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Soon after her gutsy firing of the city’s worst 5 percent of teachers, D.C. schools chancellor Kaya Henderson is attempting to save the district $1.2 million by closing three “parent and family resource centers” and reopening them later under nonprofit management. Great idea, right?
Well, not according to The Washington Post and the usual suspects it interviewed for an article about the decision. The entire article revolves around “community anger” for the decision and quotes from the three parents who apparently used the centers.
The only justification the reporter gives for Henderson’s move is in this paragraph:
Last month, Henderson told WTOP that a 2010 city survey found that the centers were underutilized and that the vast majority of neighborhood parents didn’t know about them. The poll also showed that most parents preferred parent engagement activities at their child’s school, rather than frequenting a center at another building.
These are extremely important considerations in how a city decides to spend $1.2 million. It would have been even better if we knew exactly how many parents benefited from the center, and if their use of them benefited the city by translating into fewer social problems and better grades for the kids.
Instead of that discussion, we get to hear the same anger at any change to a still-rather-dismal city schools system from the same people who insist on more money and more programs without looking at a justifying bottom line.