Why The Schools?!!!!!
By LaKeisha McKinley
Janey (DC Public School superintendent) is recommending that the District close an estimated 30 schools by August 2008. After many hearings and conferences that took place this year and last, it was stated that the understaffed, unsanitary detention center for youth of DC (Oak Hill) would take five years to be shut down and replaced with small centers used to rehabilitate youth. In contrast, the article Among D.C. Parents, Anxiety Over School Closings
stated that it should only take about 2 years to close down 30 of the District's educational facilities.
It seems that our government and our superintendent are trying to take the easy way out of fixing this problem. The schools that they are focusing on closing are being chosen simply because of low student enrollment. Some experts as stated in the article stated that buildings with low enrollment can be better utilized because they are smaller in population.
An interviewee of the topic (Jonathan from the Youth Education Alliance) stated that he feels that school closings can be
- dangerous to the DC Public School system(because it will make charter and private schools seem better equipped to educate youth)
- also it highlights the inequalities between different schools in the District
- population problems as far as over crowding
- overcrowded classrooms(meaning that their won't be enough teachers to teach or space as time passes.)
- teachers will get fired(because of not having enough space)
- colocation (when they have more than one school in a building)
- Developers wanting to buy the property and use it for thier own purposes
- The community will speak out against it
- It will push charter schools more in the city
Our city has a lot of schools that have the potential of being quality education facilities, but because of not having enough money to fund the programs and materials for the youth, and because of the new program Janey has brought to the city saying that if you feel your childs school can't teach them properly to send them somewhere else. Because of this schools in certain areas have had an enrollment decrease when in all actuality a big part of the reason they can't teach properly because of the shortage in materials and teachers. Instead of closing educational facilities they need to keep them open and give them what they need to make the situation better.
There are a lot of things that the schoolboard and government are changing right before our communities eyes, but unless we pay attention and say something as the people who these changes will affect; we'll become victims of of being excluded from the city of which we live in.