When bad schools close, families usually get something better.
That’s what the Thomas B. Fordham Institute asserts in its April 2015 study School Closures and Student Achievement, using new research conducted in both traditional and charter public schools located in Ohio’s large urban school districts.
For more than fifty years, passionate educators, scholars, and community leaders who rue school failure have agreed on very little when it comes to the best way to reform our education system. But most could agree on this: Kids shouldn’t have to go to schools that consistently fail them year after year.
So why is closing schools the last thing anyone wants to consider? If we don’t want kids in consistently failing schools, and we know they can go somewhere better, what’s the hold-up?
Recent polling suggests most people have a “fix the school we have” mentality, supporting retooling schools over closure or complete overhaul. They see closure as extreme and counterproductive, a sign of giving up on community-based public schools.
While I sympathize with the desire to fix what we have rather than start over, I always get stuck on one simple problem: time.
In “fix the school we have” scenarios, we...