The past two @JCPSKY superintendents had been grooming @ShawneeAcademy to be charter school’s sacrificial lamb — or so it seems. For a decade, the student assignment mix at the low performing high school has been significantly disproportionate to the rest of the district, and the resources to address the saturation level of needs have been insufficient, yet the school is still held to the same standards as an all-magnet school that requires application and acceptance. The school’s inability to compete in a rigged horse race, have been compounded by state laws that caused Shawnee to lose their SBDM power, forced shakeups, teacher and staff turnover, top down bullying of teachers and administrators who tried to protect vulnerable students from abusive testing and policies, and worse. “There is no way this would have been allowed to happen had this been a school in the East End,” said one Shawnee parent whose daughter chose to transfer from Atherton to Shawnee in 2015.
In his short time at the helm, Dr. Pollio has shown a great interest in addressing root cause issues in order to authentically turn Shawnee around and give it — and its students — the fighting chance it deserves. But he needs time. Folks like Hal Heiner and Jerry Stephens have had plenty of time to work on their plans. Bevin and the KDE Board need to give our new sup the same opportunity.
It’s becoming increasingly clear to myself and others that the “failure” of this beautiful school, housed on the largest public campus in the state, in a stately historical property built in 1927, was premeditated a decade ago to achieve their end goal: Charters in the West End. And voters and taxpayers “meddling” by taking back our school board and our administration is interfering with that goal.
Berman said it himself: “District officials have discussed … closing Shawnee. But it’s just an idea and probably a decade away.” That was 2008.
From the article:
Now, the district is proposing new attendance zones for 16 high schools and 20 middle schools. Its aim is to leave no school with more than half its students from low-income, low-education and high-minority neighborhoods. Except for Shawnee High School. Under the proposal, Shawnee would still draw 87 percent of its students from low-income, low-education and high-minority areas — more than double the rate of any other high school. District officials could have created a satellite attendance zone for Shawnee in a more affluent area of Jefferson County to diversify enrollment. But they chose not to.
One quote in the article from Superintendent Berman indicates there could be a plan to shut the school down in 2018.