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How does closing schools help academics?

Monarch Academy is one of the schools slated for closure at the end of this school year. The community is rallying to save it. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun video)

Regarding your recent story on Baltimore City school closures (“As Baltimore prepares to close more schools, many worry about the communities they anchor,” Dec. 27), I understand arguments for combining student bodies to have more efficient use of space, and I understand arguments to the effect that some schools cannot be repaired or maintained.

I do not, however, understand arguments for closing schools based on poor academic performance. Surely, academic performance comes from a combination of students, teachers, parents and education resources.

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What do those factors have to do with a building? It is truly odd to factor student performance into these deliberations, since closing poor performing schools seems more like a tactic to mask the problem by transferring it elsewhere. Solutions to poor performance are better addressed by facing the matters of people and circumstances, not by deciding whether to keep a school, even a charter school, open.

C. A. Hoffman, Baltimore

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