A position paper addresses school closings in the District of Columbia arguing that these closings are not within the context of a 10-year educational facilities plan that included community input, and valid criteria for closing decisions being consistently and objectively applied. Current closings decisions are viewed as being made in a vacuum with little regard for the educational mission of the school system, the larger role of schools in communities, the management issues involved, or the families effected. It discusses why restraint must be exercised before closing a large number of facilities without a master plan, why in some cases the closing criteria is not supported by the demographic data, and why the building assessment process is a weak link in the system. It also addresses how school closings can affect the District community involved beyond the sentimental attachment, why schools targeted for closure be measured against educational as well as physical benchmarks, and the importance of linking modernization and closing that help assure relocated children and their parents that the new facility they are going to is safe and appropriate.
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