It is crucial for the district to move forward with its courageous and visionary plans for high school excellence that the individuals and families who have spoken out on this topic know that this administration and school board have heard their concerns and will address them. (P-G, Heather Arnet)
When describing proposed education reforms or the personalities driving them, why is it always necessary to use language more frequently associated with World War II veterans and New York City fire fighters?
At any rate, this op-ed may bury Schenley High School forever.
Read this next, and weep (P-G, Jake Oresick), and ask yourselves one last time whether the closure of this civic phenomenon will somehow benefit the District and the City.
Your Comet editor / author attended not Schenley, but Taylor Allderdice. I will be the first to tell you, if they tried to close Allderdice, we would be sad -- and instead of organizing and letter-writing and attending meeting upon hearing upon workshop, we would instead be channeling our energies into throwing the biggest, most debauched farewell party you have ever seen.
Allderdice is a good example of a school that is successful because of teachers and programs -- but Community? Inclusiveness? School spirit? Forget about it. We have fonder memories of Bagel Nosh than we do of time spent in the actual building. We would party, and we would watch it burn. You can take it to the bank.
Here is the whip count from the Trib's Bill Zlatos:
The vote promises to be close. Board members Randall Taylor, Mark Brentley Sr. and Sherry Hazuda said Tuesday they will vote against closing the school. Members Jean Fink and Theresa Colaizzi said they will vote for closing the school, and Board President William Isler hinted that he would vote to close the school, without specifically saying so.
Board member Floyd McCrea said he is unsure how he will vote, and two other members -- Heather Arnet and Thomas Sumpter -- did not return numerous phone calls.
We had high hopes that newcomers Hazuda and Arnet together would further elevate the May 2007 primary election as a watershed moment for progressivism and far-sighted government -- but it appears from today's op-ed that the latter may have absorbed some of her predecessor's penchant for triangulation and institutional mollification.
One more thing struck us about Arnet's piece:
The new superintendent therefore was charged with a Herculean task; steer the district back to financial health while increasing student achievement. Three years into Mr. Roosevelt's tenure, the district is stronger financially and more money is being invested in academic improvement.
We have two honest questions. Firstly, how precisely is this "more money" being invested? More teachers? Better teachers? More modern equipment? Standardized workbooks and prefabricated syllabuses?
Secondly, and on a related note -- how long will be long enough to fairly begin holding the new regime accountable not for "more money being invested", but for actual improvements in student achievement? Because inevitably, at some point, we have a duty to tie these orgiastic visions of excellence down to real-life standards.