February 1, 2006

EDUCATION ISSUE. At last, the DC Board of Education is about to vote to close some public schools in DC. One does not have to be a student or parent with a student at a DC public school to recognize that the system has too many school buildings. A glance at many buildings shows how impossible it must be to maintain so many facilities. A closer look reveals many are underutilized.

The process of cutting fat will drag out. The Board of Ed vote only will affirm the need to cut, but the exact number of schools and which ones won't be decided until April.

MODERNIZATION. The full DC Council is expected to take up the related school modernization effort next week. A DC committee voted to devote $200M to renovate schools. In anticipation of the council debate, the DC School Modernization Campaign is pressuring the council and has asked for support of its agenda to make modernization a top priority and to guarantee that all students within 10 to 15 years are in a 21st century facility etc.

While the goals are admirable, the Campaign hardly calls for tough choices to be made, such as closing underutilized schools to help pay for the program. Backers of the Campaign include: DC PTAs, Save Our Schools, Parents United for DC Public Schools and, not surprisingly given the agenda, Washington Teachers Union. Despite the squishy agenda, DC Bubble has signed on.


Harry Jaffee skewers Clifford Janey, D.C. schools superintendent, for changes he made at Eaton Elementary in Cleveland Park. ... The process to enroll a child in an out-of-bounds school began Jan. 28 and will run through Feb. 28. Anybody praying for Oyster? We would be very curious to hear from parents how this process develops.

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