Saturday, July 01, 2006

An MLK Viewpoint

Excerpted from public testimony at the 6/27 MLK site closure hearing.

"My name is Mike Moore. I'm a volunteer at MLK. A proud volunteer at MLK. I been here since June of '04 through the present, two years, 24 months. And I am in favor of the consolidation.

And I got to tell you a little bit as to why. And to do that, I got to give you a brief brush on 24 months of volunteerism here. And that is, when we first started, we had 170. We went to 134. We went to 115, actually 107, and bounced to 115. That's our enrollment numbers.

So what we had to do when we got here, under Barry's direction, was build up our enrollment. And that was number one. So Barry and I created a job for me, which was enrollment, try to recruit people, try to get community support, try to get parent support, and raise money. And to that end, we put together a committee, a marketing committee that would have blown your socks off. We had parents, partners, some staff, and everybody on it. And we put together a heck of a plan that even Madison Avenue would have been proud of.

And we went out trenches, trenches, and trenches, and face to face, and started trying to recruit people in all these different venues.

And I got to tell you, the people did not come. The people did not come. We tried like mad. We have a real jam here in '04, '05. You could cut the spirit with a knife. You could stand in front of Barry's office. You could sense it when you walked in this place. And the teachers and everybody were in it.

I don't have any more time. So I'll end this with some suggestions that the board ought to look into. Number one, they ought to read this report over and over again. It is great. In fact, they ought to adopt the whole thing. It is as good as the Grace report, which was accepted by the U.S. government, put together by Peter Grace.

And, secondly, you got to concentrate on the principals. The principals are what make a successful school. There are four ingredients that make a successful school in my opinion of 24 months. And that is a strong principal, number one. A community support as strong as you can make it, number two. A strong parental support, as much you can. And lastly, you need some outside money."

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