Submitted to the Duluth Budgeteer 11-25-2002
Itís Not Just Because
It is no secret that I think closing either Grant or
Itís not just because a narrow 5-4 majority (of the School Board) insists on this plan.
Itís not just because no conclusive research proves that these particular age groupings are better for children.
Itís not just because closing all the remaining ISD 709 elementary schools in a twelve square mile residential area will drive families out leaving the neighborhood a wasteland.
Itís not just because weíre closing a lab school after
spending millions to make it one of the most remarkable teaching facilities in
the nation and itís not just because UMDís faculty says that
Itís not just because we look sneaky keeping
Itís not just because the remarkable improvement in our elementary test scores suggests that if the schools ain't broke we oughtnít try to fix them by scrambling their kids all around for some theoretical ideal.
Itís not just because I think that successful elementary schools are more important than the financial efficiency of big elementary schools.
Itís not just because closing the elementaries wonít save enough money to finance real, properly staffed, 6-8 middle schools (which is half the reason for pushing the K-5, 6-8, 9-12 configuration).
Itís not just because some of the Board members from western Duluth keep ticking off all the closed western elementary schools as if to imply that itís about time that eastern Duluth takes a few more hits.
Itís not just because the city-wide ďuniformityĒ of
the K-5, 6-8, 9-12 plan overlooks the continuation of a K-8 at
Itís not just because parents have the option to pull their kids out of our schools and send them elsewhere thus undoing all the savings that supposedly justifies closing these schools.
Itís not just because the Duluth School Board has ignored the obvious need to close a high school for over a decade.
No, I think the K-5, 6-8, 9-12 plan, which forces us to
I usually pride myself for my reasoned approach to problems. But my reason seems to have fallen on deaf ears for the last two years. I am losing confidence in reason. At the last school board meeting I raised my voice a little. If my arguments could only be heard, I told myself, surely the School Board would have second thoughts. Raising my voice did not help. It just left me vulnerable to the accusation that Iím being emotional. Aw Poop!
I first ran for the School Board in 1989. Back then my
campaign was centered on saving the much maligned, inner city,
For crying out loud, Grant and
All I know is that after 28 years in
Somehow, reason has taken a back seat in our planning. Last
year we created middle school boundaries which traumatized families and left
represents the 2nd District on the
The defeated Board member I refer to wrote a column about the future of the School District shortly before she stepped down. In it she refers to other school board members who grandstand to get their way. She was undoubtedly referring to me.