EDITORíS DESK: School closings: Looking for perspective

       It's easy to be cynical of this District 11 reutilization process. That's a natural reaction, I've found, after sitting through one long meeting after another. I'm cynical of the District 11 staff, which seems to have all the answers except that one nuance I'd really like to grasp. I'm cynical of the Board of Education for moving so slow and yet so fast and its ignorance of something as important as the West Intergenerational Center. I'm cynical of the parents, who march up to the podium to praise their schools, their teachers and their principals - if everything's so great, why don't more students score Proficient on their CSAPs? And I'm cynical of a future in which, unless the board is swayed between now and its scheduled Feb. 25 vote, most of the students on the Westside will be heading off to different schools this August.
       But it's also possible to feel admiration. I admire the staff for twisting and wrenching at this monster called District 11 (not to mention taking endless heat from the public), in an earnest pursuit of better ways to educate kids. I admire the board for its willingness to move forward on efficiencies that study after study has advised for years but which past boards have found reasons to procrastinate on. I admire the parents who care so deeply about their school-age children that they studied up on the district's schools so as to choose the right one and, having chosen, jump into its midst with hour after hour of thankless volunteering.
       As for the future, I don't suppose the "admiration" analogy applies. But I do think it's possible to be upbeat about it. Those who see the D-11 changes as unrequited disaster should perk up. In the end, the kids will adapt just fine. It's we adults we probably need to worry about.

- K.J.