The Case for Closing Schools
James Merriman, CEO of the NYC Charter School Center, echoes this:
This year, there are a number of New York City public schools--both traditional and charter--that the district will need to shut down.
It's a safe bet that the issues plaguing New York State's standardized tests will be used by some to call for a moratorium on school closings. However, the very real challenges with the tests do not excuse the consistently poor performance at some of the city's schools. In fact, they make those shortcomings even more obvious.
…Quality is the key, and whether it is a traditional school or a charter school, we need to ensure that every one of our public schools is providing a great education to its students. And when there are schools that do not deliver--and there are several traditional and charter schools that clearly are not right now--they need to be replaced.
None of this will be easy, nor should it. Closing schools is serious business, affecting students, parents and faculty. Both the City's education department, which oversees district schools and some charter schools, and the State's charter school authorizers, have to be able to muster strong cases for closure and schools should have an opportunity to mount a defense (though one predicated on facts, not yelling and name-calling). But the testing controversy does not excuse the historically poor performance at some schools that neither better assessments nor standards is going to reverse.
Posted: October 18, 2010 12:52 PM