and many parents had drug or alcohol problems.  Discipline for the kids meant nothing and she was often afraid to walk to her car alone.  She recently started in a poor Catholic school and loves it.  The families are poor but do whatever they can for the children.  Some of the kids don’t even have much of a Christmas, but the parents are present and as involved as they can be.  As above, I am not saying I have the answer, but I do wonder about the effect the home situation affects under performing schools.

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19 minutes ago, Beechwoodfan said:

As above, I am not saying I have the answer, but I do wonder about the effect the home situation affects under performing schools.

As someone who has spent the last eighteen years teaching in one district (2,400 students total; 66% are considered "economically disadvantaged" by KDE), I think this is the most important thing. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but a troublesome home situation makes things extremely difficult for students. If you don't know who will be at your house when you get home, which house you can even call home, and in many cases what you might eat that very evening, how can I expect you to be concerned with learning?

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10 minutes ago, gchs_uk9 said:

As someone who has spent the last eighteen years teaching in one district (2,400 students total; 66% are considered "economically disadvantaged" by KDE), I think this is the most important thing. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but a troublesome home situation makes things extremely difficult for students. If you don't know who will be at your house when you get home, which house you can even call home, and in many cases what you might eat that very evening, how can I expect you to be concerned with learning?

Yes, that is what I have been told.  Very sad all around.  Can you blame wealthier and/or more involved parents for getting their children into magnet or private schools?  That leaves the more disadvantaged kids even more behind which is also wrong. As I said before, I would be a magnet/private school parent.

 

As an experienced teacher, do you have any ideas?

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11 minutes ago, Beechwoodfan said:

As an experienced teacher, do you have any ideas?

Not really. Sadly, it is a societal issue that is extremely difficult to fix.

As for JCPS, I can't really speak on their issues at all. I am a high school teacher but in a district with only one high school. All of or neighboring districts are either one or two schools and none have anything like magnet schools. There are a few private schools nearby but are all heavily religious and have limited athletics so their numbers are small.

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Manual is a big target in this article. They are a "academic magnet" so can be very selective as to who goes there. JCPS Superintendent's kid goes there. They like to chant "Daddy's Money" at St. X games which is like the pot calling the kettle black. If JCPS makes changes to these magnets for the worse it will be a boon for private schools and they know that so they are between a rock and a hard place. 

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