Attorney calls JCPS student assignment survey results 'skewed' - News, Weather & Sports

Attorney calls JCPS student assignment survey results 'skewed'

Ted Gordon Ted Gordon
Belinda Abernethy Belinda Abernethy
Dr. Shelton Berman Dr. Shelton Berman
Gary Orfield Gary Orfield

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Strong opposition continues from parents who are suing the Jefferson County Public Schools over the student assignment plan. A day after the district's consultant said the plan needed tune ups, those nine parents and their attorney told us the survey was skewed.

"There is zero doubt in my mind that the desired result was accomplished," said Ted Gordon, the attorney for the parents.

Gordon referenced a stat released by the consultant which said that 90 percent of parents support a student assignment policy that allows for family choice, but parents would also like to have diverse schooling options in their neighborhood, too, if possible.

"That's what we've been saying all along that 90 percent of this community is against the student assignment plan," he argued.

But that is not what Dr. Sheldon Berman, the JCPS superintendent, heard. Berman said he was surprised by the support for diversity and the plan. According to the survey results, 90 percent of parents 'believe that diverse schools have important educational benefits for their children.

"We want two things that may not necessarily match and how do you balance those effectively and attempt to do the best of balancing them we can of the district," Berman said.

Belinda Abernethy who is one of the nine parents involved in the lawsuit expressed her unhappiness with the results.

"I can go out here today and interview 1,000 people and get you the exact opposite results he got," said Abernethy. "You can ask anybody anything to try to get the answer that you want. So, I don't think that anybody should put a lot of stock in his survey numbers."

The consultant JCPS hired is Dr. Gary Orfield from UCLA, who has been an advisor to the board in the past on the previous assignment plan. The board approved $50,000 for research to help Orfield, who is an integration consultant.

Two surveys were conducted. One of those surveys sampled high school students who answered questions online in earlier this month using SurveyMonkey. The second survey was for parents. Overall, they found parents who represented children in all the grade levels. The parents were called by IQS, which is based in Louisville. They were called last month.

Berman said the plan will never be perfect, but stands behind diversity in schools. Gordon sees it differently.

"What we've done in this community has not worked. It simply has not worked. We have more failing schools. We still have the African American achievement gap," Gordon said.

The school board did not vote on the plan during its Jan. 27 meeting. 

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