Restating the obvious | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 26, 2006

Restating the obvious

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2006 at 5:53 AM

Poor, black districts in the Delta have been disproportionately represented in school closures since Arkansas toughened its school standards, an advocacy group for preserving tiny schools reports. Our response? Duh.

The schools that were closed were the worst of the districts, generally, on account of povety. They often existed as free-standing places because of lingering segregation. They have closed because economy, efficiency and better curriculum dictated it. The resulting consolidations have not produced big schools by anyone's stretch of the term.

You have to laugh at the tiny school districts crying crocodile tears about black school districts, many of which existed because white folks wanted nothing to do with them.

My we quote Gov. Huckabee in support of our view:

Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that local districts have made the choice to close schools to offer greater opportunities for students.

"Local boards are realizing you must have enough students at a given location to create the economies of scale that will offer the kind of education students need for college or the workforce," Huckabee said in a statement.

Finally, Asa! trots out the old this-is-terrible-for-the-community argument. We dont build schools for economic development. We build them to educate. It is precisely that old proprietary view of the school as a payroll and political power base and source of Friday night entertainment that got us where we are today.


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