Monday, February 2, 2009

Grabbing real estate by closing schools

Today's NY Times article, called optimistically, "To Close a School: A Decision Rooted in Data, but Colored by Nuance," entirely misses the boat.

Why is Garth Harries, CEO of the Office of Portfolio Development, making the decisions as to which schools to close? Why not Marcia Lyles, Deputy Chancellor in charge of (supposedly) of teaching and learning; or even Jim Liebman, CEO of accountability?

Because Garth’s top responsibility is to find homes for all the new charter schools and small schools the administration is intent on forming, and thus must aggressively grab existing buildings to put them all in – especially since the DOE’s new school construction program is so anemic.

It has nothing to do with data, nothing to do with improving student outcomes, but everything to do with real estate.


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