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

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
NPR

At The Democratic Convention, Choreographing A Sea Of Signs

Watch even a few minutes of the Democratic National Convention, and you're bound to see some synchronized sign-holding — with brightly colored slogans like "Stronger Together" waving in the crowd.
NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

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