Credit Janey for closing schools that need to be shut down and for standing up to those who would have him mindlessly divide the closings equally by neighborhood, just to avoid headaches over race. But why take on the trouble if you're not going to win substantial new resources? Sure, some schools will get an extra reading or math teacher as the staff of a closed school joins a nearby facility. But Janey went out of his way to say that the principals of the shuttered schools will remain principals, no teachers will lose their jobs and even the building staff will stay on the payroll.School choice, specifically charter schools, get the brunt of Marc's wrath.
Only the D.C. schools could come up with a downsizing that involves no personnel cuts and excludes the possibility of selling off unused properties, but still carries the potential to stoke the embers of the city's racial and class tensions.
Mark Lerner doesn't seem to pleased about Fisher's article:
Mr. Fisher's criticism of charter schools (and Colbert King offered the same objection in my conversation about school vouchers 7 years ago) is illogical. He is implying that parents who are upset about the education their child is receiving are supposed to just leave them in their neighborhood school so that others are not left behind. What is he talking about? He will not even put his kids in D.C. public schools.Reason Magazine's Hit and Run blog also weighs in on the closings.
Unfortunately, research has shown that it takes more than a quarter of all students leaving public schools before the system begins to react. Is Mr. Fisher blind to the very recent proposal by Mr. Chaney to change the way DCPS is educating its pupils? I guess he just is making the choice not to see.
UPDATE: Both the Post and the Times have editorials up.