EDITOR’S DESK: A comprehensive comprehension
I could be completely wrong, but my impression was that the District 11 Board of Education had already hammered out its school-closure compromise before the
issue came up on the agenda May 7. While several Pike Elementary supporters orated on behalf of the school during the “Citizens' Comments” period, board
members could be seen shuffling through paperwork, hardly seeming to pay attention (at least until the three-minute time limit came up).
But it certainly was a fine epiphany, when it came time for a vote, the way all the members found themselves in near-total agreement on what to do. Actually, it's more like what not to do; you could almost hear their collective sigh of relief at having hit on a plan that lets them put off till November a very difficult decision - on the fully defensible rationale that a "comprehensive plan" is needed to guide their path. (Now, who wants to take a nickel bet on how much that plan's merits will be praised, several months down the road, by people from schools that wind up being marked for closure as a result of its policies?) Side observation: Whether the board had been listening to the pro-Pike speakers or not, it was interesting that the citizens all concluded their comments with a request for basically the same stop-and-study-it solution board members eventually approved. Maybe there was just something in the air May 7?
In any case, the good news is that Pike is getting another chance. And more time. From what we've seen of Principal Manuel Ramsey and his hard-working staff, they'll make quality use of both. And, with any luck, next time this comes up (and it probably will) they'll make the school board's decision even harder.