Friday meta-discussion: Education?
Several comment threads about urbanism have brought up a key topic that we don't discuss very much here: Education. People who don't have kids, empty nesters, and those able to afford private school don't worry about schools on a day-to-day basis, but it's extremely important for everyone else, and they represent a huge share of the population. For most parents of children in school and those who expect to in the near future, schools are far more important than walkable retail, transit quality, streetscapes, parks, bicycle facilities, or anything else we discuss on a daily basis.
Education is a huge factor in "improving the vitality of Washington, DC and the walkable cities and neighborhoods in the Washington metropolitan area," which is Greater Greater Washington's mission statement. Quite simply, education is a necessary part of a greater Greater Washington, and especially a greater District of Columbia, where education has a long way to go before we could call it great.
Should Greater Greater Washington start discussing education more often and in more depth? What would you like to hear about? What do you think we need to do to make education greater?
And most importantly, can you help? The biggest reason we don't talk about education more, quite simply, is that I'm not as knowledgeable about it as I am about streets, buildings, and public spaces.
Do you look at each announcement from DCPS, the DC State Board of Education, or schools in Maryland and Virginia and say, "that's the right decision, but that there is the wrong one, and here's what we should do instead?" Do you interact with the school system on a regular basis? If so, would you like to contribute articles to Greater Greater Washington about once a week or more? Or do you know someone who would?
In the year and a half that Greater Greater Washington has been running, we've built a great community that engages in fascinating debates over many issues. We reach many decisionmakers inside local government and agencies like Metro. And we've influenced policy in some significant ways. Should we maintain a more narrow focus on streets and buildings, or is it time to reach out to a new and extremely important area of policy?
If you're interested in contributing, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We're also still very interested in contributors who want to write articles about all the other topics we already cover as well, in any communities in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.
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