Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cincinnati Public Schools; More Evidence of a City With No Vision

I have been trying to define the perimeters of the Covedale Elementary School district in Cincinnati. We love the German-style half-timbered architecture, the neighborhood of Covedale seems quaint, there are children playing outside (gasp! Am I still in America?). The fact that most house prices are what we want to pay, in the low 100's, also makes this area seem appealing.

It seems like a war zone so to speak though, with Price Hill and Carson school district, which The State of Ohio has declared an ACADEMIC EMERGENCY, being just one neighborhood over! I also think the commercial district all along Glenway Avenue is a bit of an eyesore, and there were a few "unmentionables" along the street, not too family-friendly.

We are also apprehensive about moving to this area because it's hard to assess if Covedale is on it's way down, in maintenance, or on it's way up towards urban gentrification.

Covedale's school ratings are however very good, whereas the CPS district overall is rated very badly, with what we consider to be the kiss of death of for a school district, the "Continuous Improvement" (click here to look up any school district in the state of OHIO) rating.

I emailed the Cincinnati Public Schools customer help desk, and told them my story; that we are potential homebuyers in the city of Cincinnati, and if in fact we do decide this spring to buy in the city of Cincinnati proper, it would be in the Covedale Elementary school district. I asked them to please tell me the precise boundaries of the school district, so that we can buy inside of it if we decide this is the neighborhood for us.

This was their response;

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately we are unable to comply with your request in the manner specified. In the CPS district, not only are streets taken into consideration, but house number as well. For instance, two people living right next to each other could be assigned to different schools. If you have a list of streets and address you would like for us to confirm for you, we would be happy to help. If you would like to speak to someone please call: 513-363-0123, or simply put the street and addresses in an email and we will be happy to respond.
Thank you
Cincinnati Public Schools
Customer Help Center
(513) 363-0123
What insanity! This is utter nonsense! Hogwash and poppycock!
How is anyone ever going to move back into this city?
This is certainly not attracting me, or anyone else for that matter, to want to live in the city limits of Cincinnati.
With something like 11 households per day moving out of the city, and the lowest citizen-to-homeowner ratio of any city in the United States (I can't remember where I read this! I'll look for the citation), I would think everyone working for the city, CPS employees included, would be doing everything possible to attract folks back!
You know, the school reports are listed as public information for a reason; because potential citizens, like us, who are considering moving into a particular area, want to move to the areas with good schools, and not to areas with poorly performing schools.
Isn't this some sort of withholding of what should be public information? Aren't they breaking some sort of law by not giving me this information?
Spoiled rotten girl stomps feet and screams for her candy that she deserves.
The Whistleblower seems to confirm my recent sad conclusions. He had a lovely limerick regarding the mass exodus from Cincinnati;
Here's why everyone's leaving the city, And here's the whole nitty gritty: It's the streets full of grime, And just loaded with crime, From a clown-cil that evokes only pity. Here's why everyone's leaving the city, You don't need a fact-finding committee; Misunderstood urban yoof, Keep raising the roof, Thugs and drugs made the 'Natti un-pretty. Here's why everyone's leaving the city, All the bureaucrats have their hands in the kitty. When a drive-by re-appraisal, Leaves only scraps on your table, What you have left is just itty-bitty.


Madcap said...

Wow. Very annoying indeed. But... I thought you were homeschooling? No? I must have got the lines crossed somewhere.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

No homeschooling for us!

That would definitely drive me, and quite possibly the rest of our family, completely insane!

I am totally not that organized or knowledgeable...and I really fear that my son especially would become a psychopath later in life without any socialization. AND He's a ball of energy...I am exhausted by him so easily, bless his heart! I guess I got what I asked for by naming him after the sun!

Madcap said...

Well, "without any socialization" describes something other than homeschooling. My kids are socializing constantly, just not in a regulated age-peer construct.

You named him after the sun? He must be a 'bright' boy!

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Are you a part of a network of folks? I don't know any muslims who homeschool! The only network I am aware of here are pretty conservative dogma-centered Christians; which is great for them, but I wouldn't want my kids homeschooled in that particular environment.
I can totally see it working like if I lived out in Colorado amongst a certain intentional community of artists I am friends with down in the banana belt - and of course, if certain factors in our society get intolerable for us we'll have to consider it.
I am NOT against homeschooling for everyone; it's just not right for us, right now:)

That Deborah Girl said...

Any realtor will be able to tell you what school district any house is in at any given time. I have yet not to see this information listed on the information sheets that are outside most homes up for sale and it's usually frighteningly accurate.

Hooperdogg said...

The Covedale Garden District is a very vibrant area in which to live. As a 20 year homeowner living very close to Covedale School, I cannot say enough for the area. The people living in the neighborhood are commited to maintaining the area as it always has been, a great place to live. There are even residents who do not have children at covedale due to age or personal preference who are on the commitee planning the new school! The area has a community theater, a great library, easy access to shopping, both big box and small mom and pop businesses. There are numerous facilities availiable for recreational pursuits including Dunham Recreation Complex,Phillips Swim Club, 3 indoor health complexes nearby offering opportunities for all ages, along with the ball fields and walking path planned for the rear of the property at Covedale School. The Covedale Garden District is actually the name of the Civic Association formed by the residents of the area several years ago. As a 3rd generation resident raising 5 children in this neighborhood, I have the utmost confidence in the area. As for the "unmentionables" you mentioned, what do you mean? The business owners take pride in the area. We have a coffee shop with great food and live music on weekends, a Greek Restaurant rated one of the best in Cincinnati and our very own soft serve ice cream store that is open seasonally. Very nearby is the original location of a great local Pizza chain, LaRosa's, with a new facility built on the propery after a fire in the original carryout. If you are worried about the bars and pubs along Glenway Avenue, they are not a nuisance. Cincinnati is a city settled by Germans and their traditions followed them. The city in fact has the worlds largest Octoberfest outside of Munich. We love it here and our kids do play outside, we walk the streets unafraid and will continue to do so. If you think I'm a member of the Civic Association and am blowing it's horn I am not. I work 6 days a week so that I can afford to permit my wife to be home with the kids and so that I can afford to send my children to a parochial school just as my parents did my sisters and I, including making my children 3rd generation alumni of the local parochial high schools, and as anyone who has 5 children will tell you, there is no spare time with so many! There are a couple of houses on Sidney Road for sale near me, one summer evening I hope to say hello as my family and I are out for a walk! We are not closed minded and uptight about other people beliefs, we welcome diversity.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Thanks for your comments Hooperdog!