John Moon spent years as a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. Today he is a featured columnist for The Alabama Political Reporter. He has never been one to sugarcoat something, which means you are not on the Christmas card list for some people.
He has watched the on-going saga of the Montgomery school system for years. You can find his latest piece here. It is titled, The true story of the Montgomery school mess, Part 1.
And here is part of what he writes:
“I want you to understand the true motivations behind what’s taking place with Montgomery’s schools right now.No one actually gives a damn about the undereducated children of Montgomery.
They care about money.
Montgomery is broke, and it can’t attract new, wealthy residents because its school system — which the city’s white, elite business owners have ignored and undermined for decades — thoroughly stinks. It stinks because of things that are not at all hard to pinpoint.
Montgomery is the worst funded system in the state. On top of that, it has a very large number of private schools, most of which started in the late 1950s, early 1960s, which has resulted in the city’s most prosperous families abandoning the public schools. On top of that, MPS has a separate magnet school system which removes the top 25 percent of students, and their super-involved parents, from every school in the district.
What is left behind are severely underfunded public schools that are 90-plus-percent minority, 100 percent free and reduced lunch, and because magnet schools don’t take special needs students, a crazy high number of special education students.
Instead of addressing any one of those problems, the plan to “fix the image of MPS” — the plan being championed by Strange — is to replace the school board members and bring in charter schools.
And a bunch of people who I’ve never seen at a school board meeting — and I’ve been to a whole bunch of them — are trying to tell Montgomery voters who to put on the board. It’s absurd.
And a scam.
Here’s how you know it’s a scam: they’re trying like hell to keep Larry Lee off this board.
Lee hasn’t been on the board, he’s running to fill a vacant seat. He’s a Republican who has spent decades following education in this state. He knows every principal and superintendent in most school systems. For fun sometimes, he drops in and talks with teachers about their problems.
And yet, these “boottheboard” folks are so desperate to keep him off the board that they’ve hired law firms and op researchers to dig up anything they can on him. Even employed the services of ALGOP executive committee rental member Perry Hooper to challenge Lee being on the ballot.
Why? Because Lee wouldn’t guarantee that he would be in favor of charter schools.
Didn’t say he’d be against them. But would only approve them if they were truly in the best interest of Montgomery students. All Montgomery students.
But doing what’s in the best interest of all students isn’t the primary goal of this movement.
Doing what’s in the best interest of money is.”
While I don’t always agree witrh Josh, I sure do this time. He nailed it.