Friday, April 06, 2007

School closure debates roil Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, and.....Cheney?

This one is right in my wheelhouse, as there's a chance that the Cheney School District may need to close one of their schools. From the Cheney Free Press:

The future of Reid Elementary is in jeopardy after Eastern Washington University officials informed the Cheney School District last week that Reid would likely not receive $3.5 million in renovation funds from the state Legislature.

CSD received a letter from EWU president Rodolfo Arévalo on Tuesday, March 27, which stated that it’s “unlikely that the money will ever become available or that EWU would support the renovation as one of the two capital items they are allotted each biennia.”

That prompted an immediate response at the following evening’s CSD board of directors meeting from Reid staff members and parents, who almost unilaterally condemned the idea of closing the school.

I think that this might be the most public showing of the decline and fall of the Education Department at EWU yet. Eastern was founded as a teacher's college and education is still one of the most popular majors there, but in the last few years there's been a palpable sense of frustration among professors there with the constant turnover at the top of department and the lack of movement within.

Reid Elementary is the lab school for the College of Education; it's a place where pre-service teachers can go to watch kids and classrooms. The school is actually connected by a hallway to Williamson Hall, where the Education department is housed, and there's a crows-nest structure inside that allows the college kids to watch the kid kids without interrupting the classroom. Losing Reid wouldn't be a deathblow to the major, sure, but it would certainly be a slap to the department that has helped make Eastern what it is and is one of the most visible in all of Eastern Washington.

Come on, Eastern. With all the new construction and renovation, this is the best you can do for Reid? Golly Ned, if anyplace should have an up-to-date, thoroughly modern school, it should be the one that's right there on the university campus.

Soon the only outwardly visible vestige of Eastern's teaching tradition might be the Dr. Miller's one room schoolhouse. That's not acceptable, and the powers-that-be need to realize that fact.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mandi said...

Hi. I am doing a school project that is about the closing of the Elementary School. I am currently a student at Eastern and was wondering if anyone could help me with more information about the topic. Thanks-

2:40 PM  
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5:29 AM  

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