Board Needs to Stop the Line

Board Needs to Stop the Line

Stop the Line Manufacturing is a technique introduced by Taiichi Ohno in which every employee on an assembly line has the responsibility to push a big red button that stops everything whenever they notice a defect on the assembly line. Perhaps this is a technique that should be utilized by the School District and its School Board when determining what to do with Hoover Elementary. The plan is defective, so push the button already! Many citizens, including Hoover parents, supported the RPS because it promised everything to everybody. There were certainly no discussions of neighborhood school closures for if there was, the RPS most likely would not have passed. BLDD visioning workshops clearly showed that the overwhelming scenarios chosen by participants were those where no schools were closed. The Board’s move to close Hoover before they had a detailed plan on how the Hoover property was to be utilized was malice aforethought. It necessarily led Hoover families to experience additional angst as ideas, suggestions, impressions and speculations abounded about what their school’s ultimate fate would be. What could have quelled some of that angst would have been an explanation based on facts and the presentation of a compelling case on the Board’s intended end-use of the property. Are Hoover parents and their children supposed to take solace in the thought of their neighborhood school being used for green space, for athletics space or a new food court style cafeteria for the big brother up the hill or god forbid, a parking lot? Those reasons surely do not result in a persuasive enough argument to close an exemplary elementary school. Further, why air-condition Hoover Elementary at great taxpayer expense if the building is to be leveled? From 1996 to 2002, City High’s enrollment fluctuated from 1508 to 1588 students during that period. If the plan is to cap City High’s enrollment at 1500 students, do we really need to add on to the building so much that it will necessitate the closure of Hoover? The Board owes it to all of us to “Stop the Line” and address these issues before we go any further in the process of our District Master Plan. By the way, I think it is ironic that the author of the “Stop the Line” technique’s name was Ohno because that is what the Hoover families say after each board meeting.

Phil Hemingway