Fresh start

Reconstituting a failing school — replacing the principal and requiring teachers to reapply for their jobs — doesn’t always make a difference. But here’s a hopeful report on a “Fresh Start” school in Memphis. Attendance is up, because parents of high-risk students get a daily phone call from a “team leader.” Performance is improving.

(Principal Bettye) Sims also changed the school mascot along with the image of the school. It used to be a Viper, a lowly, slithering animal. Now, it’s a soaring Eagle.

I wonder who chose the viper?

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Independent George says:

    It used to be a Viper, a lowly, slithering animal.

    As a Chinese-American born in the Year of the Snake, I’m appalled at such insensitivity. I demand an apology! And this doesn’t even take into account the feelings of Viper owners!

  2. Doug Sundseth says:

    I kind of like using a Viper as a mascot/nickname. It’s a heckuva lot better than, say, a Golden Gopher or (and I swear I’m not making this up) “The Flying Feet”.

  3. “Flying Feet”? How podiacentric.* What about the feelings of students who have no feet? Don’t *they* count too? ๐Ÿ™‚

    *The word “PEDagogy” also must go. Ditto for “MANUAL labor.”

    (Yes, I know “pedagogy” has nothing to do with feet:

    http://www.bartleby.com/61/34/P0143400.html )

  4. JuggleBoy says:

    Hooker High School in Oklahoma still has the world coolest mascot… The Horney Toads

  5. I wonder who chose the viper?
    Almost certainly the kids of the school’s first year, as alliteration seems to be a top factor in choosing mascots. So if it wasn’t the Vance Vipers, if probably would have been the Vikings.
    My HS was the Leon Lions.

  6. D Anghelone says:

    I wonder who chose the viper?

    Franklin. Gadsden.

    Don’t Read on Me?

  7. “Vikings”? Scandinavians aren’t mascots. They’re PEOPLE. Stop the dehumanization!

    Now toads … yeah, man, that’s like challengin’ the hegemonic paradigm, ya know what I’m sayin’? Up with neglected animals, plants, and inanimate objects! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. John from OK says:

    The winner: the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

  9. Attendance is up, because parents of high-risk students get a daily phone call from a “team leader.” Performance is improving.

    That’s nice. I wonder how many phone calls will be made two years from now. Three years.

    It’s the imminent prospect of organizational hanging that so focuses the mind. Once that prospect dissipates I’m afraid that the good intentions will soon follow.

    Oh yeah – Trojans. Our school emblem was the symbol for bravery and a suicidal self-deception. I wonder which quality cinched the choice?