Mon BOE and WVU: Partners in Destroying Schools

ONE WITH A BAD IDEA – THE OTHER MAKING IT WORSE

According to the Dominion Post today, Brookhaven Elementary needs an addition. Apparently it’s overcrowded. That overcrowding could be relieved by sending nearby Sabraton area children to a new elementary in Woodburn.

What elementary school is not already overcrowded or bursting at the seams? The Mon School District is on track to recklessly slash the number of elementary schools from 15 to 10 in seven years, 2005-2012.

Apparently only Cheat Lake Elementary has some extra room, but that school would be huge or overcrowded too if the nearby Canyon Road and Easton area children were sent there.

And it does seem likely that Mon Schools intends to redistrict those children away from any green school to Cheat Lake Elementary.

Mon Schools likely  has to go through the charade of keeping some Easton area kids at the new green school for a few years before shifting them via “redistricting” to Cheat Lake. The green school is said to be (by grant) an Easton/Woodburn school but in such a shift would really be a Woodburn area/705-sprawl school.

That’s the only way the school district can make 10 elementary schools work. They need 11. At the very least. They can’t bring themselves to admit that they need to split North Elementary into two schools and reduce class size in the process. Apparently they don’t care. The public needs to force them to maintain 11 elementary schools, at least. That means two new schools, not just one new green school. And that’s the white elephant in the room that dares not speak its name. Only by having enough facilities can the district begin to get serious about reducing class size, which (now, former, school board member) Mike Kelly appropriately notes is crucial.

The public needs to force the school board to do the appropriate thing, which they appear hell-bent on not doing.

WVU could help in all this by selling land for a new school near but not on 705. WVU must sell worthy land, not the crap land that WVU President James Clements is currently intent on dumping on Mon Schools as an inglorious way to cap his first year.

WVU should sell good land for 705 area school children. In the meantime, Woodburn, Jerome Park, Hartman Run Road, Easton, Sabraton, and Downtown schoolchildren need a school of their own in their own general non-sprawl area.

Morgantown, as a city, needs a city school like Woodburn, to help the city neighborhoods revitalize, and to help keep the Morgantown area diverse. Time to stop gutting the city.

WVU needs to be active in resisting Mon Schools’ anti-city and anti-educational process of gutting the Morgantown area of elementary schools.

Posted in Uncategorized. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Mon BOE and WVU: Partners in Destroying Schools”

  1. Rachel Martin Says:

    Amen! :)

    That is to say, I believe that pretty much everyone is “for” development, when development equals increasing economic success of the greater Morgantown area.

    BUT. Let’s achieve that development in a way that is actually consistent with core values, like our need for

    (1) a vibrant, unique, and productive city;
    (2) similarly-described communities;
    (3) educational environments (i.e., schools and communities) that allow our children to _thrive_ – and not simply be warehoused, for some theoretical convenience’s sake …);
    and, last, but assuredly not least,
    (4) government agencies and officials that respectfully allow citizens to participate in the processes that do concretely affect those citizens’ lives.

    At least to me, these seem like “obvious” values. Right?

    Everyone in this region ought to wonder why the Mon BOE folks – and other public officials and quasi-public officials (e.g., with WVU) – simply refuse to speak openly about what they are doing and why.

    The processes of decision-making affect us. The decisions affect us.

    It seems to boil down to the fact that we just don’t understand the secretiveness. There is just no need for it, so far as anyone can tell. It’s these officials’ (and other players’) own actions, which make us think that there are potentially ugly reasons for why these folks have done what they have.

    These officials (and other people) need to be aware of the concept of “appearance of impropriety,” and the critical need for public officials to avoid it.

    That is to say: even if there is nothing shady going on, it _looks_ like there is – or might be – because these officials are being unnecessarily secretive, and seem absolutely hell-bent on achieving Result X, even if virtually everyone thinks that particular result is ridiculous. Go through the list: just about everyone is opposed to siting a school on the Mileground, yet the BOE _insists_ on this result.

    The BOE, nameless editorial-writers at the Dominion Post, certain WVU folks (that are pushing this plan, while all the while desperately trying to appear to stay out of it, as detailed above), and perhaps other “invisible” actors. This very small group of people on that side of the issue – perhaps a dozen or two people in all – is ramming a ridiculous plan down the throats of the tens of thousands of residents of this city. Even though we _all_ can see that adding a lot more traffic in one of the most congested places in the city is mind-boggling-ly illogical.

    Seriously. If this small group of people gets its stubborn way, all of the tens of thousands of us citizens will have to foot a huge bill for the dubious privilege of
    (1) significantly making traffic in this city worse,
    (2) warehousing kids in a “green” school, ironically located in an isolated “sprawl” location, where every single child will have to be driven to school,
    (3) and doing so on a site that may not even be safe, given the potential for subsidence – and the costs of trying to make it safe would be in ADDITION to the two-ish-million-dollars to WVU for the land, the locally-borne costs to actually build the school, and the truckload of money that might be required to begin to address some of the traffic issues created.

    Anybody else notice that this isn’t just an issue for the “Woodburn parents”?

    Just sayin’ … .

  2. Rachel Martin Says:

    [Sorry: not “as detailed above,” but rather, as detailed in the more recent post “WVU: Like a Thief in the Night.”]


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