Tech-savvy parents in Takoma Park have taken to the Internet to discuss, debate and exchange information on MCPS' proposals to change school boundary lines. Parents have video of a MCPS Boundary Advisory Committee meeting that ends with MCPS Senior Facility Planner Deborah Szyfer stating, "Please turn that off for a moment because I think people are uncomfortable with the video taping."
Other parents have a blog to discuss these changes and multiple online discussion groups have sprung up to allow parents to rapidly communicate on this issue.
Here is the video with excerpts of the May 20, 2009, meeting of the MCPS Boundary Advisory Committee on the school zone decisions affecting Takoma Park and surrounding areas.
Glossary for video: "Options 4 and 5" would displace not only the 10-family Takoma Park neighborhood into East Silver Spring Elementary, but would also displace East Silver Spring (ESS) kids into Sligo Creek Elementary (which the ESS PTA doesn't want)."Option 1b": Nobody likes it as is, but everyone except Sligo Creek Elementary accepts it as the least-bad of the six options that the bureaucrats in Rockville developed."SC4" is the middle-class side of a 6-lane highway. "SC5" is east-of-New Hampshire Avenue: an economically disadvantaged, often ESOL neighborhood that did not have a representative at the table during the discussions about whether they should remain at the Math and Science Academy or get relocated.
Why have these parents taken to the Internet to advocate for their communities? One dad in the affected zone, Charles Thomas, said, "I love our rainbow community: immigrant families, gay and lesbian families, hippies, and professional and volunteer advocates for social and economic justice, world peace, and a healthy environment. We want to stay in Granola Park! Any neighborhood is at risk of having 10 families plucked away, with no seat at the table, for no justifiable demographic reason. It's like a computer generated these options randomly. The bureaucrats gave the community advisors six lemons and thwarted their efforts to make lemonade. It's time to stop the process and fix this problem, before it damages other communities like the six affected neighborhoods here."