Ruby Wilkerson

“Basically, what impacts neighborhood schools negatively is the drugs and the gangs, plus the garbage in the vacant lots. I’ve been living in the second ward all my life and this is what we’ve had a problem with.”


Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward)

“Obviously it’s lack of money to create great programs and great job training for our kids in the schools. We need good after school programs, which are affected by lack of money, and good early training programs for our kids before school. So, the issue becomes not so easy in terms of what needs to be done. We need good teachers, we need committed mentoring programs and we need committed partnerships with businesses and the schools.”


Otto J. Dickerson

“I think one of the problems confronting the schools is low expectations both by the staff and sometimes, unfortunately, the parents. I feel that the expectations should be raised up for all of the students – from those that are special ed to those that are quote-un-quote different.”


Connie Jackson

“The most important issues that I see affecting the schools in the neighborhood are, I would think like to think, is a lack of parenting and a lack of police controlling the area. The neighborhood schools are infested with guys from the neighborhood that are selling the drugs and trying to incorporate the young kids to join their gangs. I think if there were more visible parents out patrolling the area to and from school for the kids. As for police patrolling the area, I think that our neighborhood schools would be a little bit more safer and we as parents would have more confidence in our kids attending those kids without being chaperon or driven to and from school.”


Elizabeth Ward

“What I do see as a negative impacting for our neighborhood schools is crime. For instance, recently we see where the kid got on the bus and shot at school kids. I got three kids of my own. Sending them out to school on public transportation is going to be the number one concern for me. Some high school kids don’t have school buses so they have to use public transportation. Some of the kids now are going to be afraid to get on the bus to school. They don’t know if they will make it home.”


Stacey Flint

“I believe the greatest negative challenge of our neighborhood schools is the focus on testing rather then challenging our student with creativity. Our children should be reading Shakespeare. They should be reading early African American history. But instead we’re so focused on ‘No Child Left Behind,’ and making sure they are tested. Just because ‘Johnny’ can score the right score on the test, does he really understand what he is reading? Does he comprehend it? Does he know how to bring education into his life and make it real for him. When he leaves school will he be a critical thinker or will he be someone that just spits out information that has been given to him like a computer.”

(A problem occurred with Ms. Flint’s photo and it was not able to be published. Austin Weekly News regrets the error.)