Thursday, July 28, 2011

Closing Public Schools: A Truly Bad Idea

Below is the Ravitch article that Gary links to (and agrees with) about why she opposes closing ANY school:

I oppose the closing of public schools (except for under-enrollment) for a simple reason. Public schools are not chain stores. They are not shoe stores that can be closed when they don't turn a profit and be relocated elsewhere. They are a public service, a public good. It is the obligation of public officials to provide good public schools in every neighborhood, not to privatize them or to act as an umpire whose role is to judge them defective and shut them down. If those who are in charge can't help struggling schools, shame on them. (Charter schools are a different matter, as they sign a contract and agree to meet certain goals or close.)

Every time a public school is closed, it should be considered a failure of the central administration. The leaders who close the most public schools are the biggest failures. They should be held accountable for their incompetence. Good leadership in education means taking responsibility for making things better, rather than sitting back and monitoring how schools perform. Good leaders should be recognized for the schools they improve. Bad leaders close schools because they are incapable of helping them.

Schools with low test scores are mostly schools that enroll large numbers of students who are struggling to keep up. Closing the school does nothing to help the students. District leaders should do whatever is necessary to help the school improve. Those who can't, or won't, should be replaced by better leaders. Educational euthanasia is unethical.


Closing Public Schools: A Truly Bad Idea

By Diane Ravitch on February 8, 2011 9:03 AM | No comments | No recommendations

Dear Deborah,

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