Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Duquesne high school will close

Duquesne high school will close Residents decry state board decision; no plan announced on where students will attend in fall
More than a year ago I talked with public comment and elsewhere about how the city schools, PPS, needed to do much, much more with and about Duquesne.

This is a big deal. Plans needed to be made. Efforts to understand the situations needed to occur. I was pushing the school board and others in the community to go in these directions.

Our region is too small to have a failure of such magnatude. When Duquesne falls flat, and that has been the situation for a long time now, we all fall. Those kids are our neighbors. Their struggles are not just for the streets of Duquesne -- but they wander everywhere else in the region.

When Pgh Public Schools had the "right sizing plan" it failed to address the needs of those in Duquesne. The schools in Hazelwood were closed. That pushed more students away from that border. The nearby schools are full. There isn't any capacity to merge without serious upheavals.

The "right size" for the past quickly becomes the "wrong size" for the present.

Think again. Think without blind spots. Think it through.

Those people are getting stabbed in the back. They have outrage, and it is deserved.

To solve the problem, shut down the high school over a three year period. Don't allow for any freshmen next year. But, if the students who are there want to continue -- let them do so.

School closings should only occur as part of a phase in process over years. Same too with school openings.

Steel Valley, West Mifflin, Woodland Hills and others throughout that area need to watch out. They can't be dumped upon. A phase in would help in many ways.

Here is another suggestion: We should have a few boarding options in our public high schools.

In Christchurch, a city about the same size as Pittsburgh, there are about 30 high schools. Plus, there are a few public high schools with dorms. There are resident halls at a few boys schools and a few girls schools. Some are private and some are public.

No comments: