Save J.C.M. (Renovate or Rebuild)

This petition made change with 1,545 supporters!

Help keep Jackson Central Merry High School open in Jackson, TN.  J.C.M. was established in 1970 (a combination of the historic Jackson High and Merry High).  The closure of J.C.M would dramatically affect the children and people in the community.  They would have to travel a distance outside their neighborhoods, because the closings would create education deserts in areas of the city with the highest concentration of minority and low-income residents.

Just as urban renewal decimated neighborhoods and dispersed the mostly poor and minority residents without benefiting them, the school-closings agenda of the current wave of school reform probably will lead to the same outcomes.  Scholars and professional planners generally agree that urban renewal was a misguided policy that, rather than revitalizing neighborhoods, doomed them to long-term decline.

Schools are often the one institution still surviving in low-income neighborhoods, and they serve as a point of pride and community for families.

New “education reformers” prioritize closing schools over improving them.  When a neighborhood loses its schools, it also loses an institution that builds relationships among local residents and binds generations, while it serves local children. Losing schools makes it all the more likely that these neighborhoods will deteriorate further. Who would stay or move into a neighborhood that doesn’t even have a school in which parents and community members can invest their energies? 

 After years of neglect and disinvestment in public education, elected and policy officials — with business elites at every level leading behind the scenes — plan to replace these public schools with charter schools.  But charter schools deflect responsibility and accountability by fragmenting the system, shattering it into too many pieces for the public to keep track of. They are not the city’s responsibility. Their performance is not as transparent, and they do not have to take all students.

These policies are assuring that there will be no institution left behind in minority neighborhoods, particularly institutions that we can hold accountable for serving all students and that can bind neighbors.

 SAVE J.C.M.*** Renovate or Rebuild

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Andre Darnell needs your help with “Jackson Madison County School Board: Save J.C.M. (Renovate or Rebuild)”. Join Andre and 1,544 supporters today.