Editorial LiveJournalists lecture HISD
All schools in the Houston Independent School District, which closed the Thursday before Ike made landfall, will be closed through Friday and possibly longer. In the aftermath of the massive storm, that's understandable. What makes less sense is HISD's game plan to open all schools on the same day.
This strategy has not been well thought out. Obviously, each school will have to remain closed until it has power and water restored. Some parents have expressed relief at not having to worry about maintaining a school schedule during this hectic post-hurricane week. Too, many families who evacuated remain out of the city.
But after a week without class, it is imperative that HISD officials open schools as quickly as power is restored and inspections of grounds and mechanical systems are complete. It is not reasonable to wait to open the first school until the last school is ready.
As of Thursday, about a third of district schools had power, according to district spokesman Norm Uhl.
Anyone with half a brain knows that school districts want to be up and running as soon as possible. As HISD spokesman Norm Uhl has said on KTRH-740, once a school gets power it still takes several days to check out all the necessary electrical functions to see if all is running properly. The Chron editors would be the first ones throwing a hissy fit if HISD didn't practice due diligence to make sure schools were safe and functioning. Plus, add in the fact that districts will schedule make-up days on a district-wide basis, not on a school-by-school basis.
The ending paragraph of the editorial is especially offensive:
No one says making schools sound enough to get kids back to their desks will be easy. But HISD officials must rise to the occasion, keeping foremost in their plans what's best for the students, not their own convenience.
Please, shutter the editorial page.
UPDATE: Obviously HISD was afraid of facing the wrath of the Chron's editorial board:
The Houston Independent School District announced today that 120 schools with electricity will reopen for students on Tuesday. The remaining schools will be phased in as they become ready.
"We will continue to add to the list of ready schools on a daily basis," HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said.
Dr. Saavedra was no doubt mindful of the Chron's displeasure with the slow pace of schools getting power...as if HISD has anything to do with getting electricity flowing again.