Leave decisions to the professionals
This letter is in response to all parties who seem to have the best answers and all the solutions for our school when they are either ignorant on the matter or have never been to Meadow Bridge High School to know the facts.
Let me say upfront that I am not against consolidation when it is logical. Under the current plan, the building at Meadow Bridge will remain open for K-8th grade students. How logical is it to ship the 9th-12th grade students somewhere else? Being a teacher of English and rhetoric, perhaps one should inspect the ethos, pathos and logos of this particular consolidation.
The emotion fueled because of Jan Young’s letter is what inspired this letter. Ms. Young states that MBHS students have not passed AP exams and have not received the score of “3” that is required for college credit. I am an AP teacher at MBHS and can tell you that many of my students have passed AP Literature and AP Language exams. The same holds true for other students of AP History, etc. Ms. Young goes on to compare MBHS students with other students around the county.
Every good teacher learns not to compare student to student but instead compares on what level a student begins opposed to on what level he ends his academic journey. However, if others want to play this game, I can tell you that I am thrilled when students return to MBHS and tell me that they were prepared for college classes or the workforce: “Mrs. Goode, I was the only one in my English 101 class who knew the APA format.” “Mrs. Goode, I was the only one in my English class who knew Maya Angelou.” “Mrs. Goode, I presented my portfolio and got the job. Thanks for the recommendation.” I can also tell you that MBHS was named a bronze school by U.S. News and World Report and a success school by the West Virginia Department of Education. In many areas, our students score above the state average and far above the county average on the annual Westest which will soon become the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Our class of 2011 scored 17th in the state in reading language arts. Every year, our students do well.
Others have also pointed out that we house students from Greenbrier and Summers counties, which is true, though fabricated, because we certainly do not have 50 percent or more of our population from those counties. Additionally, for those interested, the Fayette County Board of Education allowed and welcomed students from those counties and that information can be found in the board meeting minutes of years gone by. We are already a community school. Request funding for Greenbrier and Summers county students from Greenbrier and Summers counties. I know that I would want my tax dollars to go wherever my students are. I am certain that if our students are forced to go to another county, that county will be requesting money from Fayette County.
Besides permission for Greenbrier and Summers county students to attend MBHS, other permission granted by the Fayette County Board of Education of which many are not aware and are not considering in this proposed consolidation includes the fact that our current juniors and seniors may attend afternoon college classes at the Erma Byrd Center. We are 5 miles from Interstate 64. This enhanced academic opportunity is something that we do not want to lose.
Ms. Young and others also point out that our students attend the Fayette Institute of Technology. Indeed, they do. Still, those students attend during the daytime and transportation is provided. However, in the evening hours under the proposed consolidation plan, no transportation will be provided for students who stay after school. That is a hardship that our families can neither afford at any time nor care to partake of during the winter.
My hope at MBHS is that all persons leave the decisions up to the professionals, Mrs. Manchin and the West Virginia Board of Education. Mrs. Manchin pointed out in her last address to the Fayette County Board of Education: “You have a school that did everything that you asked them to do, a school with great parent involvement.” Our students and staff have indeed done everything we have been asked to do, and we are doing it well. Our students were told to “do well on the Westest and keep your school open.” Indeed, they are doing well. Mrs. Manchin recognizes the uniqueness of the lay of the land and the uniqueness of its people.
In closing, I once knew a man who adopted two children but decided he could not afford to keep them anymore so he sent them back. Imagine how devastating for all parties involved. Our students are not adopted children to send away just because someone cannot afford them anymore. Why send high school students anywhere when the building is scheduled to remain open? What money will that save? How logical is that?
Lisa S. Goode