Friday, May 19, 2006

More consolidation commentary

... this time from Times columnist Adrienne Washington.
You can play nice and label the plan by any number of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo misnomers you like, such as "right-sizing" or "consolidation," but the plain truth is D.C. school officials finally have gotten the guts to close some schools.

As usual, the neighborhoods where the schools will be closed first are those that traditionally are the least served when it comes to getting government goodies. And, these neighborhoods east of the city, where unemployment and dropout rates are extremely high, are the ones that need public services most.

Has it occurred to anyone that the public school system, which has been besieged by all levels of government micromanagement for decades, is losing thousands of students? Has anyone reviewed the myriad "reform" experiments and parade of poor political policies that drove poor and working-class families away from this capital city and its failing schools? Dare I mention the word gentrification? Dare I raise the bugaboo of inequitable distribution of resources? When you demonstrate that you care more about buildings than babies, your public institutions will deteriorate to the point of no return and be reflective of blatant mistakes and neglect.

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