There is something rotten in the city of Bellingham when a gymnasium full of parents, teachers, neighbors, and students come at 5 p.m. a work day to save a school they love, have 35 excellent speakers all pleading that the school board be wise enough to not close Larrabee Elementary, yet all but Scott Stockburger on the five-member board vote to close the school anyway.
Superintendent Greg Baker's Herald article rationalizing the decision presents double-speak about better learning in large schools he gets from a study. The more prepared community speakers gave significant data that the school's scores were as good if not better than other schools.
Small schools succeed, especially grade schools. Larrabee teachers even claimed to know all the student's names. The speakers gave statistics of the successes of small schools from both written studies, statistics, and experience.
Baker also claims students can walk to other schools, yet to do so 5-, 6-, and 7-year-olds would have to walk on busy roads, many with no sidewalks.
Even though some 5 p.m. speakers were educators from Western Washington University and other institutions, all but Stockburger on the board voted to close the school. Thank you, Stockburger.