A list of proposed D.C. school closings has been flying around neighborhood listserves this evening, but D.C. Public Schools officials say it’s not accurate and they didn’t produce it.
“We have no idea where this list came from, but it’s not from DCPS,” wrote school system spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz in an e-mail.
Chancellor Kaya Henderson is expected to propose a round of school closures sometime next week in an effort to consolidate underenrolled facilities.
The D.C. Council has scheduled two hearings to take public comment, and some community groups opposed to closures are girding for a fight. Four years ago, then-Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee closed 23 schools and ignited long-lasting political backlash.
The document making its way around the Internet Thursday evening lists 38 schools, including several that would be odd — bordering on unbelievable — choices for closure because the city has invested so much money in them in recent years.
H.D. Woodson and Anacostia high schools, for example, were both rebuilt from top to bottom at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Cardozo Senior High, also on the list, is in the midst of being renovated now.
Other schools seem unlikely candidates for closure because of their recent academic records.
For example, Burroughs Education Campus in Ward 5 — which narrowly survived closure in 2008 — made double-digit gains on math and reading tests last year and has been lauded publicly by the mayor and the chancellor.
Besides the two high schools above, the list also includes Roosevelt, Ballou and Spingarn.
The document was emailed to listserves by Ward 5 activist and former advisory neighborhood commissioner Debbie Smith-Steiner, who said she got it from an employee of the school system. She would not name the employee.
Asked about Smith-Steiner’s claim, Salmanowitz said again that the list did not come from DCPS.