Sunday, January 10, 2010

Closing Schools and the Law of Averages.

Pissed Off Teacher has it right.

When you try to raise scores by closing schools, you don't eliminate the problem, you sweep it under someone else's rug. You can pretend that the bump in the middle of the new rug isn't there and you can safely ignore for a while but sooner or later, like a Ponzi scheme spirally out of control, you have to address it.

Unfortunately, the rug in question isn't on Bloomberg's head, it's another school.

In some ways, it's like debtor's prison - your problem is your fault and you deserve punishment for having it, even if it's not your fault and you had no control over any of the decisions leading up to it. You still get punished even though the punishment makes the whole situation worse.

Closing School A does not teach it's students any lesson other than "Money talks and you have no voice." NCLB, vouchers, and many of Bloomberg's policies might not have been INTENDED for the purpose of closing public schools and replacing them with private schools, but the effect is shaping up that way.

What a sorry country this would be if all the public schools closed. The charters could ignore all those students who don't "meet the criteria."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: If the solution is "Schools without Restrictions" then lighten those restrictions. Don't eliminate the schools, unless you don't want THOSE people's kids to get an education.


  1. We're having a similar problem in Cambridge, MA. Almost all of our elementary schools are K-8, but they want to move the middle schools to their own schools as a cost-cutting measure. I think it's going to do more harm than good, and all the money that it will cost to convert schools and students will be for nothing.