A Horse Is Worth More Than A Child In North Chattanooga - And Response (2)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I live less than one block from Normal Park Upper. But my home on Dallas Road is not zoned for this school. If that wasn’t strange enough, there’s another road called Carter Lake Road that is zoned for Normal Park. Carter Lake Road is about 1.5 miles from Normal Park Upper. Have you ever heard of Carter Lake Road? Me neither. And I’ve lived in North Chattanooga for 12 years.

But don’t bother looking for it on a local map. None of my maps show it – even the new one I bought last month. I found it by examining the School Board’s Normal Park Upper zone map. Carter Lake Road is in the upper right corner of the Normal Park school zone - right by the river. It’s a big road and sticks out like a sore thumb. It took me three days to find this place. Why?

A. Carter Lake Road is actually a gravel trail. With the exception of the entrance and exit points there are no houses here.

B. To enter one side of Carter Lake Road you have to drive through Carter Farms – which is a private drive.

C. To exit the other side you literally have to go through Senator Bob Corker’s back yard.

My boy is being excluded from a quality education while Carter Farm’s horses are included. Now, I don’t deny Carter Farms has some lovely animals. And, to fair, the people at Carter Farms impress me as decent people. But when a wealthy family’s horse has better access to a quality public education than a poor family’s child, something is dead wrong.

If a developer wants to convert this farm land into residential real estate (trust me, this is a big area), let’s zone the property for Normal Park after they actually develop it. Given the housing crisis, that might take years. In the meantime, I hope the decent people of Chattanooga will help me fight this injustice.

Respectfully yours,

Charles Bikas
cbikas@yahoo.com

* * *

Mr. Bikas, I understand your frustration. I also live in your neighborhood.

There is growing consensus among North Chattanooga neighborhood groups that the K-12 program that previously provided public education in the the North Chattanooga area needs to be recreated to serve the emergence of younger families, and children through the magnet school lottery. The demand is apparently bigger than the building capacity available to operate at the Normal Park Schools..

Our neighborhood remains hopeful that the emergence of a younger North Chattanooga will result in the restoration or recreation of a full K-12 program that the Normal Park Schools of excellence could potentially provide. It was not that long ago, the North Chattanooga neighborhoods had a elementary, middle, and high school. While the particulars of this issue are beyond my knowledge, the need is obvious. Our North Chattanooga neighborhoods have children again.

You should contact the school directly and try to resolve this. The fact that North Chattanooga families now seek placement at the Normal Park Schools speaks volumes to their success and commitment to children they possess. I assure you 2 years ago, no one wanted placement at this failing middle school, and 9 years ago the same for Normal Park Elementary. The success of Normal Park from my perspective is based upon a willingness to address problems head on. I feel that if there is truly an inequity, they would try to seek remedy of the situation to the best of their ability.

I agree, the implementation of magnet schools without a designated zone can create inequity for families and children that live directly by these schools. In this case, Normal Park Schools has a zone, unlike the other magnet schools. So, contract the school and try to resolve this.

April Eidson

* * *

I'd ask the writer of the original letter what is stopping his child/children from doing well no matter the school attended, whether it's magnet or "run-of-the-mill." Yes, some schools will have a lower than average composite test score but nothing at a school is stopping any individual student from accomplishing great things. Much of the problem is due to parents and with the concern shown here, that shouldn't be a problem. There are plenty of success stories from low-performing schools.

Nathan Hickey


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Jacky Cagle For East Ridge Council

I have know Jacky Cagle for over 20 years. Jacky retired from the city of East Ridge after 34 years service.  Jacky was the supervisor of the Vehicle Maintenance Department.  This gives him an edge when it comes to understanding city budgets and policy. Jacky’s dedication of service and work experiences will make him an effective and proactive member of council. He ... (click for more)

Woman Says Chattin Killed Deputy Donald Bond, Not Kiser

A woman testified Monday in Hamilton County Criminal Court that it was Mike Chattin - and not his roommate Marlon Duane Kiser - who killed County Deputy Donald Bond at a produce stand in East Brainerd in 2001. Kimberly Annette Bowman called Kiser, who is in the middle of an extended post-conviction hearing, "an innocent man." She said, "I've had this burden on me all these years." ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Luther began his career with WDEF on New Years Day 1941. Throughout his life he was honored with the Marconi Award, inducted into the Tennessee and National Association of Broadcasters Halls of Fame ... (click for more)

UTC Soccer Falls To Furman In Regular Season Road Finale

GREENVILLE, S.C. --- UTC fell 9-0 to Furman Sunday afternoon at Stone Soccer Field in Southern Conference women’s soccer action. Chattanooga falls to 1-14-1 overall and 0-7 in league play, while the Paladins improve to 10-3-2 on the year and 4-1-2 against the SoCon. The Mocs held off the Paladins, not allowing any early goals and allowed just two in the second half. Freshman ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Riley Hickman: 2-for-2 Wins At Cleveland And Talladega

The “Hustler” Riley Hickman of Ooltewah hunkered down this weekend and picked up a pair of wins in Dirt Track competition. Friday night the # R1 “Hickman Manufacturing, American Billett, Austin Trucking, Tucker Mobile Home Service, Allstar Graphics, VP Racing Fuels, RH Designs, Competition Racing Equipment, A-1 Towing, MRC” sponsored CVR / Vic Hill powered machine ... (click for more)