The Flyer’s John Branston weighs in on tonight’s  vote on the surrender of the Memphis City Schools charter, and decides that “For better for worse, MCS and Shelby County schools should get married.”

He writes:

You never know if a marriage or divorce is going to work out. You just have a feeling that it’s an idea whose time has come. Maybe you put a pencil to it and tote up the costs and benefits and go to counseling, but it’s not a checklist thing. It’s a gut feeling that in the long run you should be hitched “for better for worse” or unhitched “due to irreconcilable differences.”

The special school district for Shelby County is basically about getting divorced from Memphis. The charter surrender for Memphis City Schools is about getting married to Shelby County schools. My gut feeling is that the Memphis board of education should vote for this on Monday night and that Memphis voters should approve it if it comes to a referendum next year.

The numbers and charts produced by both sides are subject to interpretation and they are only best guesses of what will happen. They would change in ways we can’t predict as individual families and our various legislative bodies reacted to charter surrender.

The 2008 schools study by the University of Memphis (which suggests more than one outcome) doesn’t persuade me. That was a worthy attempt to crunch numbers and take a snapshot of a moving target, but the picture has changed and it will change again.

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