The whole Cleveland High/East Side situation has everyone concerned, as it should. Supposedly the schools are to "desegregate" in the 2017-2018 school year, and they still have quite a few kinks to work out if that is going to happen. I have never attended school in the Cleveland School District, but my mom and many other family members have. Basically, my opinion is irrelevant, but I want to elaborate anyway.
First of all, the whole court case started in 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education. A man named Oliver Brown's daughter was not allowed into a white school, and claimed that white schools would always be superior to black schools (pbs.org). 1954 was a long time ago, and I think that public schools have come a long way way with desegregation. I think that education should be offered to all students, whether they be red, yellow, black, white, Hispanic, Methodist, athletic, not athletic- whatever the student may be. That is why I don't fully understand Cleveland's need to change the schooling unless the main issue is money.
If the main issue really is money, then is this really the best choice? The school district will probably need to do some classroom renovating, and that isn't cheap. All of the sports teams and clubs will have to get brand new uniforms since the colors have changed. No more black and gold anything will make sense anymore. There are 6 elementary schools in Cleveland. I really don't see how that many are necessary if two high schools is too many. I think that the School District should also take a look at how much money is going to pay the salaries of that many elementary teachers. There is definitely more than one way to save money within the district.
The new court case claims that basically the whole town of Cleveland is separated by the railroad tracks. Anybody who has walked the halls of CHS can tell you that it is not all white kids.Unfortunately, the people in the court room making these descisions have probably never set foot in our small town.The Census shows in their racial breakdown of Cleveland schools that Hayes Cooper is the only school that has a notably higher number of white children. If the School District's primary goal is education (as it should be), what are they doing wasting their time with this issue when it really doesn't have anything to do with the education of the kids? And if the Census is correct, is it really an issue at all? Cleveland High and East Side will be no more, and there will be positives and negatives to this "desegregation" that the town apparently so desperately needs. But here is what I think is going to happen.
Private schools in the area are about to gain students.
Any good parent is going to be concerned with the whole situation. Deciding what school to enroll your child in is a big deal. However, the parents have no idea how the new school is going to perform. What teachers will be teaching at the new school? Are they the best teachers possible to provide good education to their children? Is their child going to be benched from sports since there is so much more competition for spots with more students being enrolled? Will there be more violence in the school district? There is no way to know for certain. Therefore, many parents are just going to send their children to private schools in order to make sure their kids get a good education and playing time in sports.
Good teachers/coaches are about to lose their jobs.
Obviously if there is only going to be 1 middle/high school, then there will not be enough room for all the teachers and coaching staff to stay employed because it would make the whole merging pointless. Hopefully, the school district chooses the most qualified and well deserving people for the jobs so that the new school will perform well. Either way, losing your job is never easy, so I hope a lot of thought goes into who makes the cut. There are 2 head football coaches right now, and next year there will only be one. Does the CHS coach get the job? Or does the East Side coach get the job? Or does the school district get someone completely new? The bottom line is that there will be some student's favorite teachers/coaches who will not be working in the high school anymore, and that isn't a happy realization for anyone.
Old traditions will be lost.
I don't need to go to CHS or ESH to know that the biggest football game of the year is the Battle of 61 - East Side vs Cleveland High. Everyone looks forward to going to that game- it's basically a small town's super bowl. The bands even perform together at half time. That game will never be played again, which is kind of tragic if you ask me. I'm sure CHS and ESH have other traditional games in other sports as well, but it is going to be weird to be playing with people who used to be your biggest rivals.
The new school should excel in sports.
Both schools have pretty good sports programs separately. Next year, the teams will all be combined so hopefully they will have twice as many good players. Fans will not be able to cheer for the Trojans or Wildcats anymore, but change might be good. Instead of a divided town supporting 2 teams, there might be a town that all comes together and cheers for their Wolves. They will have to get rid of their old black and gold and have to buy new black and purple, but hopefully it will be worth it to cheer for a team that is really good.
It will be a death and a rebirth.
Some people are upset because their high school that they know and love will be no more. It's like a part of their life is gone. They may have loved their high school, and wanted their kids to experience all of the things that they did. Now, their kids will never grow up to know what the Battle of 61 even is. Their kids will never get to bus over to East Side to take classes there and see what it is like to experience the "other school." But maybe the new school will do well. I've always thought that 2 is better than one, but hopefully I am wrong. If one thing is for sure, its that things are always changing. The only thing we can do now is pray that the right choice was made to better education for the kids in the long run.
Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.
Once a Trojan, always a Trojan.
Once a wolf, always a wolf? We shall see.