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Well, the rookie is dead right on the school system and where people choose to live or not live. I grew up in North Hills. I went to Belle Morris, Whittle Springs, and then Fulton. Having come up through that path, there was no way I'd put my child into those schools. So I moved to Farragut.
A few years back, a fine old home at the corner of North Hills Blvd and Washington Pike (facing North Hills) was up for sale. I'd admired that red brick home with its double wings and classical symmetry all my life. I had the financial means to buy it. I thought long and hard about it. I wanted to do it. But I knew it would mean putting my child into some cloistered private school somewhere because the TCAP scores at Belle Morris were unconscionable - as was the physical state of that beautiful old school building. Old Principal Bell is surely still spinning in his grave over the current state of that place. So I stayed put. Out west. I wasn't prepared to risk my child's future to go play urban pioneer.
I admire the wonderful changes that have come into the Old North and 4th & Gill areas and that are still underway in Park Ridge and even sliding up into Lincoln Park. But you can only do so much revitalization utilizing empty nesters and private or home schoolers. To really finish revitalizing close in North Knoxville (Della Volpe's district) you have to attract those upper middle class and low end affluent families who send their kids through the public school system. Attracting them absolutely requires tremendous improvements be made to the three schools I attended.
So keep giving them Hell Nick!
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