Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Consolidation plan generating lots of commentary

Yesterday's unveiling of Superintendent Janey's facilities plan is generating a lot of talk. Post Metro columnist Marc Fisher doesn't seem too pleased:
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.

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.
School choice, specifically charter schools, get the brunt of Marc's wrath.

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.

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.
Reason Magazine's Hit and Run blog also weighs in on the closings.

UPDATE: Both the Post and the Times have editorials up.

1 comment:

Ed Researcher said...

When you say "The Times" maybe you should be more specific, since more people in Washington probably read the New York Times than the Washington Times. I suggest saying the "Moonie Times."

By the way, when I see them handing out the Washington Times for free at Metro stations I notice that commuters would rather take ANYTHING else, like campaign literature for Vermin Supreme or coupons for a free egg roll with orders over $15 at the local Chinese takeout.