WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Proposal To Close D.C. Schools Sees Muted Response On D.C. Council

Play associated audio
Classrooms in 20 DCPS schools will go empty as part of Chancellor Kaya Henderson's plan, which the D.C. Council has so far received quietly.
Karen Apricot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenapricot/292761884/
Classrooms in 20 DCPS schools will go empty as part of Chancellor Kaya Henderson's plan, which the D.C. Council has so far received quietly.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson wants to close 20 public schools. In 2008, her predecessor Michelle Rhee closed 23, but the reaction from some council members is noticeably different this time around.

When Rhee said she was closing schools, there was tremendous community opposition — emotional public hearings, student walkouts and clashes with city council members. Councilmember Marion Barry in 2008, for example, led a large group of parents and children in a resounding chant of "save our schools!"

A later analysis found that the closings led to thousands of children leaving the traditional public school system and cost millions more than anticipated. Still, at a recent council hearing on school closings, Barry told Chancellor Henderson, she is "a breathe of fresh air."

"Doesn't mean I agree with you on everything, but your tone is right, your direction is right and you've given us information that's very, very useful," said Barry on Monday.

As for what has changed, Henderson has been preparing the community for months about the need for closings. Her personal style is far less confrontational than Rhee's, and Henderson says she wants to have a plan in place for the vacant school buildings. And though she says 20 schools must close to right-size the district, she insists this list is just a proposal, saying she's open to community suggestions.

NPR

The First Couple's First Date Charms In 'Southside With You'

A Chicago couple go on a first date-that's-not-a-date in 1989 in Southside With You. Her name is Michelle. His is Barack.
NPR

Ramen Noodles Are Now The Prison Currency Of Choice

Ramen will buy anything from smuggled fruit to laundry services from fellow inmates, a study at one prison finds. It's not just that ramen is tasty: Prisoners say they're not getting enough food.
NPR

Week In Politics: Trump Shifts On Immigration Policy

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times about Donald Trump's shift on immigration and Hillary Clinton's speech linking Trump to white supremacists.
NPR

After Losing Steam In Smartphones, Chinese Firm Turns To Smart Rice Cookers

One of China's most valuable tech startups, smartphone maker Xiaomi, is getting into networked appliances, in a bid to innovate its way out of trouble, as its core business falls flat.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.