Cooper Fights On
* Do you understand that Cooper is more than a school (or a building)?
* What will happen to our kids — will they go to a failing school instead of one we’ve worked so hard to make successful?
* We did what you told us to do (raised WASL scores, set up special programs). Why are we being punished?
* What’s the benefit of this closure for our kids?
Santorno addressed this last issue directly: “I could tell you this will help your kids now, but I would be fibbing.” She did say that teachers could “follow their students,” and wind up in the same school. But speakers clearly weren’t satisfied with that answer. They see the school as central to a vital community, not as a building or a room that can be transported at will. The idea that the Cooper Elementary community could propagate what they’ve done across the school system didn’t seem to offer much comfort."I would be fibbing?" Wow, that's quite an admission. At least when the CAC closed schools we were pretty sure that kids were getting better, in visible ways, than what they currently had at their school.
A parent, JJ Ball, presented a counter-plan that while heartfelt and thought out (it's actually pretty complex with a lot of upheaval) won't fly. (It involves closing Roxhill and merging them into Pathfinder, moving the whole group to the old Denny building and moving Lafayette's Spectrum program to Cooper - to fill it - while Lafayette would fill with more neighborhood kids.) First, you can't force people to go to an alternative school so merging Roxhill with Pathfinder doesn't work. Second, the old Denny school is gone, baby, gone and there is no force that would make Facilities change their mind. Third, move the Spectrum program from Lafayette to Cooper to shore Cooper up? I have no idea if that would work and/or be a good idea. Fourth, it practically creates a K-12 campus (the three buildings, the new Denny, Chief Sealth and old Denny are less than 3 blocks from each other). That's a lot of kids of all ages in one area. Maybe, but I think the district will have its hands full just getting the Denny-Sealth deal off the ground when the buildings are finished.
Is anyone else hearing counter-plans for any other schools?