Hopeless in South KC

I’ve been mulling over last week’s Southern Communities Coalition meeting and can say I couldn’t feel less hopeful about the future of the 6th District. To sum things up, the majority of teachers in the Hickman Mills School District can’t teach and any city problems need to be handled through 311.

First the Hickman Mills superintendent blamed teachers for poor scores on the most recent MAP test. Seemingly, only 20% of teachers in Hickman Mills are capable of teaching effectively. It apparently hasn’t occurred to anyone to question why good teachers don’t stay. From what I’ve heard many believe administration thinks it has all the answers and won’t even listen to suggestions; not a good way to engender pride and dignity, but a sure fire way to discourage constructive thinking and cause teachers to believe they might be happier elsewhere.

Next the group heard from Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus, their city council representatives. The emphasis should be on heard as it applies to Taylor. The most he had to contribute was to remind everyone about years ago when he would give reports for his wife, Cathy Jolly, when she was state representative, and of course mentioned how he always brought his son along. (Kids always make a good prop.) I guess it didn’t occur to him that he was reminding people that they saw more of him back then than they have since he was actually elected to represent them. He and McManus both mentioned several times that people should call 311 with various concerns. That seemed to be their only solution for most complaints. When lack of city inspectors was brought up, Taylor said people need to make that argument at budget hearings as if lack of inspectors isn’t a city wide problem. Regardless, he obviously doesn’t see it as an issue he needs to be concerned with.

McManus actually didn’t have much to say. He probably thought it was enough to stand around and look pretty. All in all not much hope for those living in the 6th district.