Wikipedia:Schools/Archive

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Rules of thumb[edit]

We've seen the arguments for and against schools plenty of times, and there is no point in arguing them over and over again on VfD. Therefore, I propose these rules of thumb. This is not any kind of policy or guideline, but I hope that people realize it's a good idea and voluntarily abide with it.

1. Do not nominate schools for deletion. If you feel a school article to be inappropriate, consider being WP:BOLD and merging it, leaving a redirect in place, and explain the merge in the edit summary. Check the edit history first though, if it's been recently created or modified please discuss it first, or use a {{merge}} tag or.
2. Do not unmerge or split out school stubs, unless you simultaneously expand the school article with verifiable information, so that it's no longer a stub.
3. If a school appears on VfD anyway, do not comment your vote on it more than strictly necessary.
a. If a school is listed on VfD, vote once and post a link to [[Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments#Your Opinion Section]].
b. If there is a specific reason that an individual school should not be deleted, for example, used as a movie set or famous alumni, briefly mention that with your vote.
c. If there are already sufficient votes, consider not voting at all.
4. Do not start a debate on schools ("I don't understand why so many people keep/delete school articles..."). It's been done, and we should all agree to disagree.
5. Post any arguments for or against schools on Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments, so that we have a record of all points.
6. If anyone else starts a debate on schools, cut the discussion short and send them there so that they can read the reason why some people disagree with them.

Radiant_* 10:08, May 23, 2005 (UTC)

I agree in general with this code of conduct, but Wikipedia adds new users every day. New users haven't seen the arguments, and "do not vote on it more than strictly necessary" is very unclear. What is strictly necessary? I propose these minor modifications:

1. a. If you merge a school, leave a redirect in place, and explain the merge on the talk page of the redirect.
3. a. If a school is listed on VfD, vote once and post a link to [[Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments#Your Opinion Section]].
3. b. If there is a specific reason that an individual school should not be deleted, for example, used as a movie set or famous alumni, briefly mention that with your vote.

--Unfocused 14:40, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Good suggestions; added in now. My point on #3 was that there is no reason why, if the average VfD gets 5-10 votes, a school VfD gets 30-40. It moggles the bind. Radiant_* 14:45, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • I like those suggestions. There are too many loooooong school debates on VfD and they are quite tiresome. Sjakkalle 14:48, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't. Merging is a form of deletion. This is an attempt to create a guideline which undermines the majority preference expressed time and time again. I also object to being asked not to vote; this is also an attempt to reduce the representation of inclusionist opinion, as most votes would be keep. I am pleased to see that such requests are widely ignored. CalJW 00:07, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

High School guideline[edit]

I strongly believe that it would be in the best interest of the Wiki to establish a consensual guideline on high schools. That's what this page is for. I know a lot of 'pedians feel strongly about the issue and hold the opinions of "keep all schools" or "delete all schools" - however, we've tried that on VfD, and it is obvious that it does not lead to a consensus. Instead, it occasionally bogs down the system, and leads to school articles being randomly deleted or kept depending on who's active on VfD that week.

So, I am going to assume that we're all civilized people here, and propose that we make a compromise. This means everybody should give a little, and we end up in the middle with a situation that may not be to everyone's full liking, but will be reasonably acceptable for all involved. I hope everyone agrees that this is a good idea.

Dpbsmith's WP:BEEFSTEW seems like a decent starting place - however, I should point out that the first three points of BEEFSTEW deal only with the article's length and not with its content. There have been some people who add trivia to school articles (e.g. "the library contains a lot of books") in order to increase their length; that seems not like a good idea. So, my initial proposal would be something based on BEEFSTEW points four through ten (D-J). Alternate suggestions more than welcome.

I now yield the floor to discussion. Remember, we're all working for a better 'pedia! Radiant_* 15:15, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

JYolkowski's proposal[edit]

I've referred to this as "my proposal", but it isn't really; Rather, I've combined into a coherent whole the proposals below that seem to have fairly solid support. Please feel free to edit this proposal if you slightly disagree with what I'm saying and/or can think of a way to say it better.

  1. Verifiable, NPOV information on high schools (excepting information so trivially obvious as to be tautological) should be kept in Wikipedia.
  2. Widely notable high schools or those with lengthy writeups should have their own article.
  3. Small amounts of information on high schools of mere local notability can be included in an article pertaining to education in the locale (e.g. "X School District", "Education in Y", "High Schools in Z", maybe an "Education" section in the city article). As the article becomes sufficiently long, information on individual schools can be spun off into their own articles.
  4. Short high schools stubs can be merged as above. Preferably, a template explaining what a desirable school article is should be added to the article beforehand and time given for the stub to be improved.

JYolkowski // talk 01:07, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Summarizes it well, I'd say. Well done. Radiant_* 07:56, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
  • I changed "should" to "can" in the second two points to make it less prescriptive. Kappa 08:20, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Kappa's proposal--BEEFSTEW, cleanup, possibly merge, unmerge if expanded[edit]

  • Proposal: substub articles should be given a tag leading to a BEEFSTEW-like page which expains what is desirable. If, after a certain amount of time, the article has not reached a certain quality, it could be merged, and then un-merged if later expanded. Kappa 16:00, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Sounds good. Merging to the community's article or to an article on the appropriate school district would get rid of the large numbers of low-quality stubs, while keeping VfD unclogged. --Carnildo 19:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • This sounds like a good idea, I agree. James F. (talk) 22:26, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Good. Merge rather than delete; keep as redirect - David Gerard 22:33, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I disagree with making WP:BEEFSTEW a semi-policy, especially for secondary schools. Specifically, I disagree with mandating F, G, H, I and J. But I agree with A-E, which mandates creation of useful, verifiable information to break the article out of stub-mode. --BaronLarf 00:59, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • I'd argue for quite the opposite. We already have criteria for when an article is worth keeping independently of whether it's subject is worth having an article on, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to make separate is-this-article-good-enough-to-keep guidelines for schools; i.e. if we consider an unreferenced single-paragraph article on an inclusion-worthy secondary school an article that should be deleted if it cannot be improved, we should also consider an unreferenced single-paragraph article on anything else delete-worthy. I think we need to find a set of criteria independent of the quality of the article that determines whether the school in question should be included (though determining whether the school actually meets the criteria without a reasonable article will be a problem). --W(t) 01:36, 2005 May 18 (UTC)
      • A BEEFSTEW score is a sound concept. However the current version may not be what we wind up using. One issue with the current version is the fact that all of the items have the same weight. Another is that I'm not sure that it is using the right criteria. I think that starting with the current BEEFSTEW and working to get a version that is better would be a sound way to go. Add that to the suggestions below and we could make some progress to a concensus. Vegaswikian 05:39, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Stubs: Informally merging and redirecting smaller stubs to a community article pending expansion seems reasonable to me, and we don't need to change policy to enable that.
    • Substubs (articles that don't adequately identify the location of the school) should be mended using google or else listed immediately on VfD where enough eyes will ensure it will be promoted to a good stub if possible. Again we don't have to amend policy to do this.
      • We don't need to amend policy, but we do need to re-affirm it; some people unmerge school stubs on principle, without expanding them. I think that is a bad thing. Radiant_* 14:02, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • I don't see it as a bad thing. For any given stub, there will be those who think it should be merged and those who think it should be separate, and those who would do one or the other on principle because of some overriding concept of what Wikipedia should be useful for. This is normal and we handle this kind of thing every day with other kinds of articles. There is no need for a special case. There is no bad thing, only disagreement between individuals on the ideal disposition of some articles. We don't need a new policy for this, just normal discussion, use of judgement, and case-by-case consensus. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:43, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • BEEFSTEW needs to be handled with care. If adopted as policy or semi-policy, its flaws would tend to produce unbalanced articles and actively to give artificially low scores to perfectly useful encyclopedia articles.
      1. It seems to list as unacceptable or inconsequential the very items that one would expect to see in a good school article (location, contact details, principal, athetics, current enrolment), and thus to encourage padding the article ("Is the article more than 2000 bytes long?", "does the article make a serious effort to establish the school's notability") with irrelevant items.
      2. BEEFSTEW gives some good pointers to expanding an article if not taken too literally--I'd hate to see articles missing basic stuff such as enrolment, curriculum, athletics, address in favor of a photograph or a story about Sir Frottingham Twaddle attended the school and went on to climb the North Face of the Eiger in 1942.
      3. I'm not clear where the "2000 bytes long" idea comes from. You can write a perfectly good, expandable, encyclopedic stub about a school in less than 80 characters: "Ploppy School is a state secondary school in Ploppytown, England."
      • To summarise, BEEFSTEW may be useful as a pointer for expanding a stub, but it's not much good for judging whether a stub (which will necessarily have an extremely low score) is capable of expansion into a good article. You can only find this out by actually researching the school and seeing if you can write a good article about it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:48, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • I think the 2000 bytes figure was arbitrary. Basically, a flood of very short school articles with little content are what the so called "school deletionists" fear, and most have little against a lengthier high school article with some meat on it. But how short is short? The only objective ways of measuring length are by counting something, be it words, sentences or bytes. The line had to be drawn somewhere, and we would be having the same discussion if it had been drawn at 2500 or 1500. Sjakkalle 13:03, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
        • I think article length is irrelevant (and it also encourages adding trivial non-information, see below). I think most people here agree that BEEFSTEW needs some modification (to, say, a new standard called MEATSTEW), and any criteria related to length rather than informativity can then be dropped. Radiant_* 14:02, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
        • I don't see any problem with lots of school stubs. A school stub is a valid article if it says something as simple as "X is a Y school in Z". To be a valid stub, an article simply needs to identify a subject in a verifiable, NPOV manner. Once that is done anyone who comes along can extend it from public sources. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:16, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Well, thing is, we tried that and it doesn't have consensus, and leads to frequent VFD debates when a school stub is nominated for deletion. Hence, I feel we need some kind of compromise. This, by definition, won't be ideal for all parties, but it should be possible to make it acceptable. Radiant_* 15:03, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
          • As I said on your user talk page, it's my impression that deletion of all but the most trivial and useless substubs is rare, and many people prefer merge or keep. We don't need to make a new consensus for this, just carry on as at present. Be bold. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:28, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
            • We don't have a consensus, what we need is a compromise. Check the past couple days' VfD pages, then tell me you like the present situation. Yes, schools often end up kept (with roughly 35% keep votes, in many cases). But they also clog up VfD. Radiant_* 15:32, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
            • There is nothing about the current situation, which I admit must be disappointing for those who want to get rid of many schools, that cannot be solved by them being more judicious in their choice of which schools to list for deletion. As I've pointed our earlier, it's perfectly okay to just be bold and merge a small school stub, with redirection, into a community article. We don't need to set policy on this, just do it. The effect is exactly as if the article had been deleted, except for two things:
              1. The history is not lost
              2. No information dropped in the merge is permanently lost.
            • It's the perfect compromise, and it's available now with no need to make policy. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 18:55, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
              • Concur with Tony Sidaway who makes a great point. The only school articles (IMHO) that should be deleted are ones that are non-verifiable/hoax entries. All others have a boundless growth potential, just not always at a pace with which various deletionists are comfortable. —RaD Man (talk) 09:57, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
                • Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, the potential is not fulfilled. Worse, stubs sit around for years with no action, someone puts it on VfD, and it gets expanded for the wrong reasons (it gets expanded a little specifically to be kept, and then nothing else). Worse still, there are those which get on VfD, everybody votes "keep, it'll grow", and then it doesn't grow. In fact, it ends up back on VfD in an identical state. It might not be reasonable to expect an article to have expanded within 6 days, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect something from 6 months, and it's less likely to be expanded in the following 6 months than it was in the first 6 months - that's basic maths. Keeping things "just in case" is inertial reasoning, with no basis in logical reality. Chris talk back 23:10, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
                • Well, Chriscf, I've often heard that kind of thing said, but when I looked at the schools listed by Neutrality I saw good signs of organic growth in most of the older articles (though not all), and abundant signs of articles being listed for deletion far too early (around six weeks, when organic growth takes place over periods of months and years, and perhaps even decades). Thing is, when someone says stuff like what you just said, I don't just take it for granted, I check the data. I'm not seeing what you're describing. I'm seeing pretty much the same kind of growth pattern as I saw with Masts week or so ago. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:49, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
                  • Undoubtedly there is some amount of growth over some percentage of stubs. What people disagree on is whether the amount of growth is big enough to be 'acceptable'. That is, of course, strongly POV. Radiant_* 08:08, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
                  • Absolutely. I take the position that an article that shows organic growth over a year will probably show organic growth over two, or ten. I don't think there is such a thing as "not enough" growth. If an article is being edited (bot edits and cats, cleanup and VfD templates and the like excluded) over timescales of the order of one year, then it is being visited and found useful by someone. Thus it would not be productive to delete it. I think that's a reasonable point of view to take and far more defensible than arbitrary arguments about "notability". --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:31, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
                  • We should probably agree to disagree on that point. If a stub is being edited once per year, I'd say we might as well delete it; a new article can be created from scratch as easily as from most stubs. Notability is another can of worms that I'd prefer not to discuss at this particular moment and place. Anyway. I believe you said you found stub merging an acceptable compromise. So do I. It would certainly alleviate VfD. Radiant_* 11:40, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

David Gerard's proposals[edit]

David Gerard's proposal 1--third-party references[edit]

  • Proposal: keep anything with third-party references to stuff in the article. Verifiability (even local press) will at least prove a third party cared enough about its existence. Merging as per substub is also an option if they're really short - David Gerard 22:11, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Good point. James F. (talk) 22:26, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree, I think we should keep (almost) anything that can be easily verified (but not necessarily in its own article, of course). JYolkowski // talk 02:08, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • This is really the heart of my objection to most school articles - what little information in them that relates to the school itself (as opposed to its sport teams, curriculum [which, at least in the U.S., is almost always dictated by the school district], alumni, etc.) rarely has any verifiability whatsoever outside of the school's own website. If there isn't enough information verifiable through a third party to make a non-stub, on-topic article, then it should be merged at most. I literally only have five minutes until next Tuesday, so please see User talk:Korath#Beefstew for further comments I made a few weeks ago. —Korath (Talk) 10:56, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I cannot parse this proposal. Scratches head. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:57, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • David, as we discussed on IRC, this rule would allow for the creation of articles for a huge number of roadway intersections in the US.. Plenty of official documentation at the city and state offices, and Federal records in many cases, plus newspaper reports of construction and accidents (just like schools). We could fill an article up with trivia such as the frequency of accidents, time of first construction... Photographs. Is this really acceptable in the inclusionist agenda? Sure intersections are verifyable and NPOV, but the vast majority of them are not notable. I encourage all who support David's proposed rules, or similar proposed rulesets to reply. :) --Gmaxwell 15:06, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • fill an article up with trivia... Is this really acceptable in the inclusionist agenda? Absolutely. Nothing to stop someone paring down a "trivia"-filled article into a concise informative one, if necessary by throwing away information. Lupin 14:28, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Actually that sounds pretty cool. m:Wiki is not paper. Accident data on road intersections could be very, very encyclopedic. Not sure how feasible it would be, however. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:31, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

David Gerard's proposal 2--name schools to include location[edit]

Kelly Martin's proposal--merge schools unless they have achieved national or regional fame[edit]

  • Proposal: Primary and secondary schools which have achieved national or regional fame for any significant reason (e.g. former school of famous individual, site of newsworthy event, etc.) deserve their own articles. School articles which, on their face, fail to reach this bar should be merged (with retained redirect) into community articles (e.g. village, town, city, school district, township, county, etc.). (A subarticle may be used if the community article would be made too large otherwise, titled, e.g. "Schools of Broward County, Florida" or "High schools of Louisville, Kentucky"). Those articles which are so deficient that they not only do not meet the above criterion, but for which it is impossible to determine a community to merge them with, may be deleted. Kelly Martin 22:44, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
    • I disagree that national or regional fame should be required to keep an article on a secondary school. For primary schools, I would be more inclined to support the merging into school districts rather than into the community; this would make it easier to navigate between articles on school districts. --BaronLarf 00:59, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • You will note that I listed "school district" in the list of acceptable merge targets. Not every school is in a school district, however, so the decision as to which to merge a particular below-the-bar article into will obviously be case-dependent. And I don't believe that mere local fame is enough to justify a standalone article. Secondary schools with no claim to fame, or whose fame can be condensed to a single sentence, do not need their own article; they can live as a line item in a larger page. Kelly Martin 01:20, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
        Yes; I was commenting that I liked your idea about merging into the school district as opposed to "village, town, city" etc that you also listed. I'm afraid that I respectfully disagree with you that any school which has not attained fame should be relegated to a line item. The encyclopedia is not paper. --BaronLarf 01:33, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
        • I also oppose not breaking out any school if the article is good enough Kappa 02:20, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Sounds good. JYolkowski // talk 02:08, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Seems good, but the bar needs to be rather higher, maybe considerably higher, than simply having one "famous" individual as a former pupil (as far as my school is concerned, I'm a famous alumnus, though I neither agree that I am famous nor think that were I more famous that I would merit the inclusion of my school), or a "newsworthy" event (mindful of slow news days - a school might make the local paper because someone passed a first aid certificate). We should be careful not to fall into the trap of articles which duplicate information because their school subjects are for all intents and purposes identical. Perhaps one criterion for inclusion should be that an article must include enough detail to show that the school is substantially different from the typical school of the area, such that we have something interesting to say other than "It's a school, it's got a library and some sports teams". An absolute requirement for any kind of decision in this area is something which will reduce the crop of potential candidate schools from around the world to a manageable number (first-come-first-served clearly isn't viable), i.e. one where we can reasonably say we can have a "complete" set. People may complain about things such as Pokemon, but that is a limited subject area. There are a finite number of monsters, characters, and settings, and the growth of the universe is slow enough that we can reasonably expect to have "complete" coverage. Something new turns up, it's no big deal to catch up. There are only a few thousand albums which pass the guidelines for the music projects, within a reasonable amount of time, with a little work, we could expect to have almost "complete" coverage of those albums - maybe not detailed, but certainly a complete set. To gain any sort of credibility in the wider world, Wikipedia needs to demonstrate that it can get and stay on top of things. To do that, we need a manageable number (preferably in no more than four figures), and some non-random criteria (i.e. "someone just added it" is not valid) for deciding if a school is in or out. In the end, there is no good reason why the rules that apply to every other article about people, organisations and institutions should not apply to schools. Factual and verifiable is all well and good for a knowledge base, but an encyclopaedia (even without the limits of paper) has to be selective in order to be taken seriously. As much as I hate to sound like Ian Paisley ... Chris talk back 09:14, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't think we'll ever get consensus on this view. I tend to the view that a good NPOV stub that is verifiable should be the absolute minimum for non-biographical articles, and it follows in my view that no school article should be deleted simply because someone thinks the school is unimportant. Smaller stubs may be merged informally without making formal policy. Be bold!. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:19, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Any reason why schools should be exempt from the standards to which we hold everything else of deserving a place rather than being guaranteed one? Chris talk back 12:39, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
        • We shouldn't add more onerous standards for schools. Concerns for notability in the context of schools, for instance, are misplaced in my view. A verifiable, NPOV article can be written about a school about which nothing is known initially than its name and location. Schools don't generally disappear overnight, so we can afford to wait around for literally decades while the article is improved (if Wikipedia lasts that long). --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:20, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
        • Do we really hold every single article to a notability standard? I haven't seen that sort of thing applied to the thousands of articles on every single hamlet in the United States, or to Category:British railway stations. Secondary schools are permanent institutions of a community which affect thousands of people. This distinguishes articles on secondary schools from articles about some local garage band or some random person from off the street. --BaronLarf 14:10, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
          • "Real places" tend to be permanent, and the railway stations are finite - there is a limited number of them that will not likely grow beyond our capacity to deal with them. Even high schools alone are far too numerous for us to even begin to catalogue every single one of them (we're looking at mid-six-figures minimum), thoroughly describe their facilities, then keeping them all up-to-date. You'd need someone in every town across the world to have the time and information to keep all those up-to-date. Also, unlike the villages, towns and cities, schools are not permanent - they can be signed into and out of existence, combined, split or re-arranged at the discretion of a local council. In the last 5 years in just one county locally, we have seen one school closed, four schools merge into two, one school split into two, and proposals made for the construction of another.
          • Stub articles are controversial, and that applies as well to the Rambotted hamlets, or to railway stations. And, for instance, recently to such things as Pokemon or other fictional characters. These things are often resolved with a proposal to merge. It's also a matter of numbers - there are exceedingly many schools - and to how much verifiable information can actually be written in the articles. Is there a lot to say about Random School #42 that isn't already said on Schools in general? If the answer is no, then merging may be appropriate. And 'affecting thousands of people' is not something I find particularly interesting, since so does our local supermarket. Arguably, so does the average Wikipedia editor. Radiant_* 14:20, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
          • I think it's overstating the case, at the very least, to claim that stub articles are controversial. Virtually every single article in Wikipedia started as a stub. Good stubs, which provide a small kernel about which a snowball of information can assemble itself, are the most Wiki-ish things imaginable. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:16, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
            • I think it is fact that short articles are more likely to end up on VfD than long articles. Anyway, that's beside the point. You want all school stubs kept - but other people keep nominating some of them for VfD. We can either keep regular lengthy VfD shouting matches, or we can work on a compromise. Give a little, take a little. Radiant_* 15:29, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
            • Actually I want all good school stubs kept, or merged and redirected pending expansion. I don't mind people who don't want certain articles on Wikipedia knocking themselves out trying to delete them. If the articles as a class are wanted, sooner or later they get the message and give up. If the articles as a class were unwanted, consensus on deletability would emerge. I think you know which of the two situations I think applies at present. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:34, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
              • If the articles as a class are wanted, sooner or later they get the message and give up. When you have a definable bloc of people sending the message, then you move away from "wanted articles" and towards a "war of attrition", which is most definitely a bad thing. In fact, since it is exactly opposite to finding a consensus, advocates of such methods should not be allowed to participate. I certainly hope you're not seriously advocating a war of attrition against deletions you disagree with. Chris talk back 23:33, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
              • Chriscf asks if I want a war of attrition. Well no, I'm not engaged in one and I think this is precisely the problem the deletionists are doomed to encounter. Attempts to force deletion of school articles will tend to engender resistance from Wikipedia--JayJG on the mailing list gave two excellent examples of people he thinks of as "organised inclusionists" opposing deletion of schools, but it turned out that both were well established Wikipedians and one was familiar with VfD and the one was new to it, but neither had voted in a schools VfD before Tuesday, when Neutrality was in the middle of unleashing his 50+ school deletion listings on VfD. It's impossible to force changes that Wikipedia doesn't want wholeheartedly. If you do so, you sow factions like dragon's teeth, and once you've created such a faction it may take a lot of very fancy footwork to mollify it and persuade it that you really do mean well.
                • Is this the same person saying they're not engaged in a war of attrition that has also said they're happy with the situation that axiomatic "keep" voters outnumber those people who actually think about their votes (whether they be keep or delete)? Something doesn't add up here. Chris talk back 04:14, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Chrisf, look at my record. I used to vote against school articles because I felt they were trivial. I have changed my mind. Instrumental in changing my mind has been what I perceive as an unreasonable campaign of deletion. I'm happy with the fact that this campaign has drawn a response from people who--as I have documented on Wikien-L, even though someone claimed that they were part of some inclusionist campaign unrepresentative of the opinions of ordinary Wikipedians, had not expressed any opinion at all on the matter prior to last week.
  • If this happened to me, if I noticed that in response to my VfDs a whole campaign of previously-uninvolved people got up, well I'd be skeptical at first (like you, I would search for evidence that it was just a matter of a dozen or so people voting on principle).
  • But eventually, if the facts could be established and it proved that opposition was growing, I'd have to admit that I was acting in the face of clear opposition.
  • If there had been a recent case of sock puppetry, I'd look pretty closely at the credentials of my opposition (and I hope you have done so, because I have certainly looked closely at the credentials of my support. I wouldn't be making this claim if I thought this was a renewal of the sock puppet campaign!) Remember that David Gerard, is a schools inclusionist who helped to stop the sock puppetry campaign. David still seems to be against massive deletion of school articles. So am I.
  • Neither David nor I is involved in any war of attrition, as far as I'm aware. Look at our suggestions on Wikipedia:Schools. We're working towards consensus. I've put hours of work into producing a possible view of the future, a hierarchical structure of U.S. school districts, particularly those in California.
  • Even now it's possible to merge, with redirect, a tiny, almost useless school article into an article about the local community or some other relevant organization (in the case of a religious school, for instance, an article on the religious body that administer or funds it). For a very small, useless stub, this actually takes less energy than the process of listing it for deletion. It does take a little bit of thought, though. VfD is one forum that's very sensitive to thoughtless listings.
  • I'm happy with the current situation because I think the massive campaign to delete schools has failed and people are talking to one another, and some of us are working on possible solutions. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:22, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
              • The thing is, we don't get to set the bar. We have to find out where the bar is, and possibly document it as policy. Or not. I'm easy, I think the status quo is simply wonderful and no further policy is required. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:58, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Good proposal; set the bar high, and if the amount of information on the school eventually expands enough that separate article is warranted, one can be broken off the main article, as with any other Wikipedia article. Jayjg (talk) 22:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • The nice thing about setting the bar high is that we can lower it as time goes by, to allow WP to grow in this area without taking over. Any cook will tell you that it;s easier to add something you have too little of than to take out something you have in excess. Chris talk back 23:33, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Even in November 2002, where as many as 40% of articles were Rambot articles, they did not "take over" the encyclopedia. You only load the pages you want to read and ignore the ones you don't. Your continued suggestion that existence of school articles threaten to overrun the smooth running of the encyclopedia is completely unfounded. Pcb21| Pete 12:52, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I think the merge with redirect retained is the kind of thing you could do now and it requires no policy consensus. Just be bold and do it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:02, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

BaronLarf's proposals[edit]

BaronLarf's proposal 1--municipality, district hierarchy[edit]

  • Proposal on method for creating articles on schools:
    1. First, Mention the school districts in the municipality on the municipality's article
    2. Create an article on the school district
    3. If enough information is included, break out articles on the high schools to their own pages. Most primary schools probably will not merit seperate articles however. --BaronLarf 00:59, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I do like this idea. When an encyclopedia is written, I would imagine that its editors start with the most important topics and work their way down. However, there are a lot of articles about schools which have redlinks to their city or school district. The only problem is getting people to follow it, since a lot of school articles are written by anons. I propose merging this proposal with Kelly Martin's; the two complement each other nicely, covering both the creation of articles and related maintenance. JYolkowski // talk 02:08, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Similar to something I suggested in the past, so yes, I'd be in favor of this. It allows the content to grow and see if it needs a seperate article. After thinking about this for a while, I think it would also be good to have the school name as a heading in any other article so that any diasambig page could easly link to it. Add a score to a modified BEEFSTEW and you should have something most people would accept. Vegaswikian 05:30, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Good idea. Document this as a guideline for schools articles, and create some templates to enable this. Bear in mind that school district nomenclature will vary greatly from country to country (I've no clear idea what the equivalents of "municipality" and "school district" might be in the UK context, for instance). --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:22, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Good idea, but it may require merging several existing school stubs (though probably this is bottable). Radiant_* 13:53, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • Yes, a bot-based merge based on such a hierarchy might be feasible. Just splice up a bunch of stubs into sections in the school district article and redirect the stub articles to the district. Explode each article as and when needed. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:37, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

BaronLarf's proposal 2--verifiability, not notability[edit]

  • Proposal on secondary school articles: There should be no notability standards which need to be upheld for secondary schools (that is, in the United States, high schools). These articles should, however, have a good amount of verifiable information, with a format agreed upon at Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools. A one sentence stub does not help anyone. --BaronLarf 00:59, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I think all non-bio articles should adopt the verifiability and NPOV criteria, which are the only policies we have at present and in my opinion all we need. No change necessary. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:25, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Please see my disscussion above on verifiability and NPOV. --Gmaxwell 15:08, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I do think many people use 'NN' to mean 'not verifiable', but that's beside the point really. I do agree with this in principle, but 'verifiable' should not just mean "yes, the school exists because it has a website". Any school can be verified to exist - verifiability should also apply to the information in the article. And if there isn't enough verifiable and non-trivial info to fill the article beyond stub status, merging sounds like a good idea. Radiant_* 13:53, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • Agreed. Verifiable existence and sourced & verifiable information on the school. --BaronLarf 14:12, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • No arguments there. As with all other articles, unsourced and unverifiable information should simply be removed from the article. Schools are not special in this respect. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:21, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
        • Unfortunately, this is still a double standard. It's not difficult to write a verifiable, NPOV article on just about anything. If being verifiable and neutral are the only considerations, then most Wikipedians would have their own articles, as would most of the other 6 billion people on this Earth (I could mention my date and place of birth, what I'm studying, how I fare in my degree, and roughly where I'm living - all of this information can be presented neutrally, and verified from third-party sources). But they don't, and we deliberately remove those that we don't feel worthy. Allowing all articles on schools with only those two qualities but subjecting other articles to various tests is a pretty heavy double standard. Chris talk back 23:37, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • That's a straw man. We have special rules about autobiographical articles, for the very reason that humans are generally less encyclopedic.
          • It is not in any way a straw man. The suggestion is that verifiable and neutral information on schools should be kept. The counter-point is that it seems people are happy to throw away verifiable and neutral information on other subjects. There isn't really anything about schools in general that makes them any more worthy of inclusion than your average person, band, or fictional item. Just like everything else, schools should have to make an individual case for being here. Contrary to what some people seem to think, Wikipedia is not a dumping ground for information. Chris talk back 03:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
          • We're resistant to biographical entries because, well, there are billions of us and a good 600 million humans know English and even more of us are capable of cribbing an entry about us in any given language, including English. And you are not important and I am not important. But the schools that made us capable or arguing across states, nations and continents are. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:01, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
        • I was asked today to define encyclopedic. This is what I came up with:
          Empirically this can be defined as "having a calculable likelihood, as a class of subjects, to sustain an article that wouldn't end up being deleted if listed on VfD." In general it seems to be pretty difficult to get consensus to delete a school article, of instance, even one about a little-known high school about which nothing much is known, whereas if I wrote an article about a random human, my friend's brother say, when listed on VfD it would die a mercifully quick death.
        • I do tend towards empiricism on Wikipedia. Rather than try to forge new policy to tell people what they can and cannot do, I think we should observe the results of deletion listings as they have actually worked out on Wikipedia, and form our policy to describe best practise. I think we should also educate editors more on the alternatives to deletion, in particular merging. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:10, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
          • I strongly support making people more aware of merging. VfD is getting overloaded, and it would greatly help if people would consider merging an article before VfD'ing it. Radiant_* 08:06, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
            • The big problem here is finding merge targets. On a number of occasions, there won't be enough information in the article to figure out a suitable one. There might be no mention of location, or the location link might point to a dab page with 30 or so different towns and cities on it. I'm for a trim-and-merge (by which I mean cutting the article down to basic information - including ditching those horrid orphan taxoboxes) if there's enough info to establish a good merge target. Chris talk back 03:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
              • I agree that this can be a problem; however, I think that specifically asking for this information in the cleanup template, as well as starting from the district down (see other proposals), we can ensure that merge targets are known and exist. JYolkowski // talk 18:15, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  • On finding merge targets, that's usually pretty easy if the article correctly because you know where it is. If it's a tiny stub just be bold and merge to the local community article. If that article doesn't exist, create it--if the place has a school it has people and it belongs in Wikipedia. If it's in the U.S., merge to the city, state, or county, or look for the school district. Use google Enter "SCHOOLNAME STATE school-district" replacing the capitalized bits with the appropriate bits. Or help to build the structure I started in Lists of school districts in the United States. Sorry but this may require some actual research but if you put a message on my talk page I promise to find the school district the school belongs to.
  • Of course we always do a thorough a google search prior to listing something for deletion. Therefore the fact that I do lots of google searches on VfD items and the articles are almost invariably kept when I post my results, well I guess we can put it down to a problem with Google?
  • Some people think the problem is a QA one. I agree. The quality of VfD listings would improve immeasurably if more of us could be persuades to just GOOGLE IT.
  • I use Google in the generic sense. If it's some medical or anatomical thing, you're probably better off using pubmed or something. Be inventive. Don't wast VfD time. Don't get upset if your attempts to delete something fail--I've been there hundreds of times. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:48, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

BD2412's proposal--use fixed external standards as criteria for inclusion[edit]

  • Proposed benchmarks: I propose that any school on Newsweek's list of the Best Schools in America (listed here for convenience) should be a lock for inclusion (the list covers a total of 1042 schools, or about 5% of the "22,000 plus high schools in the United States"). I also propose that any American high school that verifiably predates World War II is inherently notable, as there were far fewer schools before the post-war boom. Finally, I propose that any school that verifiably has more than 50,000 alumni is inherently notable. All other schools should sink or swim on the strength of the content of their articles. -- BD2412 talk 03:03, 2005 May 18 (UTC)
    • I agree that all schools that meet those guidelines should be included. (Of course, schools that don't meet those criteria should also be included in my view.)--BaronLarf 03:22, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I have a problem with this because it seems to support the view that editors should continue to fill up VfD with listings for weak stubs instead of actually working to improve and expand them. The former only creates more work for others when really as editors we should take on the responsibility for content ourselves. If a school stub looks weak, a note about it on Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools or perhaps Wikipedia:Cleanup taskforce is likely to be more productive than listing it for deletion. There are very few stubs that do not show improvement over time by organic growth, as long as they're made visible to those interested in cleaning them up--using VfD for this purpose is labor-intensive and wasteful. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • The problem is that many stub articles, such as those on schools, aren't actually expanded by anyone. WP:Schools has been inactive for a long time, and the Schoolwatch only seems to act to rescue a school from VfD. AFAICT BaronLarf is the only one who improves school articles of his own accord. *** Of course a solution would be if people merged school stubs rather than putting them on VfD; certainly the Wikiproject should keep track of any List of schools in foo district. It should, however, be established that merged school stubs should not be unmerged unless they are simultaenously expanded to a non-stub article. Radiant_* 13:56, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
        • In the spirit of compromise, I would agree to the merging of stubs, though I would prefer that they be listed somewhere as about to be merged or something, so we had a week or so to expand a few of them. I want to assume good faith that the pages turned into redirects would indeed have the information placed on the destination page, but it would be helpful to have some mechanism of ensuring this happened. For all of my issues with massive listing of schools on VfD, at least the community receives notice. (You're right; Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools has not been active, but personally I use it as a guideline when I'm trying to expand an school article. Some of the templates should get update, though.) --BaronLarf 15:05, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
          • Would putting these article in a category so that they could easly be pulled up, help get them the attention they need to be improved? While not stated below, the proposed template would put those articles into some Category.Vegaswikian 00:32, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
            • I'm also all for merging together weak articles into articles on the district. However, I don't think high schools should automatically be excluded from Wikipedia for lack of something more to say about them than that they exist - especially schools that are particularly good, particularly big, or particularly old. -- BD2412 talk 02:22, 2005 May 19 (UTC)
              • If schools are particularly good, particularly big, or particularly old, there's more to say about them than that they exist, that's the beauty of it… --W(t) 02:26, 2005 May 19 (UTC)

Radiant says: The problem is that many stub articles, such as those on schools, aren't actually expanded by anyone.

I've seen this kind of claim made before recently (then in the case of masts). The trouble is that when I actually investigated I discovered that mast articles were showing clear signs of organic growth. A typical mast article starts something like this: "X is a Y foot tall guyed mast carrying FM transmissions near Z". Over a three-month timescale, typically nothing would happen. After six months, about half of articles would have shown clear signs of growth, with links to transmission authorities, maps, aerial photographs and the like. After a year, nearly all mast articles would be pretty respectable articles with both technical and historical details--which is remarkable considering that a mast is just a big pole stuck in the ground.

So I'm a bit skeptical about the claim that nobody is expanding school stubs. Indeed what concerns me most about the recent deletion listings is that clearly many listings have been made far too early. Look what I found. I'll keep expanding this list:

The schools table[edit]

School article Started Listed
Academic Magnet High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 31 Mar 2005 15 May 2005
Mahajana High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 2 Nov 2004 1 Mar 2005
Winter Springs High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 30 Apr 2005 15 May 2005
Addison School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 2 Jan 2005 15 May 2005
Algonquin Regional High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 6 May 2005 15 May 2005
All Saints' Academy (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 10 May 2004 15 May 2005
Anfield Community Comprehensive School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 23 Apr 2005 15 May 2005
Archbishop Chapelle High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 16 Mar 2004 15 May 2005
Asheville School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 25 May 2004 15 May 2005
Ashley Hall (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 17 Dec 2003 15 May 2005
Bergen County Academies (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 7 May 2005 16 May 2005
Buffalo Grove High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 20 Dec 2004 16 May 2005
Brassall State Primary School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 16 Apr 2005 16 May 2005
Bishop Quinn High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 4 Feb 2005 16 May 2005
Berkeley Carroll School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 26 Nov 2004 16 May 2005
Bellemoor School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 19 Apr 2005 16 May 2005
Bel Air Middle School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 14 May 2005 16 May 2005
Barrington High School (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) 16 Jan 2005 16 May 2005

Oh, you'll find older articles that hadn't been edited much there, and other articles that were old and respectable but needed cleanip, but a lot of these articles were only a few weeks old and had not been given a chance to grow. There is in general a tendency of articles that have been around a while to grow organically. People happen upon them and add to them--not systematically through projects, but through the normal organic processes of the Wiki. One of the articles, a perfectly respectable five-sentence school stub with an external reference, was listed for deletion after two days. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:43, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

But was there anything in those paragraphs that set it apart from the many hundreds of similar schools around the world? That needs to be a necessary and sufficient condition for entry, just like almost every other topic. Why can't you accept this small thing? Chris talk back 23:40, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand where you get this idea from. All objects are distinguishable, we humans are endlessly inventive in discriminating one object from another. We give them names, we paint them different colors, if they make sounds we make the pitch higher or lower or give them a tune (ringtones). Distinguishability absolutely is not a problem--particularly on Wikipedia where every article must necessarily have a different name. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:16, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I don't see its name and the colour we paint the walls as something which sets a school aside from others. Chris talk back 03:33, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
BUT what about when it's the exact same colour as every other? I mean, I own hundreds of thousands of LEGO pieces, many duplicates, and I can't possibly tell the difference between any of the identical ones. The same thing applies to schools; in many cases, one school could easily become another school with Search-and-Replace. Would you ever know the difference? No. Master Thief GarrettTalk 03:52, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
You contend that one school could become another with search-and-replace. I can never agree with this. You compare them to lego bricksbut they're schools with all that implies. You went to one school, I went to another. They were in different locations, we were taught by different people, the schools had different histories and were associated with different communities. Countries, autonomous regions (such as states), Cities, towns, villages, These are unequivocally encyclopedic. The saying "to put a place on the map" is a pretty strong one. I just put the village where I spent most of my childhood on the map by making a very small stub. I think you'd have to try very hard to describe that place as some kind of lego brick. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:48, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree with what Chris and MTG say above. It's a general principle (although not an absolute requirement) that WP articles should establish the significance of the subject and why we should care. I think it's a very reasonable and important question of why this should be completely abandoned for all primary and secondary schools. The claim that primary and secondary schools are inherently notable is undercut considerably by the fact that WP school articles so rarely have anything notable to say about them. I agree with Tony that schools and communities are vitally important. Unfortunately it's hard to make this encyclopedic because we insist that our articles be neutral and verifiable. Since the color of the paint is neutral and verifiable, it's no wonder that most high school articles are filled with that sort of trivia. The fact that the school colors for my old high school are red and white doesn't really tell you anything significant about the school. It gives no understanding or insight into anything at all, really. Quale 20:19, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Master Thief Garrett's proposal--improve BEEFSTEW[edit]

  • Proposal: let's add some more BEEF to the STEW! While BEEFSTEW is very good, it is not very reliable. As demonstrated above, waffle can give an article a higher rating. So I'd say it needs maybe one or two more steps, and change the early ones so waffle and cruft don't give a better score. Also each step should give examples as per above as to what qualifies as that step.
  • For example, if someone goes to Vfd a school they can say "fails steps 1, 2A+B, 3, and 4C" so people know exactly what's gone wrong without necessarily having to add it all up themselves all over again. You just look at the list, see step 1 is "published famousness" and agree, and move on to the next, and so on. If you found evidence against the failure of a step, or noticed a failed one the nominator missed, you can add a note at the top. It would certainly streamline the Vfd. Not to say Vfd is the one and only purpose of a school criteria system, it isn't, but it certainly helps cut the ones that don't fit. Master Thief Garrett 08:27, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • We already have pretty good deletion criteria, and I don't see beefstew failure ever having much effect in streamlining VfD. Keeping school stubs (as opposed to substubs) out of VfD should be the goal and this can only be achieved if people express their devotion to the quality of schools articles by actually making schools articles better (and an adapted BEEFSTEW may help in this regard) instead of listing stubs on VfD. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:39, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • nonono, I wasn't meaning for the deletion, but to help others as well (never propose at 8:30...) What I mean is to have a list that someone can check. Like, "Before adding your school to Wikipedia, see if it fits these guidelines for what makes an excellent school article". So you can check *before* writing anything at all. The nonnotable schools fail it, and the notable ones succeed. Of course some will ignore the rules and post anyway, but at least it will stem the tide. THAT is what I meant. Master Thief Garrett 00:27, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • The only acceptable way of keeping school stubs out of VfD is to have a clear policy on them, and neither wholesale inclusion nor wholesale deletion is the answer. Chris talk back 23:42, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
          • But that's all we see now is inclusionism! People cut-n-paste "all schools are notable" votes for articles that, were they anything other than a school, would be mercilessly killed. Of course we cannot easily make a policy of any sort... Master Thief GarrettTalk 06:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
        • I think you could easily accommodate every tiny school stub ever written in one tenth of the space Wikipedians have used arguing about whether or not to keep them. My thoughts:
        • By all means let's get rid of bogus, hoax and unverifiable articles as when they're identified.
        • If someone puts a school article up for deletion and none of us can verify that it exists, and nobody comes along and adds independent verification to the article in the meantime, I'll vote delete very single time. That's because it's bad information and doesn't belong in an encyclopedia.
        • If somebody starts pumping unwanted articles of any description into Wikipedia with a bot, I'll bless the day that a developer goes in and hoovers tham all up with a single SQL statement. That's because Wikipedia isn't a dumping ground for random articles.
        • But if someone comes to VfD and says "this article does nothing except establish that a comprehensive school called McEntee School exists in Walthamstow and I think it should be deleted because it isn't notable" I'll ask him to pull the other one. There's tons of information around about McEntee, on newspaper websites, DES, DFT, schools inspectorate, to name a few that spring to mind. The school (just one I picked at random because it's close to where I live and I knew its name and nothing more) was named after a chap called Valentine McEntee.
        • Who he? One of the founding members (in 1904) of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, who defected to the LRC, the fledgling Labour Party, and rejoined the Social Democratic Federation, became a Labour councillor and then a Labour MP for Walthamstow West and eventually retired to the House or Lords as Baron McEntee of Walthamstow. See? Easy peasy.
        • Encyclopedias are about researching stuff, not deleting stubs. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:41, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Clearly Valentine McEntee is notable, but you haven't said a single thing that makes McEntee School itself in the slightest bit notable. (It would be good to list schools named for McEntee in his own article.) It's only easy peasy if you have no standards and will grasp at anything to include every school stub. In the U.S. there are dozens if not hundreds of schools named for César Chávez. Chávez is very notable, but most of the schools named for him are not. Even better examples are provided by Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. There are hundreds or even thousands of schools with those names in the U.S., but being named for a dead president does not make a school notable. No fear, I'm sure each of those schools has a notable Friday school lunch special or some such. Let me ask you this: suppose WP had a band vanity stub, and the band was named Baron McEntee. Obviously that stub could not be deleted under any circumstances, right? Quale 01:01, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Put it another way, what's the minimum stub notability? On one (or more?) of the Schoolwatch Vfds I have mentioned my mother's school in Cabri, with a roll of about 50 and declining, and to my horror someone actually said they'd like to see that school added! We really need a minimum, even *with* the merging plan. I mean if you've got tiny schools like that they're going to be a couple of lines in the merged page and just be spamming it up. As separate articles they are eternal stubs that can't be expanded, but when merged they *still* can't be expanded. So really there must be an absolute minimum, even with the mergers, if you understand what I'm saying. Master Thief GarrettTalk 06:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Another major problem is wafflecruft padding. When an article goes up for Vfd someone almost always votes "Keep, I've expanded it into a decent stub". Then the others say "oh don't delete, (namehere) expanded it very nicely!"--however, all that person did was add the sports played, the motto, the logo, the lunch specials, and other things. Then people voting look at how much they have to scroll the page and think that means it's a decent stub...
...but what FACTS are being presented? That is the problem. It's interesting to know a school has a motto like sans dieu rein (without God, nothing) but how does that exactly inform the reader about the school? The motto doesn't really tell you about the attitudes of the schoolchildren, heck, I bet Columbine had a "strength and honour"-style motto. And saying what sports are played is also problematic as it's no different from any other school. Even if you say the girls play rugby and the guys play croquet, it's still not very different from the masses.
Therefore you can't just have a "must exceed x lines of text" rule, as any amount of wafflecruft can be found to fill that void. Master Thief GarrettTalk 06:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't accept notability as a criterion, because I think the fact that all those people write detailed public information about schools (and this applies to every single school in my country at least) makes it inherently encyclopedic. For any British school stub, as a minimum, I can compile an article containing the following:
  • Name, address, type of school (public school, religious school, or state school)
  • Catchment area if applicable, approximate number of pupils
  • Brief school history
  • Latest inspection results
  • Curriculum information
  • Examination results, performance data, value-added index
This would make a classic encyclopedia article by any means. Vague notions of "Notability" don't enter into it.
I don't mind people adding waffle like the school song and stuff like that. This is part of school culture. You ask what "sans dieu, rien" tells me about a school. It tells me I probably wouldn't want to send my child there, because I don't fancy him or her being taught by godbotherers. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:43, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't agree at all that a list of those facts about a secondary school makes a classic encyclopedia article. It makes a classic school directory entry. If you can point out a single classic encyclopedia that contains secondary school entries like that, that would be very strong and probably definitive evidence in your favor and I will reconsider. (For big bonus points, find a classic encyclopedia that contains entries like that for primary schools.) Similar facts can be found and verified for a lot of band vanity, practically any vanity bio, web vanity, etc. Although you've mentioned it two or more times in this discussion, If you choose schools for your kids based on non-referenced factoids found in WP entries rather than looking to specialized school directories or primary sources of information on the schools, I weep for your children. Quale 14:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • You've taken what I wrote and applied an unjustified spin to it. In your reply, a school motto is turned into an "unreferenced factoid", but a simple link to the school website will provide all the reference I need for this. I give you an example of what I think would make a "classic encyclopedia article", so you go on a digression about "classic encyclopedias". You cannot have failed to notice that Wikipedia is nothing of the sort, but does contain many articles that are quickly becoming recognised as classics and are cited by both the general and the specialist press. No print encyclopedia can keep up with us, even the online Encarta is too sclerotic to match our pace in innovation. We have articles on subjects that no other encyclopedia would devote energy to. This is so because we personally as individuals decide which articles we want to write. It takes a lot of getting used to, I admit, but that's what attracts editors to Wikipedia and that's what has made Wikipedia the largest encyclopedia with a greatest breadth (if not depth) of coverage.
    • Certainly we could use more articles on some subjects where we're weak. We should write them. But deleting articles on subjects that don't interest a lot of us, that doesn't seem to be likely to improve Wikipedia in any way that I can see. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:41, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Tony, sometimes you can be a little tedious. You list a bunch of mostly directory style information, then claim "that would make a classic encyclopedia article by any means". Fine. In reply, I ask what classic encyclopedia (surely a classic encyclopedia qualifies as "any means") contains articles on high schools like that and then you say its a digression and claim I'm spinning you. If "wikipedia is nothing of the sort", why did you bring up "classic encyclopedia article"? You're the one who introduced "classic" into the discussion. It should be pretty clear by now that WP school stubs are not classic encyclopedia articles or this discussion wouldn't be occurring. In fact, debates of this magnitude only come up on subjects that are not classic encyclopedia articles, such as masts, Pokecruft, etc. Quale 19:36, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
  • It tells me I probably wouldn't want to send my child there, because I don't fancy him or her being taught by godbotherers. So, exactly where does an encyclopaedia fit into the procedure for choosing a school for your notional child? These articles are often nothing more than school directory entries. I can accept Wikipedia including as part of its function being an abridged Pokemon compendium, because the amount of information that can be written about the subject is limited. The universe is limited, and only grows when the people controlling it add something new. A small team of enthusiats can keep a concern that small up-to-date. Unfortunately, the number of secondary schools in the UK alone exceeds the number of "relevant" (and I use the term loosely, some could do with merging) Pokemon articles by at least an order of magnitude, high schools in the US do so by at least two. There simply is not the interested manpower available to create a million school articles, find enough information to make them all into worthy encyclopaedia articles, and then keep them all up-to-date. Not now, and not for a very long time to come. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather see the effort concentrated on those schools which outright deserve an article (which isn't all of them - an important fact to consider) because they stand way out from the hundreds of schools in their area for more than a couple of trivial reasons. Chris talk back 03:52, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
    • When the developers start screaming at us "Wikipedia is too full", then we may consider rationing Wiki. Until then I think you're using a spurious "Wikipedia is filling up with stuff I don't care for" argument. I agree that "directory entry" is a very good description of them. Their purpose is usually to concentrate and summarise a wealth of public information about important educational institutions. Actually, isn't that the form that nearly all articles on public institutions take? I see no good argument here to delete a neutral, verifiable article from Wikipedia simply because it's about a school. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:41, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Perhaps you don't see any good arguments because you don't actually address most of the arguments. In particular, you sidestep what Chris said. "Wikipedia is too full" is an irrelevant digression. Chris said nothing about WP being too full, and everything about how keeping articles on all schools up to date will be an impossible task for WP in the forseeable future. The poor state of the relatively few school stubs WP has now is strong empirical evidence that WP is not up to the task of maintaining perhaps a million or more school articles. Chris makes an excellent argument contrasting the feasibility of maintaining Pokecruft with the challenges faced by maintaining school cruft, but you prefer to attack a straw man. Quale 19:36, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
You write So, exactly where does an encyclopaedia fit into the procedure for choosing a school for your notional child?
Well my children aren't notional, they're real. A school article is encyclopedic, for the purposes of Wikipedia's policy, inasmuch as it provides verifiable, neutral information about the school, permitting me to make that kind of decision. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:02, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Okay, would the two of you please agree to disagree on the issue? Thanks. I think both of your arguments would make good additions to the Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments page. Radiant_* 21:00, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree that the discussion had become sterile (and in my opinion unnecessarily personal). Nothing more to add here, and the arguments page is an excellent idea. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:27, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

AllyUnion's proposals[edit]

AllyUnion's proposal 1--all century-old schools entitled to an article[edit]

  • Proposal: Any school, whether it is public or private, that has a historic background of at least 100 years deserves considerable merit of inclusion. -- AllyUnion (talk) 08:46, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I should point out that being 100 years old is not really special for a school anywhere outside the USA. My high school was founded before America was discovered. Radiant_* 09:27, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't think being old is that important when it comes to writing an article about a school. What makes a school instrinsically encyclopedic are its relationship to a community, its service to hundreds, sometimes thousands of individuals as a focus of their daily lives and personal development for a very significant part of their lives, a source of employment for teachers, and its relations with other schools and similar bodies, for instance through sports fixtures. A five-year-old school may have a lot less history than a hundred-year-old school, but we don't only write encyclopedia articles about history. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:48, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • And also all schools under 100 years old. CalJW 00:02, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

AllyUnion's proposal 2--schools involved in well known historical events[edit]

  • Proposal: Any school, whether public, private, primary, secondary, etc that has played part of a well-known historical event should be included as an article. However, should the article fall too short, and would be useful in merging with the actual historical event (that improves the main historical event article) should be merged. Example: XYZ High School was part of ABC Historical Battle. If XYZ High School can develop a full article and ABC Historical Battle can not, it is far more useful for XYZ High School to be included into ABC Historical Battle. Example of a historical school: Columbine; The reason I say "historical event" is that there are some schools that may have been a center of focus of some kind of war -- saving people's lives -- or something else. -- AllyUnion (talk) 08:46, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree, but also the reverse: if ABC historical battle can develop a full article and XYZ high school can not, it is far more useful to merge the two. Radiant_* 09:27, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • In the example given, I think it would be most inappropriate to merge curricular and sports details, school motto and the like, into an article on the Columbine killings. I don't think the implications of merging schools and battles, etc, has been thoroughly thought through. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:51, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree with Tony Sidaway. There is room enough on Wikipedia to have two seperate articles, one on the school shooting and one on the school itself. (Compare Battle of Waterloo, Waterloo, Belgium; Woodstock Festival, Woodstock (town), New York) --BaronLarf 13:39, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • I don't find those comparisons compelling, because I think Waterloo, Belgium and Woodstock (town), New York are easily encyclopedic on their own, even if famous events had not occurred at those places. I'm afraid I don't find high school mottos to be encyclopedically notable in general, even for Columbine. If Columbine's only notability is the mass murder, then trivia about Columbine that doesn't help to understand the murders is not in my view encyclopedic. Giving the school motto, school colors, what sports they play there, etc. is simply listing trivial facts that don't lead to any knowledge or understanding. Clearly many people don't share my view. P.S. I just looked at the Columbine High School article and it is better than the typical "stuff the school article with useless trivia to try to make it look important" school article. In fact, it doesn't list the school motto or what sports they play there. And no, I'm not asking for someone to add that kind of cruft, because the article is better without it. Quale 16:22, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • Yes in-****ing-deed. That doesn't exactly help ANY article, let alone Columbine. Oh, IMO of course... Master Thief GarrettTalk 16:43, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • I think there's scope for agreement here. We don't want an article on Columbine School merged with an article on the Columbine Massacre any more than we want an article about Dunblane Primary School merged with an article on the Dunblane Massacre. Traumatic events may eclipse the importance of an associated school, but such a school article if merged should be merged to the article on the relevant local community or local education authority (or school district, in the USA), not the massacre. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:50, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
          • I don't think so. I think we should have two Columbine articles. This proposal is vague and merely creates a criteria for people to argue about when the deletionists should be putting an end to the whole problem by accepting that nominations are a waste of time. CalJW 00:00, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

AllyUnion's proposal 3 -- Expand from school district out[edit]

  • Proposal: If possible, start with the school district article and work on individual schools as subsections within the school district article. When the article is at a sizable length, use good judgement to break the school district article apart. -- AllyUnion (talk) 22:54, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Agreed. This is part of my first proposal, above. --BaronLarf 00:19, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
    • Agreed. Jayjg (talk) 22:43, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • These are definitely good ideas for schools guidelines. We don't need any policy changes to do this, either. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:52, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Its a nice idea, good in theory, but in practice, many new Wikipedians don't have any idea what district the school down the street is in. That's frequently not a visible, transparent part of government that new Wikipedians could easily find out about. If they do know, very few know any organizational details about the district itself. I think only experts in the field, like real estate agents know where the district boundaries are. Schools, on the other hand, are subject to dozens of newspaper stories a month. There's an inherent familiarity with the actual schools that people have that you can't just mandate away. People start with a familiar starting point.--Unfocused 02:06, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • School district is not necessarily an appropriate method of organisation in all countries. For example in Australia we have state based education but the private schools are outside that system and not coherently organised --AYArktos 02:19, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
      • In those cases some other type of organisation would be appropriate, and we can be flexible with regards to what the "umbrella" article is. For example, we could create an article, say Private schools in Sidney, which would contain information on private schools in Sidney. See also my summary proposal above. JYolkowski // talk 02:39, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I believe we should write articles on districts, and include information on schools within them, rather than articles on individual schools unless the school is a particularly notable one. I've introduced a proposal on how to name school districts in Ohio that might be a model for other states. See it [[1]]. PedanticallySpeaking 18:45, May 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • This is a US centric proposal. We don't have school districts in the UK, and I expect many other countries don't either. CalJW 23:57, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Radiant's proposal--don't pad school articles just to make them bigger[edit]

  • Proposal: School articles (just like any other articles, really) should not be padded with 'information' that is trivially obvious, such as
    1. "Like most high schools, it enrolls 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from the town."
    2. "There are a wide variety of books in its library."
    3. "The spoken language at the school is English" (for a school in England)
  • Radiant_* 09:27, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree, suggest expanding to blanket statements such as listing every subject in the curriculum and every sport out of it, amongst other things. Chris talk back 11:39, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Well the key phrase here is "just like any other articles, really". No special policy or guidelines are required for writing school articles, it's just a matter of good writing. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:53, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Exactly. I just felt this bears pointing out, since with some regularlity people do add obvious non-content to school articles. This may have something to do with the first three points of BEEFSTEW, which deal only with the length of the article. Radiant_* 12:55, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • Agree with Radiant's list, as well as Chris' suggestion against listing all curriculum. On the sports subject; I think that it may be of some interest what sports are played at a particular school, and if the school has won a state championship in that sport. I found a school the other day that had a sailing team, for instance, which I find unique and interesting. --BaronLarf 13:04, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • I did say specifically "every sport out of [the curriculum]". If the school is different enough from the local norm, then I'd have no objection to mentioning the more unusual things. If it's not usual for schools in an area to have an American football team, then it deserves a mention in the article if a school has one. Another example might be a school outside south Asia with a kabaddi team. One or two of these facts would not really be enough for an article though - a school should really be "a cut above" to get in, e.g. lots (and I do mean lots) of famous alumni, a different working language (e.g. Welsh language schools), consistent high (or, equally worth mentioning, low) performance, etc. Something that might be useful would be an article describing the general characteristics of schools in an area, and keeping only those articles with enough differences to set it well apart from the rest. People forget that the fact that a school is run-of-the-mill is a reasonable argument that its article would duplicate another. Because the vast majority of schools in a given area will be very similar to each other, it makes logical sense that an article should be an exceptional case where a school doesn't fit into the generic case (and, more importantly, the article demonstrates this), and not the norm. It also makes sense that, for consistency (fruitful comparisons should not be allowed on VfD) that we don't have any kind of grandfather clause, meaning that we would have to obliterate some articles we already have (something which is still otherwise necessary, but consistently blocked because enough people fail to see this fact). Chris talk back 22:50, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • A lot of the common data could realistically be included in a school district article. Where I live, you could describe just about every elementary school in one area since they all follow a common plan. But we need to keep in mind that data being in the school district article is not a reason to deny a school it's own page. It's better to have the common stuff in one place and not duplicate it just to get longer articles. Vegaswikian 23:06, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
      • What about certain curriculum which is not necessarily present in every school? (AP courses, Model United Nations, Cooking / Home Ed, Computer Science, etc) -- AllyUnion (talk) 22:50, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
        • Depends on how common it is. I'd mention Computer Science for schools in countries where it would be uncommon for a school to have a computer, or if a school acquired its computers earlier than most. I'm not so sure about the Model UN events, since I've attended model GAs and SCs in three locations, IME the events are fairly common and the participation fairly wide (last one I attended had delegations from 10 of the 18 secondary schools in the county). Uncommon programmes are a safe bet, e.g. any school offering the International Baccalaureate on any serious scale (e.g. Atlantic College) certainly gets my vote. Including one or two things simply to compare with other schools in the area seems more like something you'd find in a resource for helping parents choose a school, which is not what we should be aiming for. We should be less concerned with the details of various schools in an area, and more with whether education in a given region is adequately covered. It is my firm belief that an article on every school is not necessary to achieve this, in fact it might actually hinder progress towards that goal (the words "woods" and "trees" come to mind). Chris talk back 22:50, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
        • A lot of this stuff is country-specific. For instance a US school that had baseball classes wouldn't be a big deal, but a British or French school that offered baseball would be very unusual. A US school that has cricket might be considered out of the ordinary.
        • I'm not sure I agree with this principle. In the end all things are distinguishable--see the example of McEntee School that I named above. Not many school are named after revolutionary socialists who became life peers. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:55, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
          • ... and that fact alone should not be enough to qualify a school for entry, nor secure its permanent place anywhere in WP, either in its own article or in another. Chris talk back 03:55, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I think you'd have to try very hard, should someone get around to writing an article about Valentine McEntee, to censor all mention of the school named after him. I'm pretty shocked to find that you would even try. Could you please email to me at minorityreport@bluebottle.com your list of people whose names must never be mentioned in Wikipedia articles? Should we not, as a precaution, list this article for deletion, in case the conagious phrase "McEntee School" should find its way out into the defenseless, unprepared realm of Wikipedia?
  • What else would be required to make this McEntee School encyclopedic? Taxpayers spend money on it, it teaches their children by the thousand. It's been around for decades. This is a classic case of an encyclopedic institution--something an intelligent person who wants to know about that area would expect to be informed about. -Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:25, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Template proposal[edit]

First cut[edit]

Whatever else is decided, having a template to use as a warning that the article needs some work or it will be deleted should be created. I have copied the text below from a dicussion on my talk page and offer it as a starting point. If we had something like this in place today, I think most VfDs would not be an issue because articles that needed work would get that chance. The good articles would get better and the others would be deleted after a period of time. I'm using BEEFSTEW as an example, since I don't know what the concensus would be. My suggested template text is based on the {{music-importance}} one.

This article about a school does not appear to meet a minimum criteria for a school article. At a minimum, the article should use wiki links to the parent school district and the town it is located in. It should also include the apporpiate formatted/spellchecked, infobox and make a serious effort to establish notability. A [[WP:BEEFSTEW}} score of at least 7 should be the minimum for an article. If you can expand the article to include the relevant information, please do so and then remove this notice afterwards. If no expansion or explanation is provided, this page may be merged into the school distric page, if one exists, or nominated for deletion. Vegaswikian 05:49, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

  • My suggestion: "Please expand this school article in accordance with these guidelines". The guidelines would be somewhere else, here for example. Kappa 07:29, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Good, but I'd still leave "This article about a school does not appear to meet a minimum criteria for a school article." tacked in front of it. Just so you can realise the page has a problem BEFORE you click through to the big list. That way you already know that article may not be up to scratch. Whereas if it just says to check it based on the list you might have a brief look and think it passes even if it doesn't. Master Thief Garrett 08:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I again disagree with making BEEFSTEW policy, but I agree that some sort of template should be made linking to agreed upon guidelines. --BaronLarf 11:19, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
    • I utterly disagree with this. It's another attempt to smuggle some notion of "notability" into the cleanip process, with an explicit threat of deletion of articles that don't seem "notable" enough to the person who placed the template. This approach to cleanup should be actively encouraged, and those who habitualy use such "notability" templates should be gently rehabilitated into the culture of extending and editing articles to make them better. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:57, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Yes, I share Tony Sidaway's concerns about creeping notability standards. But I can see the usefulness for posting a template in the case of trying to edit a school's article over the protestations of a new member who is trying to add every little shred of information possible on his high school. (Twister3328 on Albany High School, Georgia, for example) I'm in favor of a template that says "This article should to be edited to conform to Wikipedia's standards on school articles" but not one that says "This school may not be notable. Prove that it is or it will be deleted in five days." --BaronLarf 13:15, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
        • This isn't about deletion, it's about merging. If there isn't enough verifiable information on a school, why not put it into a comprehensive list? Compare WP:FICT and List of masts. Radiant_* 13:59, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
          • I was specifically referring to when Vegaswikian stated "If no expansion or explanation is provided, this page may be. . . nominated for deletion."--BaronLarf 15:09, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
            • Actually I said If no expansion or explanation is provided, this page may be merged into the school distric page, if one exists, or nominated for deletion. The intention is to merge into the school district page rather then delete. The delete is the last option if there is nothing to merge into. Of course having a school district with only one school listed would, I think, be acceptable. I'll update the proposal in a day or two to reflect the changes mentioned. Vegaswikian 00:39, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Part of the problem is that, compared to masts, schools are far more complex. Further, you won't later find a prominent or important mast alumni, look for the mast to place them in, find it doesn't exist, decide its not worth the primary research to write your own article on a mast to meet the stringent standards for keeping just to add ONE alumni, and then just give up. Fiction is the same way; you know at the beginning who exists, so you can justify your organization in advance. School stubs are stubs for a reason. The power of Wiki is collaboration. --Unfocused 15:46, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Every so often (in fact, very often) there are rashes of stubs created by either one person or a number of people; for example, I noticed today that a large number of articles on stadia and other sports grounds appeared — at other times it's been radio masts, electrical cables, footballers, etc. To say airily that editors should expand and improve them isn't realistic. I have no idea how to extend and improve an article on a sports stadium or footballer or radio aerial of which I've never heard and in which I have no interest — but I'm perfectly capable of seeing that the article is inadequate. Is the advice that editors should ignore poor stubs unless they can expand them personally? I find peculiar the idea that the lazy person is not the one who creates a substub and disappears, but the one who discovers it and points out that it's inadequate. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:23, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
    • "To say airily that editors should expand and improve them isn't realistic." Well they always have the option of not expanding and improving them. These things tend to grow organically.
    • "I have no idea how to extend and improve an article on a sports stadium or footballer or radio aerial of which I've never heard and in which I have no interest" It's not that hard. Don't do it if you don't want to. I have absolutely no interest at all in radio masts but I had no problem writing up Pontop Pike Television Transmitter. I loathe football but I wrote Len Shackleton. And if you encounter an article that's trivial, find an appropriate article to merge it with and be bold!
    • Thing is, you make it sound so desperately hard as if you must have a deletion policy or else some unspecified calamity is going to happen to Wikipedia. It isn't. If you can't handle expansion of stubs, leave it to those of us who can.
    • Why make it sound so difficult? Why adopt the Chicken Licken posture, when you have chaps like me to rely on? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:03, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I'd go with the template (and accompanying minimum article standard- links to school district and actual information on the school) idea, to keep out the cookie-cutter pages (you know, the ones with the school's name, the district it's in and its lat/long co-ordinates) but leave any (inherently POV) 'notability standard'- for example it is likely that nobody in the USA has heard of any of the top ten best-performing high schools in the UK, and vice-versa, and the whole mess caused by arbitrary notability standards is the reason we had to have this discussion in the first place. Oh and also, both of the infobox templates (even the 'international' one) linked to at the bottom of the page will only work with the US school system, since nobody else uses superintendents, mascots, SAT scores etc. Of course if we could get volunteers to produce an infobox for each country, that would work (Infobox UK school, Infobox French school or whatever) --Cynical 21:34, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Template proposal May 19[edit]

Here is my revised proposal. I think that it covers most of the points raised. No mention of notability. Guidelines are referenced and not included. I also removed the infobox since that is better covered in the guidelines. I did leave the wiki pointers as a requirement since that would provide some information about the school so someone could do research to improve the article. I removed the deletion option and made the merge more definitive if nothing was done. That way nothing gets deleted, just put someplace where it can grow. I also added pre college since this only would apply to high schools and schools before high school, a better phrase for this would be appreciated. I also changed town to the more general community, but again, there may be a better choice here.

This article about a pre college school could use some work. At a minimum, the article should use wiki links to the parent school district and the community it is located in provide context about the school's location and school system if it has one. Please expand this school article in accordance with these guidelines. If you can expand this article to include the relevant information, please do so and then remove this notice afterwards. If no expansion or explanation is provided, you chould consider merging this article into an appropriate local community, school district or local education authority page. [[:Category:Schools needing expansion]] Vegaswikian 18:18, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Looks good. I changed the link to point to Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools#Structure. It might make sense to re-word the second paragraph to say something like "School articles should provide context about the school's location and parent school system". JYolkowski // talk 20:54, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
OK, changed the text. Vegaswikian 21:04, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
It'll do. I removed the false implication that there is some minimum criteria for a school article, and just replaced it with "could use some work". The idea is to point the potential editor in the direction of advice, not to hit him over the head for omitting to specify a perhaps non-existent parent school system. Also I internationalized it a bit. "School district" is something known in the USA, but the nearest equivalent is a LEA (and this is not always relevant, especially with CTCs and public--that is to say, private, outside the state school system--schools). --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:15, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I decided to be bold and create Template:cleanup-school. I'm not going to put it on articles or list it on Wikipedia:Template messages for a few days, so that we have some time to make changes if need be. JYolkowski // talk 18:30, 21 May 2005 (UTC) (I've now done both so ignore the last sentence now JYolkowski // talk 22:32, 24 May 2005 (UTC))
Actually I'll probably use it on any schools that wind up in VfD and would hope that everyone consider using it instead of a VfD as the first step for weak articles. Vegaswikian 19:36, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I've boldy shortened the template, it seemed rather big (still does actually). It looks like this right now:

Category:Schools needing expansion

Kappa 08:54, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Quale's comment[edit]

Although I think this discussion is well intentioned and I don't see any harm in it, I also don't think it will be successful. On the issue of school articles in WP, there are two camps with no realistic chance for compromise. One group believes that high schools are not inherently notable, and that they should be judged for encyclopedic notability just as are bands, bios, roads, fictional characters, etc. The other group finds high schools inherently notable and wants to include all high schools in WP without any notability considerations applied.

The group that wants to consider notability for inclusion can compromise, as the notability criterion can be made looser if needed for consensus. The reason why no compromise is possible is simple: school inclusionists won't accept any criteria that could result in the deletion of a single school stub. This is a perfectly reasonable and logical result given their position, but as far as I can see, it makes progress impossible. Currently the school inclusionists have a comfortable enough majority in participation on VfD to prevent deletion of school articles, although there is a significant minority that wants to apply the same standards to all WP articles and not make an exception for secondary schools. The only possible outcomes of the current discussion are either no consensus or guidelines so weak that every school stub will qualify. Inclusionists would then point to those worthless guidelines to justify inclusion of every school stub. Really, if the guidelines allow every school stub, what's the purpose?

I think there would be a slightly greater chance of success if we considered the edges of the school system first and worked our way in to secondary schools. Although most wikipedians want to include tertiary schools, there might be some discussion of community and technical colleges, 2-year institutions, non-accredited schools, beauty and trade schools, etc. Considering primary schools might also lead to some progress. Although many school inclusionists want all primary schools included, some might consider whether all primary schools are encyclopedic. Quale 09:09, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Good points, except that you missed one thing - merging stubs into lists can be a reasonable compromise, and above several strong inclusionists have already indicated that they wouldn't object to that. After all, if/when more information is added, the article can be broken out once more. Radiant_* 09:32, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
    • You are right. If a merge proposal is accepted, that would be better than where we are. That's really the only chance I see for progress right now. Quale 16:00, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't there is need to be so pessimistic. I think quite a lot of the school inclusionists will accept a compromise as long as it involves the possibility of any school being included. The point of a compromise is not to make everyone happy, but to make an agreement which everyone can live with and to put a stop to the flood of VfD debates which waste time and increase factionalism. I think that a quite many (not all) of the school inclusionists can live with having to expand school articles in order to save them from deletion. I think quite many (again, not all) of the school deletionists can live with having a number of excellently written articles about "mundane" high schools stay in Wikipedia. I think that a compromise is possible. Also, Kappa, who generally votes to keep schools, is also willing to compromise by merging the shortest stubs. Sjakkalle 09:57, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • You don't need a vote to merge. You don't need the permission of someone else to do it. Just do it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:15, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Personally I don't see any inclusionists who would accept anything that would involve any possibility that any school would be excluded. Read the discussion that has occurred so far and show me where I'm wrong. Search VfD to try to find a single school (even a primary school substub) that all inclusionists have not given a reflexive "keep" vote. Although the inclusionists say that school substubs will improve over time, often they don't and inclusionists still demand that year-old substubs be kept. (In my view even the improved school articles that inclusionists hold out as models are very poor encyclopedia articles, but that is a minority opinion. Expanding an article doesn't make its subject notable, because notability is a property of the subject, not the article. A notable subject with a poor article is still a notable subject. A non-notable subject with a lovely article is still non-notable.) Merge is the best hope, I think. Quale 16:00, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
      • You have a point. Some people vote keep with the same fervor as if it were the deletion of the school itself which was being debated. Still, I think that many of these inclusionists will be willing to put in some work to improve and expand the school articles if a compromise is reached there. Have to give some of these hardline school inclusionists some credit for good and constructive contributions, a number of school articles have been considerably improved through their efforts. However, I agree with you that the merge compromise is the most promising, because a merge is far less drastic than a deletion, and thus much easier to swallow. Sjakkalle 06:34, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I disagree with your pessimism. I believe that we are already making progress here. While I'm against the wholesale deletion of articles on secondary schools, for instance, I am willing to compromise and support their merging into school districts if verifiable information can not (or will not) be added to the article. You ask "What is the point?" I think the first and foremost point that we all can agree on is that we need to prevent this war from clogging the VfD as it has in recent weeks. --BaronLarf 13:05, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
    • How do you know if verifiable information cannot or will not be added to a school stub? Inclusionists demand that all stubs be kept for an indefinite amount of time with the promise that someday, someone might make the stub useful. This inclusionist reasoning has been repeated dozens of times on VfD in just the last couple of weeks alone. Inclusionists vote "keep" on substubs that are many months old and that are going through VfD for the second time. It's hard for me to see the practical difference between your compromise and the keep all school stubs position. It's always possible to argue that a school stub could be expanded. In fact that argument is made repeatedly. Quale 16:00, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Perhaps it's repeated so much because it's a very, very strong argument with lots of empirical data to back it up. But you don't need a vote in VfD in order to do a merge. Just do it. The practical effect of a merge with redirect is similar to deletion (no more stub to annoy deletionists) while inclusionists are also happy that no article history is lost and the data is in the target article, and if anyone ever wants a crack at a larger article they just revert the redirect. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:48, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
      • I think merging is a good solution. Now only someone needs to convince the people at User:GRider/Schoolwatch that 'merging without consensus' is not in fact a crime or something that needs to be immediately reverted. In fact I think that an article should only be 'broken out' of a merged list, iff enough significant information is added so that it is no longer a stub. Radiant_* 12:22, May 20, 2005 (UTC)
      • Tony, I disagree that there's any empirical evidence at all to back up your argument. The school articles that are touted by the inclusionists as being wonderful are generally crap in my opinion for reasons that I and a few others have explained repeatedly. Even so, the people making the argument don't really care if it's true or not, because they demand that all stubs be kept. Many of them aren't improving, but that doesn't matter. Quale 14:18, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Then it comes down to a difference of opinion. Looking at the developing results of the massive deletion listings that Neutrality put out earlier this week, it seems that there is no consensus that the articles are crap. I've actually looked at a lot of school stubs and I see number of edits, and number of different editors, increasing with time over the scale of months and years, in most cases. I've made posts about this (which you can read). So I'm confident that there is empirical evidence. Whether you take that into account, really does not matter. The school articles aren't going to be deleted in any great numbers, even when massive numbers are listed for deletion. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:03, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but you never state it as your opinion. It's always, "clearly [something that isn't in the least bit clear]". The main point is that I think "good" school articles would be considered crap if they were the equivalent vanity bio, band, or website article. Some inclusionists are honest enough to admit that they use different criteria to judge schools (namely keep them all), others aren't. There's nothing wrong with saying that you find all articles on primary schools to be encyclopedic, but it's dishonest to claim that that's the same standard applied by consensus to articles on all other subjects. All the same, traditionally encyclopedias do take into consideration the subject. For example, bios on royalty have a much lower standard for inclusion than bios on most other persons. Rightly or wrongly, simply being royalty has always been considered notable enough to be encyclopedic, although many royalty don't have any accomplishments that would make their bios otherwise noteworthy. It is my opinion that traditionally, primary and secondary schools have not been considered encyclopedically notable. But, neither individual masts nor individual Pokemon have been considered notable by traditional encyclopedias. WP should consider tradition but not be bound by it, so I certainly agree that the community can reasonably decide that in WP, all primary and secondary schools deserve their own WP article. Quale 16:00, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't think I could be much clearer about stating my opinion that I have been: I believe that schools and other public institutions are unequivocally encyclopedic and I think it's only a mattr of time before every single school in every single country with access to Wikipedia will have be described in Wikipedia. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:34, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
My concerns exactly, people are voting Keep on schools and then Delete on other things. In many cases, if you Search-n-Replaced to make the school article into one about a family home or a band or a person they'd merrily vote to delete that very same content they would keep as a school stub. Master Thief GarrettTalk 17:01, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely. A school is not a band. A school is not a family home. A school is not a person. =-Tony Sidaway|Talk 01:34, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes and if you turned the school article into one about a university or a village you'd probably vote keep too, or at least abstain. Kappa 17:55, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Several universities have come up on VfD recently and I have indeed voted keep. The worst university article on VfD was vastly superior to the best high school article on VfD, but that's not why I vote keep for universities. A bad article about a notable subject can be salvaged. I have voted keep on a village article or two, and those village articles were not better than the usual high school article. I think that villages and tertiary schools are inherently encyclopedic. Obviously I don't think the same of primary and secondary schools. Quale 07:08, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

On the idea that is repeatedly put out, to the effect that it's just a matter of a few dedicated inclusionists holding up the damburst to delete articles, please look at my recent emails on Wikien-L which document the fact that the main trigger to massive 'keep' voting has been Neutrality's recent listing of some 50 or 60 article for deletion, and that many of those voting to keep are Wikipedia regulars with a good history of solid editing who had not voted until this week, when Neutrality flooded VfD.

Indeed the most suspicious-looking voter I found in an examination was a chap who hadn't edited Wikipedia at all until Monday, who did about 70 article edits or so in four daysand then today, for the first time, voted on VfD in schools deletion listings. Suspicious, eh?

He voted delete for every one, completing 33 votes in the space of 25 minutes. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:12, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

  • You aren't claiming that idea put out by me, are you? I wrote above: "Currently the school inclusionists have a comfortable enough majority in participation on VfD to prevent deletion of school articles". Just clarifying that although this idea may have been put out by someone, it isn't an argument I've made. Clearly there are a lot of wikipedians, including long-time valuable contributers, who want to include all schools. Quale 16:00, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Well I think it's fair to admit that I suspected that you were alluding to that. Thank you for clarifying your opinion and giving me the opportunity to express my regard for those with whom I happen to disagree. I have nothing but praise for the hard work of Gamaliel, Calton, Chriscf, Radiant!, and others. Like me, they are all working for consensus. We are going to find it soon, I am confident. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:06, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm curious where you find that allusion in what I've written. If it's there, then I haven't done a good job of clearly expressing my opinion. I think the only way to get that from what I've written is to either not be reading carefully or to bring your own bias into it. Quale 07:08, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Unfocused's proposal[edit]

I don't mean this as a rant, but to point out that I see vast differences between stubs and articles and expect very different levels of competence from each.

Because I believe in the collaborative power of Wiki, I'm willing to accept just about anything NPOV and third party verifiable as a stub. Ideally, a stub should also have a reference. But there's a lot more in this world that I'm ignorant about than what I know about. For example, I don't know what schools each of our Congresscritters went to, but I do think that an article about each is encyclopedic, with them listed as "Notable Alumni". But to ask the Congressperson article writer to complete an entire article about each school they went to, by themselves, up to full article standards, before the schools are deemed "notable enough" is far too much to ask of any one writer. When a school stub is posted, we don't know the notable alumni, that research hasn't been done yet. When a Congressperson is added, ideally, there will already exist stubs for the schools that person went to, and adding them as "Notable Alumni" is a simple chore.

However, I hold articles to higher standards than stubs. Articles should have at least two references, preferably three or more, and two or three paragraphs that are necessary to describe the thing or concept that is the subject of the article, unless the article is clearly a perfect article at the smaller size. Until they have that, they should all remain stubs. But you'll note that almost every school VfD nomination, for example, is a stub, but the only overwhelming "Keep" consensus votes already meet these proposed standards for articles. The only school VfD articles that get consensus "Delete" are even smaller than stubs, POV, or not verifiable. The boundaries are already drawn.

I'm beginning to think of a compromise regarding notability (and schools), but expect to be too busy with my non-Wiki life to fully develop it, so I'll mention it here. What if we ask the database developers to exclude all stub articles from the Special:Random Page selection algorithm, and label it "Special:Random Article" instead? (They could add Special:Random Stub and Special:Random Page on some page much less prominent than the front page.) Further, I'd suggest that the New Artcle template begin with a {{stub}} template by default. Stub articles could be grey links, and the template should be improved (in yet another consensus discussion) to mention that stub articles are articles that haven't been properly developed, referenced, notability proven, etc. Finally, the search engine would either have two results sections; one for articles, and another section at the bottom of the page for stubs, or it would have to clearly distinguish stubs from articles in some other obvious, impossible to ignore way.

This way, Wikipedia would have clear levels of authoritativeness without sacrificing the collaborative nature of having thousands of stubs to grow from. This would also reduce the traffic on VfD. VfD wouldn't remove valid ideas for articles. The line between stub and article would be determined on each page's talk page by interested parties. (Maybe we'd end up with a forum similar to VfD, called "Stub Or Article", but it would certainly be more civil and deliberative than delete or keep.) In addition, people wouldn't have to worry about the perception of external viewers: our lack of authoritative voice (and reference) on stubs would be clear, yet the articles themselves would be the primary focus of the browse, search, and random navigation methods. Notability would be established only by the presence or absence of independent third party references. As long as they're NPOV, and backed by proper references, anything could be notable enough for inclusion.

NOTE This proposal is also under discussion at Wikipedia talk:Deletion principles poll Kappa 18:00, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Finally, please feel free to copy or move this to other discussion pages at will. --Unfocused 16:19, 19 May 2005 (UTC) struck out with permission

  • I think this is an excellent idea, but I'd prefer it to be defined in terms of "sub-topics" not "stubs". If something is extremely important, random pages should show it, even if it's a stub, if only to be honest about WP's coverage. In this case, a typical school or pokemon would be thought of as a sub-topic of the town or franchise. Kappa 17:43, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
    • On "authoritativeness", Wikipedia is not intended to be at all authoritative. There is no analysis, there is no primary research. Wikipedia depends solely on external sources and all it can do is try to summarise those accurately. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:57, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
      • By "authoritativeness" I think Unfocused means something like "quality and completeness of coverage". Kappa 12:08, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
      • Authoritative as in confirmed, dependable, and factual, well referenced, and in the voice of authority that comes from having carefully researched and documented support for what is contained. Footnotes, and such. I don't want to insert primary research. Wikipedia hasn't tried enough to be authoritative in the way I mean yet, but it's headed in the correct direction. See "featured articles" for examples. Stubs, naturally, won't have this level of quality. Does anyone have a better word than "authoritativeness" for what I'm trying to say? --Unfocused 15:26, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
      • I'm not a great fan of the "featured articles" strand, to be honest. I've never knowingly seen a featured article and when I look up some information on Wikipedia I don't check to see whether the article is a featured one. I find the whole concept a bit silly. Either you find some information that you're able to verify (I usually do) or you don't. If you really only cared about references and whatnot,then you'd love school articles, because schools have references running out of the gunnels. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 02:14, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

What is wrong with the schools Structure?[edit]

Why not just use Wikipedia:WikiProject_Schools#Structure as the guidelines? Vegaswikian 19:25, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Those look good. No sense in re-inventing the wheel. JYolkowski // talk 20:48, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
When it comes to the structure of a school article, I'd agree with taking the discussion over to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Schools. Here, I believe, we are discussing the deletion, creation and merging guidelines for schools. --BaronLarf 14:16, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

Template:Infobox school and Template:Infobox U.S. school[edit]

FYI: Just to let you know, I found these two related templates that are currently orphaned and unused. As a courtesy, I'll wait 24 hours until putting them on TFD (unless someone gets to them first), hoping somebody will start using them. I'm also posting this same message on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Schools. Thanks. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 00:11, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I'd like the "U.S. school" one deleted - I see no reason why we should treat U.S. schools differently from schools anywhere else in the world (systemic bias and all). The other template is potentially useful, but contains information that is trivial (student/teacher ratio) or unmaintainable (avg SAT scores). Radiant_* 08:03, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

I think the idea of having different templates for different countries is sound. To me as a non-American it's obvious that the "Infobox school" template was written by an American. In the UK we do not normally call our head teacher the "Principal", we wouldn't use the term "city" to describe the closest major habitation to the school (we have towns, villages, cities, metropolitan boroughs, and whatnot, and we never call a non-city a city). Religion is of little relevance to most UK schools (most schools make an effort to accomodate all religions). We don't use the grade system, so "grades" is not right. We don't use the US SAT system (we have our own, different system). Non-US addresses do not normally have a ZIP code. We use something similar but different called a postcode.

But the idea is a good one. We should have "Infobox UK state school", "Infobox UK public school" (in the UK a public school is, perversely, a private school that enjoys charitable status and thus tax exemption) and perhaps "Infobox UK church school".

It is not possible to treat all school as if they were the same. They're all teaching institutions, but they cannot all be fitted into the template of one nationality. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 14:56, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

  • The non-US infobox seems pretty useless to a UK school's article. We don't have principals, for example, in most schools. Also, colours and mascots are rare (although uniform colour isn't). Hedley 19:12, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Yeah but we could perhaps get volunteers to create infobox templates for each school system e.g. Infobox Scottish School, Infobox English school etc. (there is a dramatic difference, Scotland has Primary + Secondary schools, England has Junior, Middle and High Schools) --Cynical 16:13, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. I think we should probably delete the general one (or make it, err, general), and make up ones for the UK etc. James F. (talk) 21:16, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Umm, England's a bit more complicated than that actually- most counties have Primary and Secondary, a minority have First, Middle and High Schools, some have Infant, Junior and Secondary, and a few still have Primary, Secondary Modern and Grammar Schools (see Tripartite System)... --G Rutter 19:46, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Organizing U.S. school districts[edit]

On WikiProject Schools I have made an announcement related to BaronLarf's proposal of a school district hierarchy. Starting with California I am creating a list hierarchy from state level down through the counties to a redlink for each individual school district. This should facilitate merges of smaller stubs. See Organizing U.S. school districts. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:47, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

No revert wars please[edit]

ouch. This is exactly what we're trying to prevent (and btw note that some people falsely claim that a vote is required to merge something, or that a VFD vote to keep means a merge is disallowed. Merge is a form of keep) Radiant_* 13:07, May 26, 2005 (UTC)

It's a form of keep that bears a remarkably strong resemblance to deletion. Something existed, and now its gone. I assume mechanical side of deletion is the same. CalJW 23:50, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
Not at all. When an article is deleted all versions in the history are lost. When an article is edited to make it into a redirect, all that happens is that the latest version is a redirect, but the history remains. You can just go to the history and view the article contents of each version, the date of each version, and the usernames or IP numbers of all the authors. In practise the decision by User:Rossami was not based on consensus but just being bold. It's perfectly acceptable to challenge that decision, as has been done. The article was then listed for deletion again, and this was fortunate because the result this time (so far, after five days) seems to be a clear keep. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:03, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

WP Schools notice[edit]

I have created a template to place on school articles that need to be expanded under the guidelines of WikiProject schools, and think it would be helpful to add it to all school articles to show they're being looked after. Harro5 23:39, May 25, 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, the {{cleanup-school}} is on a number of articles. Are you saying that you need a template to say it's being worked on for the project by the project team? Somehow that does not seem to make sense if you put it on every article needing work, how many schools can the team do at once? The text for the cleanup-school template went though a number of changes and the later versions seemed to have almost total agreement. Vegaswikian 21:59, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
I think the wording is excellent, and the use of a WikiProject cat is good, too. I'm rewording the cleanup-schools template to be similar to this because it's much less likely to encourage the kind of no-hoper VfD listings we've had of late. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:12, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
School.svg

This article is related to the WikiProject Schools which is an attempt to write quality articles about schools around the world. You can discuss the Project at its talk page.

This article needs more information. See guidelines for school articles for suggestions. If you can include the relevant information, please do so and then remove this notice. At a minimum, the article should provide context about the school's location and school system if it has one. Also consider merging it to another related article.

Hey, that's pretty damn cool! I like it! Maybe a little less padding though (put the image to the far left?) because it is a bit obnoxiously sized. Master Thief GarrettTalk 03:30, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

This is a good idea, just make sure it goes on the talk page rather than the article. - SimonP 04:15, May 28, 2005 (UTC)

Looking better now, but maybe have a smaller version? I mean, you have a two-line one (tiny, like the Collaboration of the Week thing) that goes on the main page, and then put THIS expanded one on the Talk page. Something like that. Master Thief GarrettTalk 06:43, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Schools deletion progress for first three weeks of May[edit]

As an adjunct to the Wikipedia:Watch/schoolwatch page, I've prepared an archive of all school-related VfD discussions that have been closed. It currently runs from May 1 nominations to May 22 nominations.

If you click on the text showing the result of the discussion, it links to the discussion.

64 school-related articles have been listed for deletion. One was a playing field and was merged and redirected to the associated school. Two were withdrawn by the nominator. No articles were deleted. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 22:31, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I've now updated that article to catalog April and the latter part of March, and to give a pointer to an earlier project page that catalogued schools VfDs last year ending in November. I intend to keep on going backwards from late March until I have reached the end of that old project, and then add data from that project to the current listing after converting to the current format. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:13, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

This has been going on for long enough[edit]

Let's call a halt to this now please. The only reason to come up with some new policy is to create a means of deleting some school articles. Those of us who think all the articles should be kept will never accept such a policy, and as noted above we haven't lost once in the last 64 votes. The school deletionists have lost. It is time for them to move on to a new hobby horse - or maybe to spend the time they might have otherwise devoted to this matter writing articles. I've read that train stations used to be controversial. Surely one platform rural train stations are less notable than schools, and I expect there are people who would like to delete them, but they don't waste hours and hours of contributor time every week by making nominations which they know will fail. It would show good grace for the school deletionists to demonstrate the same restraint. CalJW 23:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC)