Wikipedia talk:Schools/Old proposal

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Lets try this for consensus[edit]

The main reason I believe Wikipedia needs a consensus on this issue is that many school entries are completed by new users who could be invaluable local sources of information, but who at the present are welcomed with the proverbial mugging of "delete, delete,". I would like to suggest the following "market based" proposal. I.e. a proposal intended to attract new users and contributors from schools:

  1. Almost all++ state funded secondary schools with a broad local intake (post 11years) should have their own entry so long as it provides a certain level of information including some information on their locale - the information on the locale being the rational for their inclusion because I see this as an invaluable source of local material which will get omitted if we don't encourage schools to enter the information.
  2. Private schools, closed schools, i.e. non local schools - would need to prove notability as they don't in themselves provide any useful local information.
  3. Schools with intake up to about 11year should be listed by geographic area such that 10-30 are listed in each geographic area unless they are notable

Using this criteria, schools will only be listed if they provide a source of local information: "XXX Academy is situated in XXXX a small commuter village founded in 1830, built on the site of the old clay works, close to the river XXXX ....." if they are notable, or otherwise as part of articles about a particular area.

++Almost all. I was going to say "except the very smallest", but a small school won't exist unless it covers a huge geographic area (ie an area so large the children can't get to another) so an area which is unlikely to be covered by anyone else unless WIkipedia starts paying staff. The only reason why a school wouldn't be suitable is if it is e.g. a closed religious sect in an area where there are much bigger public schools in which case, it is covered by 2.

--Mike 01:16, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

one topic (school significance) unresolvable; one topic (secondary sources) less so[edit]

Hi,

My first post here; obviously I'm walking into the middle of an extended conversation. I agree with what one contributor said: once and for all, there is not and never will be any reconciliation between the postions of those who feel that no schools are notable unless a peace treaty was signed there (I am one such person), and those who feel that every school is notable.

I suggest that topic be shelved, permanently. By both sides. Call it a tie unresolvable and move on.

I suggest that principle, rather than opinion, should drive whatever initiative is taking place here.

I suggest focusing on what is and is not an acceptable secondary source.

I liked the comment that the Courier Journal in L'ville might carry an entire story about a new school, but then that school fades into oblivion. The def of acceptable seconday source must somehow include some recognition of the fact that everyone gets ten minutes of fame.

Thanks.. hope what I said was appropriate. --Ling.Nut 04:32, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Two points- first, it isn't clear to me what a "tie" would mean. Second, I think it should be clear that there are many people who don't think that every school is notable and people who don't think the burdern should be as high as you would place it (your treaty example). This seems to keep being forgotten in these discussions. JoshuaZ 04:43, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Joshua, thanks for keeping me on my toes. You are right on both points. Strike the word "tie" (in fact, I will), and call it "unresolvable". And I did neglect to explore the fact that there may be a spectrum of opinions between the polar opposites. But the point I did make -- and still maintain -- is that the polar and near-polar opposites here are sufficiently numerous and vocal to make resolution (solely on the issue of whether schools are fundamentally notable) difficult if not impossible. I still say, that issue is unresolvable. Therefore, let a standard be the guide. Let the discussion be driven by principle rather than opinion. Thanks again --Ling.Nut 04:53, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia works on consensus. We need to reach it for schools. We need to find an acceptable middle ground. You are correct in that some editors are not willing to reach a consensus unless it gives them everything they want. Vegaswikian 04:57, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree that we need to find consensus, and agree that we need to find middle ground. The idea that I am proposing here is that choose carefully which question we attempt to find middle ground on. I am saying, again, there are two questions, and we should choose which one top spend time answering. the two questions are:
  1. Are schools inherently notable?
  2. Assuming that some schools are notable and others are not, then how much and what kind of secondary source data must be collected to show that a school is notable?

The first question cannot be meaured and therefore cannot be answered. It is intangible. I may as well ask you if strawberry ice cream tastes good. I say yes; you say no. There is no actual answer to the question whether a flavor of ice cream tastes good. There will never be a consensus -- never -- because there is no way to define the idea of tastes good. Consensus fails under two conditions:

  1. The answer is purely a matter of opinion.
  2. The group of participants is not fixed and composed of the entire (and I do mean entire) potential community. Today we may have a posse of deletionists; then next month a pride of inclusionists. If we vote today and get one outcome, then vote next month a get a different one, which vote is valid? Neither.

The second question, while still involving opinion, is not wholly and constitutionally composed of opinion. There are measurable facts and countable documents and sources whose reliabilty can be gauged. Sure, the debate will take time. But the fact is this: The debate can actually proceed past subjective feelings and into objective facts. Does that make sense? Thanks --Ling.Nut 05:33, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

New proposal[edit]

Per my comments on Wikien-l, with some elaboration

  • Any school is sufficiently notable to justify inclusion in en.wikipedia
Justification: There are roughly 124,000 schools in the US [1], with roughly 48 million students [2], each of whom has usually 2 interested parents (though there will be somewhat less than 2x the above, as most parents have multiple children), and with about 3.4 million educators [3]. The category of schools is of great interest to teachers, educators, and students.
  • A school is defined as two or more of: (feel free to select from, discuss, propose alternatives to)
    • Accredited
    • Paid teachers
    • Public school
    • 25 or more students
  • For a non-public school, evidence must be cited and referenced that a school meets the above criteria. Those references must come from reliable independent sources other than the school or sponsoring entity, and meet normal Wikipedia standards for reliable sources.
  • A school-like entity not meeting the above criteria, which is otherwise notable due to mainstream press coverage, current events, notable alumni etc. should be treated like a school.
  • A public school district is notable and should be covered.
  • Any school should have coverage in a Schools top-level (== Schools ==) section of the article for its city, town, county, or other appropriate location article.
    • For schools in a multi-school district, the district should be listed in an intermediate subheading and schools in that district listed under that subheading.
    • At a minimum, this coverage should include school name, grades, attendance, and a link to the schools' website or other information source. This should include independent verifyable references of normal Wikipedia reliability standards for this basic data.
    • Any information otherwise notable by standard Wikipedia standards (famous alumni, well known events, etc) may be included as appropriate. This would generally consist of notes and links to other, notable Wikipedia articles, though there may be exceptions.
    • Additional relevant and locally notable information ("flavor information") for which generally reliable sources exist may be included in the article. This may include (but is not limited to) school administration officials such as principals and deans, athletic teams, band, other sponsored activities, student groups, academic honors, etc.
      • Flavor information must be of a nature that it would be of general interest beyond the schools' immediate community (encyclopedic and generally notable). Wikipedia is not an extension or copy of a school's own website.
      • For the purposes of this additional flavor information, the schools' own website and informational materials are considered to be reliable sources.
  • Any school may be eligible for having its own independent Wikipedia article.
    • A school whose information section is merely stub-sized should not be split off into an independent article.
    • A school whose information section contains a sum total of properly referenced and relevant information which greatly exceeds the length of an independent Wikipedia article stub may be split off into an independent article.
    • A school whose information section is of intermediate size or quality of references generally should not be an independent article, unless extenuating notability for the school is reliably referenced.
  • In the event that the schools section overwhelms the parent locality article, then the schools section should be split off into a sub-article Schools of (insert Location) with a stub section link left in the parent article.

Floated for general consideration. Georgewilliamherbert 00:25, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Any school is sufficiently notable to justify inclusion in en.wikipedia Sorry, Strong Disagree. I pointed out the futility of starting from such a strong POV assertion in the post immediately above. Did you get a chance to read that? Let me follow the logic you presented:
Says who? You assert that strawberry ice cream tastes good; I assert it doesn't; xxx million grandmas assert that their kiddos deserve articles.
Wikipedia is not MySpace. Article content must be backed up by secondary sources, or else is Non-notable.
Reword for more accurate statement:"Some schools are sufficiently notable to justify inclusion in en.wikipedia. Some are not. Let secondary source be the judge."
Let's not forget this point: Absolutely no progress can or will ever be made when operating from a polar assumption (as above). Thanks --Ling.Nut 00:38, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I strongly disagree. This is not a polar assumption. The extremist positions are "all schools are worthy of independent articles" and "no school is worthy of an independent article unless it's very notable". This proposal is intended to split the difference. The schools are notable, but don't necessarily deserve an independent article. The proposal does specify sources are required despite the inherent notability of the topic area. Georgewilliamherbert 00:46, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I apologize too, but.. your terminology is misleading. I see your point now.. but again it's misleading to say something is notable but undeserving of an article, since notability is the fundamental justification for inclusion in the first place.. The word notable is reserved for special use in these discussion as a fundamental concept. Suggest you change the word notable into some other positive term (uh... unique? worthy? worthwhile? I dunno.. but not the reserved word notable) that cannot be confused with taking a pre-judged stance on "notability as justification for inclusion." Thanks --Ling.Nut 00:53, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
No wait, I change my mind. You are in fact flatly contradicting yourself. You don't merely say they are notable, you say they are worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia I know you want everyone to feel good about their school, and I support taht, but words have consequences. you can't say something is worthy of inclusion, then turn around and snatch that status away. Your first senetence should be scratched, in its entirety. --Ling.Nut 00:56, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
The entire point of the proposal is that schools are inherently notable but don't necessarily justify an independent article. Is this unclear? Georgewilliamherbert 00:59, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
The entire point of my post is that notability is the sole standard of justification for inclusion in Wikipedia. Is this unclear? Notability, once granted, trumps any sub-clauses you may put further down in your text that contradicts your lead-off assertion of notability.
Let's say we adopt your wording and post it in Wikipedia space somewhere. Cub Scout den #9 in SmallTown (population 250) will post their school's info. They will point to that first sentence and say their school is worthy of inclusion. And they will be right. They will have found and exploited the gaping loophole in your self-contradictory wording, and their argument will be completely justified.--Ling.Nut 01:30, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
They'll be wrong, and it will get merged and redirected appropriately per the rest of the proposed guideline. People not caring about guidelines or not reading them or not understanding Wikipedia and yet editing and creating articles is a normal everyday occurance. This proposed policy doesn't enable them to bend rules any more than others do. Georgewilliamherbert 01:43, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
At the highest level, ignoring implementation details which need to be hashed out (probably at length... sigh) , it seems that you and I both agree: some schools should be included, and some should not. But gosh darn it, you are saying one thing and then later saying (and doing) another. You are saying school are notable and worthy of inclusion, and then saying they are not notable and not worthy of inclusion. It is a contradiction. They will be correct. How can something that's notable be non-notable? How can something that's worthy of inclusion be unworthy of inclusion? Thanks for your patience. --Ling.Nut 01:49, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Some people will claim things are schools (one family homeschooling five kids; a "private school" with eight students; two kids studying under a paid tutor at home; etc) which clearly aren't. I don't support those things getting a "schools" article. I have put a proposed "school" definition up there. That proposed definition is, of course, up for discussion. 25 students may be too small a criteria for general consensus, for example.
My proposal is that everything which meets that (eventual consensus) definition is notable enough for en.wikipedia coverage. My proposal is also that such coverage be limited to a section in the (city,town,county,location) article until a school is notable enough and well enough covered to justify an independent article.
The separate articles for every school was the kicking point in the wikien-l mailing list discussion. Once someone made the (in retrospect obvious) observation that not everything needs (or justifies) its own independent article. There are lists of things which are not independently notable, and various summary articles. Same idea here. Georgewilliamherbert 02:04, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
If you want to clarify, then clarify it in your proposal, not here on the talk page. Say what you just said up front, so no one will be inadvertantly mislead or can deliberately twist the text:
Any school is, at the very least, sufficiently notable to justify inclusion in en.wikipedia as an item under the rubric of some ("component folded into some" or etc. whatever) larger category. Schools must meet the following standards in order to be sufficiently notable to warrant their own page:
Moreover, every word is a minefield. Define accredited.--Ling.Nut 02:57, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

This proposal is much too specific (e.g. we don't need to dictate the structure of the schools section in city or town articles). Otherwise it is generally similar to the existing proposal -- keep verifiable information in some form while allowing schools to have independent articles if they have enough verifable information to support such an article. The main change in your proposal is that you require independent articles to be bigger than stub size, while the current proposal allows stubs so long as they have something more than the basic, expected facts. The last part of your proposal would probably be a viable alternative to the criteria in the current proposal, which would be workable in practice and for which it would be possible to gather wide support. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:11, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

I've made it specific in areas where I saw ambiguity raised as an issue in various discussions. I'm certainly willing to consider relaxing that, though. There seemed to be general agreement on wikien-l that there should be an attempt to make a semi-consistent formatting guideline for this.
The main point of my variation is to establish right up front the points of contention that inclusionists have with the current proposal, which hides it almost at the bottom (Such articles should likely be merged into an article about their parent community. See Wikipedia:Places of local interest for more suggestions for dealing with such articles.). The current proposal is flawed not because of what it says, but how it says it. There is general agreement between the current proposal and my proposal on the key points: school info for all schools is good to have, but if it's not a verifyable, notable stand alone article then it should be part of the community's article rather than a standalone article per school.
See for example Seneca Falls (town), New York, which is where the former Finger Lakes Christian School article ended up, which is what started all of this off. Georgewilliamherbert 17:49, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Accredited[edit]

Hey, I bet this page is just teeming with academics and administrators. Does anyone have expertise in the area of accreditation? I have a Kevin-Baconish idea for definining accredited, but my understanding of accreditation is murky. Are school often accredited by more than one body? Do accreditations overlap.. can the overlaps be followed, like a chain?

It's my understanding that there are bogus accreditation bodies out there, as well as diploma mills. Is that correct?

My idea for defining accredited is something like four steps from Harvard or more regionally, three steps from Tier 1. --Ling.Nut 03:05, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

As for your the question in your second paragraph, you are correct. I don't really know the answer to your other questions though. JYolkowski // talk 02:33, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Notable alumni[edit]

This clause is the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen in any proposal on WP. Who cares if a school has notable alumni- why does this make the school notable? If a notable person contributed to the school- say, they donated money for a new library, as opposed to simply being on a Wall of Fame- then maybe notability would be confirmed. But let's face facts here: chances are that, considering the English WP has something like 200,000 biographical articles, almost every school in English-speaking nations has at least one notable alumnus. Why not write an article on a hospital simply because a famous person gave birth there? Why not write an article on every zoo on earth because a singer took their kid there? What about DMVs? Some celebrities need driver's licenses, and just like society can't function without schools, it also can't function without motor vehicle operation. (Note: that sentence was not meant to be sarcastic.) Especially for public schools, I highly doubt most of the people with bios on WP chose where they went to elementary school, and they probably haven't even though about elementary school in years, so why include an article on a school which asserts no significance aside from this one person going there against his or her will?

Don't get me wrong- I have great respect for schools, teachers, and the merits of a proper education. My mother was a high school teacher, and my father is an adjunct professor. With that said, it's unreasonable to say that every school (especially elementary and middle schools) is notable. Having one criterion be that the school has a famous alumnus is nothing but a reason to keep an article on a school which does not actually have notability. -- Kicking222 00:58, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

  • The idea is that these signifiant people will have biographies about them, and these biographies will likely have information about the school that can be used to build a more complete article. People tend to spend a lot less time at Zoos and DMVs so it's that much less likely that these places will feature prominently in people's biographies. JYolkowski // talk 02:19, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
  • This proposal isn't about the notability of schools. It recognizes the fact that whether notable or not, information on schools is in fact included in Wikipedia, and it considers how best to organize this information to make it (1) most accessible to readers and (2) easiest to maintain for editors. Hopefully we can all recognize that since schools are included in Wikipedia (whether they ought to be or not) we need a good organizational scheme for this content. Christopher Parham (talk) 02:23, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
As observed earlier this proposal isn't so much a proposal in any reasonable sense but rather a manifesto for how to keep all schools. That said, if a school has many notable alumni then details about the circumstances that they grew up in may be interesting and/or it is likely that the school has other notable features. Thus, presence of notable alumni is a useful barometer of notability. JoshuaZ 02:29, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
The presence of notable alumni could theoretically be indicative of the school’s notability (Harvard, Oxford, MIT, etc). But it may not .. Famous Person X may simply have grown up in that neighborhood. So I see at least two problems with the idea:
  1. A school that is notable enough to attract notable alumni shouldn't need its notable alumni as [insert: the centerpiece of their] evidence of notability. That was a tongue-twister.
  2. A school that is not notable enough to attract notable alumni, but has accumulated a limited set by historical accident, should not use notable alumni as their sole evidence of notability. This is the "George Washington slept here" argument. Moreover, it will probably be applied to people far less notable than George Washington; "Mildy popular talk show host or exercise guru or professional wrestler X attended school here." --Ling.Nut 13:42, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, good points. I will need re-evaluate my attitude about notable alumns. JoshuaZ 14:06, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

A quick straw poll[edit]

I'd like to propose a straw poll, since this proposal seems to have stabilized of late. (Note: this straw poll is not binding, just a quick look at where things stand.) So, yea or nay? - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 18:06, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Support current wording
I wouldn't mind seeing this as a guideline right now.
  • I think that the current wording reflects how things work right now reasonably well and people are using parts of it, which I think are criteria a guideline should meet. That isn't to say that I wouldn't accept some changes to some of the criteria. Some of the numbers ("50" years, "1" alumnus) are arbitrary, and I don't see the "series of articles" criteria as being necessary either. JYolkowski // talk 22:21, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't mind the changes AMIB proposes. I'm actually surprised by the level of opposition. Unless there's another remotely feasible proposal around, it's basically this or the status quo, and from the deletionist perspective this seems preferable to the status quo. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:22, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Support with reservations
I would accept this as a guideline right now, but ideally I'd like [such-and-such change].
  • Generally good. Some of the criteria could use cleanup, I think the 50-year rule should go, and I think notable faculty, or staff make a school notable, but not notable alumni unless there are several. Vectro 03:41, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Oppose because of negotiable conditions
I oppose because I have a problem with the way this is worded, one of the numbers used as a baseline, one of the conditions, etc.
  • Right now, this is me. I'm unhappy with the "series of articles" part of Comprehensiveness #2. I like the idea of using WP:LOCAL for guidelines on disposing of unexpandable stubs, but I still don't like the idea of endorsing a series of unexpandable stubs just because they're "maintained", as this seems to be tailor-made to allow anyone who wants their school vanity kept as a standalone article to argue that it's part of a series and that they're maintaining it. Were this point to be dropped (or I to be convinced of its merit), I'd go to support with reservations. I'm kind of iffy on point #6; if it's truly an important architectural point certainly there's something other than an editor's say-so to show that it's important. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 18:06, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    I would be very much against removing the "series of articles" clause for reasons discussed plenty of times above. In addition, I must say I wish you'd stop calling articles "unexpandable stubs" since:
    1. we've discussed that point to death
    2. your statement seems to imply that school articles are a "negative" thing
    3. a large number of editors have obviously shown they're very much interested in working on school articles...therefore, they cannot possibly be "unexpandable".
    --Stéphane Charette 21:11, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    Well, what is "maintenence"? If it's running a directory of schools, then no, I can't be happy with it, as that's what I see as a problem. I guess it's not unexpandable so much as stubs that nobody has made any effort whatsoever to expand.
    If the stub is an article for which WP:SCH is working on sourcing and can make claims they can source dubiously or that are clearly true albeit not yet sourced, nobody's going to merge or delete it as a matter of course unless the claims are extremely dubious no matter what this guideline says.
    On the other hand, the guideline counsels merging insufficient articles to a parent article, assuming some article can benefit from it. (I think we all agree traffic schools, preschools, etc....those stubs can simply be deleted, as promotional material.)
    If I've misunderstood the intent or effect of this clause, I'd be happy to be corrected. I'm not interested in further debating the merits of it in this thread if I haven't, though. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 21:35, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose as too inclusive if things like standard issue government reports are going to be considered non-trivial. This means that almost all schools will be included. Also opposing as long as a single notable alumn is enough for inclusion. Alumni isn't necessarily a sensible criterion anyways but only one isn't helpful at all. Also, the series rule allows the creation of pretty much any schools as long as they are done systematically which is ridiculous (note we would never do that for corporations). Other smaller problems but the those are the biggest. JoshuaZ 21:22, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Oppose on principle
I oppose this on principle, as too inclusive/exclusive/instruction creep/I'm disagreeable/whatever, and would like to see this tagged as {{rejected}} and forgotten.
  • I oppose on principle. Existing guidelines regarding verifiability and original research should suffice to deal with content problems. No article about a verifiable school should be deleted. Rather we should encourage merging and redirecting stubs to appropriate articles as well as inviting their expansion under current guidelines. --Dystopos 18:35, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    Do you believe that schools should be treated differently from businesses and bands, or do you oppose these sorts of guidelines on principle? I don't want to get bogged down arguing about the principle (right now, anyway), but I would like to be clear on where you stand. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 18:41, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    In my opinion, a redirect from a verifiable topic, no matter how trivial, to a proper article makes for a better encyclopedia than no article at all. Let's don't try to establish guidelines for "notability" about a type of institution for which even the worst examples are far more notable than entire classes of accepted WP content. The argument that only the most notable segment of a class of articles should be covered would imply that Millard Fillmore or Togo should be deleted for being non-notable US Presidents or Nations. So, the simplest version of my argument is: "Schools are notable". If a school is so fleeting or immaterial that it's existence can't easily be verified, I agree that it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. --Dystopos 18:52, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    Hm. Do you feel that there's insufficient emphasis on the "disposal" mentioned briefly at the end, suggesting that schools be treated in the way Wikipedia:Places of local interest suggests (short version: merge it upward)? I'm clearly more exclusionist than you in general, but I think it's a fundamentally rightheaded way of dealing with these things and it seems compatible with your stated principles. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 19:01, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    I would go as far as having a specific proposal that should stop all verifiable schools going to AfD. AfD is a huge time sink. Much better in my opinon to educate people to merge the woeful school articles to an appropriate place and add a category such as Category:Redirects from school articles. This solves two problems, the school still has its independent page (although a redirect) and those that wish to improve or expand school article know exactly where to find them. The proposal then becomes one of whether to merge or not rather than one of to delete or not. I feel this is a far better compromise since every verifiable school article created on wikipedia is kept with the potential for improvement (inclusionists kept happy) and there is an opportunity to merge the really bad articles that really add nothing of value to the encyclopedia (deletionists kept happy). Added benefits include, 1) more productive wo/man hours can be devoted to improving school articles rather than defending/criticising them on AfD; 2) merge targets such as school districts or town pages get improved; 3) there is less bad blood between otherwise productive editors in wikipedia. David D. (Talk) 22:24, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    Well, this is that guideline (well, technically WP:LOCAL is that, but this points there). While this is structured based on WP:CORP and WP:MUSIC and repeats the core principle of both, the problem it solves and the solution to that problem are different. If a directory stub ends up on AFD, point out that this guideline suggests that such stubs be merged up to an umbrella article. I don't mean to be harping on this, but it seems that you're opposing on principle because this guideline supposedly doesn't do something that it does. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 22:32, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    • In principle, any school that has been constructed and admits students is verifiable enough to meet the criteria of Wikipedia policy. In my opinion, this policy should avoid trying to determine which schools are "notable" and provide instructions, such as the one to which you refer, on how to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the subject. A redirect is better than a directory stub, a directory stub is better than nothing. I understand that many editors do not share this inclusionist view, but I simply find the deletion of school articles to be incompatible, at a very basic level, with the mission of the encyclopedia. ESPECIALLY while we have accepted entire corpi of knowledge about trivial subjects which pale in significance alongside the production of lasting social institutions. --Dystopos 01:30, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Disagree with a number of points above. First note that directory stub is not better than nothing. Wikipedia is not a directory. Furthermore, many of these schools are not "lasting social institutions" but very new schools or schools that were only extant for a few years. Finally, the inclusion of other sort of junk like a separate article for every sinlge Cruftemon is not something everyone is happy with and is not something that many would want to see generalized. JoshuaZ 01:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
      • I have heard these arguments, and I have especially considered the WP:NOT discussion on directories. I agree that a directory stub is not an ideal article. It *should* be merged with a redirect if it is not immediately expanded. But no purpose is served by merely removing it. I'm no fan of "Cruftemon", I'll help you go after it for all the good it will do. But schools are real things. Even if they were built a year ago, one expects they will survive a generation at least - more than can be said, even generously, about Dancing Baby or Episode 3 of the 3rd Season of Will & Grace. There is just no policy which makes "Dancing Baby" encyclopedic and "Shady Heights Elementary School" unencyclopedic -- unless you're arguing that Wikipedia should never aspire to becoming anything more than an encyclopedia with a special focus on post-1995 western pop-culture, bot-generated census data and pre-1911 historical events. --Dystopos 01:53, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry to confuse, it was not meant to be an oppose vote. I should have added comment at the head. I assume the point of this is to stop stuff going to AfD (sory but i have only followed this discussion with half an eye for a while). If the merge option is accepted by the inclusionists (not sure they will be happy though) rather than being a delete/not-delete choice then these quidelines are perfect. David D. (Talk) 22:40, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
  • A guideline for notability that takes a history of no consensus votes (and treats that as a consensus for inclusion} on AfD and makes no effort to take a hard look at some objective criteria like WP:CORP or WP:MUSIC or WP:BIO is a major problem. Do not assume that since there are fewer delete votes that there is a consensus. Maybe this whole problem will be solved by WP:LOCAL. Vegaswikian 19:04, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    I presume you feel that this proposal is too inclusive. What's making it too inclusive? It seems fairly close to the version I wrote originally, which was based heavily on WP:CORP. Plus, I'm not exactly Captain Inclusion, if personal issues matter to you. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 19:09, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    Yes, it is too inclusive. When you come right down to it, virtually every school passes the proposed crieria, at least in how it is being voted on in AfD. There was one vote there that stated one school was notable locally. Well I know the school and probably meet a few teachers from the school over the years. I never had anyone consider it as more then a run of the mill school. I believe that it is easier and better to set the bar high and then lower it if you find that a mistake was made. Setting a very low bar is bad for the encylopedia and will prove to be next to imposible to change in the future. If we get a guideline from this process it is something that needs to be supported by all parties on AfD. I'm not sure this can happen. Vegaswikian 02:35, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as too inclusive - As written, it would be far too easy for schools to pass these criteria. Schools (at least in the US, where I reside) are frequently the subject of short news articles in the local city paper like "____ hired a new principle", "___ school held a spelling bee". I think the proposed guideline would consider these to be proof of verifiability. However, I don't think they mean much. Schools hire principles. Schools hold spelling bees. That is no surprise. That is no justification for including them. On standards on things like Bands and Corporations are much stricter. We should strive to hold schools to some similar standards. Johntex\talk 22:42, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Actually, WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:WEB, and WP:CORP all have similiar rules in terms of "...subject of multiple non-trivial published works...", which are fairly inclusive. None specifically excludes local coverage (the last time I looked). Would you be able to quote some text from one of those guidelines, that you would like to place in this guideline. --Rob 02:22, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, no need for special pleading. I think that this poll can be closed for now. - brenneman {L} 02:48, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Also getting tired of seeing Pokemon arguments "If other Pokemon characters are in Wikipedia, why not Vulpix?" Suggest that the intersection of local coverage acceptable and needs to meet only one criteria is the source of all evil. There are no schools in existence which cannot be fit under that umbrella, with at least some tattered vestige of plausibility. Suggest that schools whose verifiable source(s) are 100% local should meet more than one notability criteria.--Ling.Nut 12:54, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
    • What is the relevance of "there are no schools in existence which cannot be fit under that umbrella?" Christopher Parham (talk) 15:25, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Good question. A standard which does not screen out anything is not actually a standard; it is instead a rationalization (or a description codification of the status quo). Therefore, the comment is highly relevant when discussing whether or not the current standards for inclusion are, in fact, standards of any kind.. or can be defined as standards. Thanks.--Ling.Nut 16:03, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. It is useless to have a standard which is set so low that nothing fails the standard. That is why this proposal is far too soft. Johntex\talk 22:10, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Guidelines are descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, they describe best practices that are going on now. Right now we generally don't delete schools on AfD unless they have problems meeting our core content policies. So, a guideline that has a rather low bar for inclusion may well be appropriate if it also incorporates best practices for dealing with mediocre articles, which this one does (albeit at the end of the page) by suggesting merging. While it may be true that almost all schools may meet the criteria outlined in the article, the onus is on the article creator (or other editors) to show that it does. This will require some looking for sources, adding them to the article, etc., which will improve the article quality. JYolkowski // talk 22:16, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

schools & the new speedy deletion criteria: relevant?[edit]

Please read Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2006-10-02/More_CSD:

I'm sure that inclusionists will say that schools were not singled out, and this applies mainly to businesses and to other entities named therein... but do myriads of school pages fit the spirit of this post? The definition is "Pages that exist only to promote a company, person, product, service or group." --Ling.Nut 12:24, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

In the case of public schools that don't benefit from recruiting, I can't see any real reason to speedy them unless they're attack pages, lacking in context (Foo School is a school in Foo in district Bar) or content (a link to a page or an infobox with no further content). Even if someone's promoting a school like that, the school doesn't benefit from the promotion and Wikipedia isn't harm except insofar as it's something useless. This isn't promotion any more than writing a stub on your hometown is promotion; it's vanity, but potentially useful vanity (if only because a terrible school stub is a good opportunity for a redirect to the town) and not self-aggrandizement.

Now, for private schools, post-secondary schools, pre-schools, or other schools that benefit from recruiting, we need to drop the hammer hard, just as with any group misuing Wikipedia for self-promotion and self-aggrandizement.

Does it just amuse the creator? Yah, okay, we'll clean that up. Does it benefit the creator? RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE (or just speedily delete the ad, you know, whichever). - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 12:46, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

It always sounds kinda snippy when people simply post "please define x." But I say with an open heart, "please define we'll clean that up."--Ling.Nut 12:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Good question; it'll either get cleaned up or it won't, to be honest, but it does't really meet the intent of the CSD nor is it likely to be deleted on AFD unless it's a hoax. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 13:07, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I was wanting to know what actions would take place when someone "cleans it up." Plus, why won't it be deleted on AFD? Enquiring minds want to know.--Ling.Nut 14:40, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

reductio ad absurdem[edit]

oops I spelled reductio ad absurdum incorrectly.--Ling.Nut 13:44, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Let's take a stroll through the imaginary halls of Foo Valley High, and compare its history to our current standards of inclusion:

  • The Fightin' Foo-ettes put their spirit on display in 1965, when they finished first in Regional cheerleading competition. This event made the front page of the local newspaper, the Foo Valley Register. Unfortunately, they did not place in the State competitions.
  • Ten years later, Suzie Baker, noted for her studiousness and a stalwart of the Chess Club, enacted a scorched earth policy as she devasted competitors from four surrounding counties, taking First Place in the Regional Chess Championships. This event was duly noted in the "Local Happenings" section of the October 14th, 1975 edition of the Foo Valley Register. She finished a disappointing second-place in State competitions, but vowed to return.
  • September 23rd, 1985: After twenty-five years of faithful service, Foo Valley High's beloved biology teacher, Chester Protoplankton, was given a Plaque of Recognition by the State Association of Biology Teachers on the occasion of his retirement. He thanked his colleagues in a moving speech. The Foo Valley Register noted this award in its "Notable and Quotable" section.

Verdict: Foo Valley High is Notable. --Ling.Nut 17:25, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

That's correct. If you take a look in a dictionary, the word "notable" means "worthy of note". Since, on the same page of the dictionary, "note" is defined as a "written record", something that is "notable" is simply something that is "likely to have stuff written about it". This school does have stuff written about it, therefore it is notable. JYolkowski // talk 21:53, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree. Foo Valley High is much more notable than a significant proportion of subjects with Wikipedia articles. We should keep the Foo Valley High School article and expect that, over time, it will attract more contributors and we will, perhaps after some discussions about appropriate encyclopedia content and the correction of untold typos, be able to put its history, its architecture, its role in the community, its pedagogy and its achievements into a wider context. That's the great thing about how Wikipedia works. It tends to expand in scope and increase in quality over time. For those who are not interested in such things, there are plenty of other articles to explore and the existence of a Foo Valley High article shouldn't bother you in the least. You don't even have to flip past it to get to the very interesting page on notable musician Chris Shiflett, a guitar player who recently joined the Foo Fighters after the departures of Pat Smear and Franz Stahl, both exceedingly notable individuals in their own right who will be remembered long after Foo Valley High and its generations of graduates are lost to the mists of time. --Dystopos 22:02, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • This is a perfect example of why the proposed guideline is flawed. The fictional Foo Valley High described here should not be included in Wikipedia. It is not "notable". It is not "worthy of note". If we were to allow articles on anything which has ever been writen about, then my specific 1976 Ford Mustang is notable because it appeared in a classified ad, and my Terrier is notable because she placed third in the local dog show and this fact was duly reported in the local paper. We should not use the fact that something made an appearance in a newspaper as a reason to have an article about it. Johntex\talk 22:15, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The only available information about your 1976 Ford Mustang is a primary source. Therefore, writing an article about your Ford Mustang based on that source violates WP:NOR. While it might theoretically be possible to write an article about your Terrier based on the newspaper coverage, the article will likely be so short that there's no point in having it stand on its own, so it would best be merged into an article about, say, the dog show in question. There's no need to invent new deletion criteria to handle these. JYolkowski // talk 22:21, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
      • If my 1976 Mustang was mentioned in a newspaper - that is a secondary source. If you think that classifieds count as a primary source (I know of no policy that says they do) then imagine it was mentioned because it was in an article about a traffic accident instead. It makes no difference. The three facts listed above about the non-notable high school aren't enough for a decent article either, might as well merge those facts into an article on the school district or some such, where they would quickly be deleted as unimportant trivia. Johntex\talk 22:29, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Obviously we disagree about whether it should be included in Wikipedia, but we can both see that it is included in Wikipedia. This guideline moves on to the next question, which is how to organize such information. It seems to me that because you (and many others) are focusing on repeatedly hammering on the first issue, with exactly zero result, the second issue is being passed by. The effort to delete schools has ensured that we have the maximum possible number of short stubs on schools. From the discussion above it appears that this will continue to be the case. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:35, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I will continue to explain that non-notable schools should be deleted until either (a) someone convinces me that we should have articles on non-notable things or (b) we resume deleting articles on non-notable schools just as we do non-notable persons, 1976 Mustangs and terriers. In other words, so long as our system is broken, I will work to help us fix it. Johntex\talk 22:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


  1. Dystopos proposes a "Me too" or "Pokemon" argument: "If other Pokemon characters (or professional wrestlers or professional wrestlers' favorite moves or corner Chinese restaurants) are on Wikipedia, the why not Vulpix?" The scope of this argument is unlimited: One would need to delete *every* single corner Chinese restaurant in Wikipedia to counter its thrust -- which is of course impossible, since new corner Chinese restauraunts are being added faster than a thousand monkeys can type. Ditto for professional wrestlers, professional wrestlers' favorite moves, minor characters in every single computer game, etc. The argument is circular (or recursive). The argument rests upon inertia rather than principle. If an encyclopedia is not driven by principle, then it is driven by whim. If it is driven by whim, then it is MySpace or Geocities; it is not an encyclopedia. Please see WP:NOTABILITY: "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. As such, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate directory of businesses, websites, persons, etc."
  • It's not particularly good practice to create straw men from the arguments of others. I have never argued for more Pokemon on Wikipedia. I have argued that schools, as a class, are inherently more notable than numerous topics which, as a class, have gained widespread acceptance. I believe that my conception of notability is broader and has more perspective than the is typical for this project such that, generally speaking, ALL schools are more notable than all but the most notable Pokemon (whatever that means). The second premise of my argument is that more harm than good is done by deleting verifiable topics which fail no criterion other than, depending on one's POV, "WP:NOTABILITY", which is NOT an established policy. --Dystopos 06:21, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Hi Dystopos, I didn't mean to suggest that you were referring to actual Pokemon characters. I stated that you were using the Pokemon argument. You could as easily (and legitimately) say that I had been employing reductio ad absurdum.
  • I was gonna answer your "more harm than good..." statement, but decided to do it farther down in this thread. It relates to your comment about merging, in my view... Thanks for helping me see that I was not clear in my statements, though. --Ling.Nut 13:33, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I added a paragraph to Wikipedia:Pokémon test which might better explain my perspective. I'll quote it here: "This defense is often challenged because it implies a defeatist attitude toward maintaining standards for encyclopedic content (See Wikipedia:Notability). There is also a positive view of the Pokémon argument, which holds that the articles on truly trivial Pokémon turned out to be reasonable articles that fulfill all of Wikipedia's official content policies, and therefore so might the subject being challenged on AfD." --Dystopos 21:47, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Christopher Parham's argument is a variant of the Pokemon argument, but it lacks even the component of a comparison of relative notability. This argument is simply "Since it exists, it should continue to exist." By this logic, NO articles should EVER be deleted, with the probable exception of those that would generate lawsuits (personal attacks, racist/nationalist/ etc. attacks, etc.). In other words -- and this is the key point of this entire discussion -- notability should be dropped as an overarching principle. If it should be dropped for schools, then logically, why should it not be dropped for everything else? Are schools somehow an exception to the principle?
  2. Note that if we buy into JYolkowski's original argument (if it appears in a local newspaper, then it is notable) then it falls out quite logically that we can nuke all the existing rules on the project page, and go with the JYolkowski Principle as the only necessary rule. Note further that if we collapse all rules into one, the next logical (or practical) step would be to delete that one rule. The argument is straightforward: Let's assume that Foo Valley High exists, but was never mentioned in its community paper (or perhaps the community does not even have a paper). That assumption boggles the mind, but let's accept it for the sake of argument. Mr. Protoplankton, who wants his beloved school on Wikipedia, simply falsifies the above citations. No one would know which of the myriad points in the schoolcruft universe was the one with completely falsified references. No one would take the time to track down the exception(s) to the rule. Hence, our One Rule that Rules them All is not even a Rule, it is in fact a codification of the fact that There Are No Rules.
    • Regardless of what criteria we use, people can bypass it in bad faith. This isn't a problem unique to this proposal. I don't see widespread falsification of anything going on right now in any other area, so I don't see this as being a big problem here either. JYolkowski // talk 17:13, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Hi JYolkowski... You're focusing on a secondary issue rather than the primary one. The primary issue is that by your standards, we can nuke every criteria on the project page and say "The school's name was mentioned in some newspaper somewhere in the world more than twice in the history of that school."
  2. Having said that, standards that loose actively beg for falsification. If someone pulls out a bogus quotation of the New York Times, I can track it down in a heartbeat if I so desire. Quoting the Foo Valley register... hmmm.. if I could verify it at all (and maybe I couldn't), it would take literally weeks. The returns for my effort in that case are significantly smaller than the amount of effort expended. No one will try to verify this info. Ever. Period. If no one will ever try to verify it, then the standards for verification are <null>.--Ling.Nut 20:12, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Where is Georgewilliamherbert? With the notable exception of his opening statement, his principles were considerably better than the arguments posited above. At least they could somehow be tweaked. --Ling.Nut 00:21, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
To make it clear, I haven't on this page discussed whether or not schools ought to be included in Wikipedia. I think they should, but I haven't made any arguments to that effect, which is why you may find my "argument" weak. I don't particularly intend to discuss that issue, because it is a dead one. Given that we are gaining dozens of school articles a day and that there is no sign that this will change, the pressing question is how to organize that content most usefully. This proposal is about how to organize information. It makes the assumption, which based on our experience is quite reasonable, that the content will be included one way or the other. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:55, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Please forgive me if I have put words in your mouth. I did not mean to do that. I must have misunderstood you.
  2. The deletion process exists; why assume it cannot be used fruitfully?
  3. I think we are (or should be) here to answer one and only one question: Under what conditions does a school lack sufficient merit or notability to warrant the existence of individual page dedicated to that school?--Ling.Nut 01:42, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • we should distinguish here between two ways to not have an article. One is to delete whatever verifiable content has been added and the other is to actively merge that content into more suitable topics. I'm all about merging as long as the redirects are left in place. I am opposed to deletion of school articles based on the criteria of notability. --Dystopos 06:24, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree wholeheartedly. Where we disagree is in our vision of what should hapen versus what will happen. If we say high-mindedly, "We should merge stubs intot a larger article, say, "Schools of Maryland," and leave it at that... then that will never happen. Articles will never be thusly merged. Oh one or two or three will, but the universe of schools will get their own article. This is true for two reasons:
  1. Some-- apparently many-- people simply disagree with this high-minded talk of merging, and think every school deserves its own page.
  2. Inertia. It will be SO much trouble to merge all the school stubs that are being entered & will be entered.
  • We need robust deletion and speedy deletion criteria for schools. Else the talk of merging is just talk.--Ling.Nut 13:55, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That makes no sense. Even with a "robust" guideline it will always be MUCH more difficult to delete school stubs than to redirect them. And once a redirect is in place, there's much less temptation to re-create a separate article if you find that the topic is already covered than if you get the "No page with that title exists. You can create this article or request it." link. --Dystopos 15:22, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Hi again:
You're repeating half my argument, simply re-worded, and completely ignoring the second (and far more important) half. Yes -- merging preserves information. It is more "high minded" and idealistic than deletion. It may even be easier. That's the part of my argument that you have re-worded.

What you have not addressed is the absolute necessity of having an external mechanism for imposing discipline upon the process.

  • If I put a "delete" tag on an article, there are rules that can be enforced. The deletion nomination is debated. If the article flagrantly deviates from guidelines/rules/principles, it will get speedied. If it deviates in a less flagrant manner, its merits will be debated. Something actually happens.
  • If I put a "suggest merge" tag on an article, then what happens? Ummmmm..... more frequently than you may think, nothing happens. What are the consequences if someone merely removes the "merge" tag? Few or none; it often goes unnoticed. What is the process for ensuring that merge request is adequately debated? Haphazard at best. I've trolled the "old merge request" pages and seen things that have had merge tags on them for a year (whereas deletion requests must be resolved within a week). There is no mechanism for of any kind imposing discipline upon the process. The procedures simply do not exist. There is a Merge Request page, but it is voluntary, and it has a fairly large backlog already. What will happen if I slap "merge request" tags on 30 or 40 school stubs? I promise you, absolutely nothing will happen. In the absence of such a mechanism, the merge process will not take place. That was explicitly stated as being a central point in my earlier post, but your reply did not address that issue. I repeat: We need robust deletion and speedy deletion criteria for schools. Else the talk of merging is just that -- talk.--Ling.Nut 21:01, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Exactly. Instead of putting a "suggest merge" tag on an article, why not just go ahead and merge it? (see Wikipedia:Merging and moving pages: "Merging is something any editor can do, and if you are sure that something should be merged, you can be bold and do so." - No waiting. No project pages. No debate. No loose ends. If someone objects, point to the normal WP guidelines for very short articles that lack context. We don't need notability standards to accomplish that. If the objector wants to start an edit war, go to the normal channels. We don't need notability standards to accomplish that, either. --Dystopos 21:31, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Is there support to back a merge? Will other editors support reverts to a merge if another editor does not agree? This way the result of a merge stays unless there was a significant improvement to the article? Can we have an exemption on AfD to allow merges while a school is on AfD as long a redirect is provided? Can we get a school Merge vote to be supported by keep votes so that it is merged and not kept? Vegaswikian 22:08, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Why don't I do the merge myself? Remember, we are not talking about "a merge" or the "the merge." Here is the case that will exist in reality, for just one of the thousands of school names:

  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Kenosha WI)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Louisville KY)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Leitchfield KY)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Fort Knox KY)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Asbury Park NJ)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Beaver Falls ND)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Lake Woebegone)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Schenectady NY)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Broken Arrow NM)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Spokane WA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Santa Fe NM)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Chula Vista CA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (San Diego CA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (San Francisco CA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Seattle WA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield IA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield MO)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield MI)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield LA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield PA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield GA)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield IN)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Springfield SD)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School (Calgary Canada just kidding)
  • (repeat for fifty or so more TJ Highs; then rinse lather & repeat for John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, etc etc.)
  • You know and I know, these mergers will not take place. How am I supposed to figure out where to put these? What if the corresponding school district or whatever pages do not exist? For this group to pawn that repsonsibility off onto Wikipedians at large is unspeakably irresponsible. It is the same as having done precisely nothing.--Ling.Nut 22:45, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
PS
  1. The responsibility for merging each of these schools should be placed in the hands of the person who wishes the school to have mention in Wikipedia.
  2. There must be some process of external discipline to enforce that responsibility.--Ling.Nut 23:04, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Why would you merge those anywhere other than the locations? What's the question and problem? Georgewilliamherbert 23:42, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Hi gwh, good to see you back:
  • Unfortunately, you're addressing the secondary point of what I'm saying, ignoring the primary point, and then saying "What's the problem?"
  • Let's address the second point, since you think it is the main one. What if there is no article for Foo Valley? I'm supposed to make one? I'm supposed to make a Foo Valley stub, then merge the Foo Valley High school stub into the Foo Valley town stub?
  • But here's the real problem with that idea: It's selfish. It's irresponsible. It's a non-policy; a phantom policy; a do-nothing policy. Agreeing on that policy is precisely the same as doing exactly nothing. You're saying this group should merely wave its hand at people who enter 20,000 pages of schoolcruft, then expect others to shoulder the responsibility of merging? Schoolcruft folks create the mess; others must wash the dishes? Where is the common courtesy in that? You know and I know that it won't get done.. and the reason it won't get done is because there is no mechanism for exerting discipline to ensure that it does get done.
  • I'm a teacher.
  • I suppose most of y'all are teachers too.
  • But I don't expect other people to wash my dishes; especially not when there are 20,000 of them. That may sound a bit sharp, and for that I apologize. But the sheer, gut-wrenching, staggering & monumental scope of the task that you are asking others to shoulder drives me to pointed remarks.--Ling.Nut 00:10, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
    • It is a big job. This is all the more reason to use the least work-intensive solution, which is merging. Especially since if we choose to merge rather than delete, the number of people who can participate in the effort increases enormously. Christopher Parham (talk) 00:26, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
[Edit conflict]]
A long time ago, an automated run inserted stub articles for every census-designated location in the United States. If you find a location that doesn't have an article, for at least the general area, I will be highly amazed...
We don't need to sweepingly solve all merges overnight. If you have a problem with a school article that you notice, and it's not truly notable enough for an independent article, then just do a merge to the location. As has already been pointed out, that's within normal editor rights and perogative.
Having some fraction of 20,000 (if that's accurate) school articles pending merge is no worse than having 20,000 school articles. Cleaning up Wikipedia is a constant task, in many different ways. A lot of the cleanup comes from policy or guideline imposed after a period of more free anarchy. Someone's going to have to do something to clean it up; the effort to merge is the same as the effort to properly documentedly speedy delete, and much less than the effort to AfD an article. This is both agreeable enough to everyone and nearly lowest effort to impliment. Establishing a policy to tell people not to do separate articles anymore is good, but doesn't address easy cleanup of the rest. Easy cleanup is... merges. If that's not easy enough, then we're all out of luck. Georgewilliamherbert 00:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Put your Wikiproject where your mouth is:

  1. Stop shucking & jiving with the lame "standards" on this project page. Make real ones.
    1. Rule #1: Under no circumstances does a school whose secondary sources are 100% local get its own page. Not even a stub. Never, never, never. And if a small town is in a suburb of a big city, the big city paper is still "local."
  2. [[Category:Unmerged Schools]]
  3. Template:Unmerged School (automatically adds a school to the above category)
  4. Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools on Wikipedia
  5. Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools on Wikipedia/Quality Assurance--Ling.Nut 02:17, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Why all the overorganization? Just do it... tagging the article is not much faster than merging it. Georgewilliamherbert 02:23, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  1. Much, much, much faster.
  2. It puts the burden on the folks who want the schools on Wikipedia; not on the folks who don't. That is to say, it's fair.--Ling.Nut 02:27, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Please accept my and Christopher Parham's more-experienced Wikipedia judgement that the easiest way to resolve this, for all involved, is merges. There is nothing ethically or logically wrong with putting the burden of effort on the school article creators, but practically the easiest way to resolve it is just to have any editor who cares merge any school stub they come across, with a supporting policy. Your suggestions for how to do that will in the end make it much harder. Georgewilliamherbert 02:41, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Ling nut it might be faster to tag for deletion than merge but how many hours are then wasted at AfD? Probably enough to merge or improve quite a few more school articles. There is no way it is quicker to send an article to AfD, in the long term, unless one is selfish enough to ignore the subsequent process. Personally i do not want to be lumbered with school AfD's and if i see lame articles i just go ahead and merge. To date, of those i have merged most still exist as redirects. However, some are now decent articles. Either way not much time on my behalf and now more time for editors to do something more constructive than debate another school AfD. David D. (Talk) 03:02, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
If there was a choice of Category:Unmerged Schools, that could be maintained, then it would be a lot better then AfD. I think this suggestion has merit. Just make sure that the template does a subst so the date can be added. Makes it easier to keep cleaning up the oldest ones. Vegaswikian 03:52, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • So you'd rather, instead of ignoring the "dirty dishes" (which is perfectly okay to do.. they don't actually smell bad or anything and, as you say, they are not yours) and instead of washing them or referring people to the existing policies on keeping a tidy encyclopedia, you think it would be easier to (a) craft a set of unique rules that apply to school dishes and (b) list them all on "dishes for deletion" with all the requisite templates and notices and debate and closing debate and changing templates. I simply do not understand why that's any easier or more beneficial than merging them or ignoring them. Instead of schoolcruft its deletionpolicycruft --Dystopos 05:36, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Mmmmmm, I didn't make myself clear. I wasn't saying it's easier to tag for deletion. I was saying it's much much easier for me to tag schools for merge than to merge them personally. That way I don't personally have to deal with the griping and the reverts of people from Foo Vally (or far more likely from a larger city like Phoenix or... who'll have to see 150 schools on their page) who have WP:OWN issues with their city's page and who don't want schools there. The key point is this: You want a puppy? Good. You wash it. You feed it. You take it out for walks & clean its dookie. You investigate the secondary sources. You adds ources to pages that have none. You do the merges. You deal with the headaches of those WP:OWNing cities. You chase away the private schools that have no merit. Take responsibility for your actions; don't walk away & force the consequences of your actions upon everyone else.
  • Ignoring stubs is littering. I don't wanna hit the "random page" link and come across school stubs 20% of the time.
  • Yes, I'd wanna have an agreement that stuff that's tagged for a period of -- two months -- and left uncleaned/merged/sourced is highly deletable. That creates an external mechanism for discipline. Take responsibility for your actions.
  • In general, accredited colleges/universities should have the right to create their own page, 'cause they attract international students (and many other reasons--they do research of merit, etc.). (Although a stub is a stub; if no one cares about a college enough to give it a few hundred words, it's gotta go). In general, preschools, kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools (Jr. and Sr. High) should NOT have their own pages. There are of course a few exceptions (e.g., Columbine High School, tragically), which can be dealt with in realistic set of standards. Hmm.. something like, any school that is the subject or receives extended treatment in two or more (non-sports-related; and about the school not about one student.. because any school can accidentally get a star.. accident of history) national publications gets its own page. I dunno; something.
  • But let's go back to the puppy idea. Take responsibility for your own actions. Just do it.--Ling.Nut 09:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I think you overestimate the potential problems. There will never be 20% of the articles on schools. The number of school articles being created right now is less than 1%. Guidelines that are a somewhat more strict than they are right now aren't going to increase the number of schools percentage-wise. JYolkowski // talk 16:06, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
It's difficult to know how exactly to respond to that post. I think there will be genuine wailing and gnashing of teeth when you start merging large numbers of schools onto various city pages. I don't think you ethically have the right to ask people who have no stake in the issue (other than wanting only high-quality articles on Wikipedia) to bear the brunt of that headache. I think there will be chronic, rolling, low-intensity border skirmishes at WP:AFD between the deletionists and the inclusionists if you show no signs of being willing to impose order on potential chaos. I think it's in everyone's best interest to draw very clear lines in the sand, and remove all doubt and discussion about what is and what is not acceptable as a stand-alone school article. On the positive side, I think you have a unique opportunity to form a community (a dedicated Wikiproject) whose stated goal is to promote excellence in the Wikipedia articles dedicated to any particular school. Do those comments seem reasonable?--Ling.Nut 16:25, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
No, they don't seem reasonable, because you keep missing our point. The easiest solution in terms of effort and pushback is to merge them. Your solutions ask people to bear more brunt or more effort.
I believe you have good intentions here, clearly, but this is very important: please trust us that this is the easy way out. It doesn't require any discussion beforehand once we have a policy worked out. Any editor can just do it. AFD will not be involved.
If you want to create a Schools project... all you have to do is click on your own redlinks. But it's not necessary or sufficient for solving the problem. The solution is and should be a merge campaign for school stubs. Georgewilliamherbert 17:37, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I would expect that actively and appropriately merging stubs would produce far less "wailing and gnashing of teeth" than trying to get them deleted -- and also far less incentive to recreate bad articles after deletion. You wouldn't merge every high school in Phoenix to the Phoenix, Arizona page, by the way. That page has a convenient listing of school districts, such as the Phoenix Union High School District which can house basic substub information. (Also, note that the fearsome task of managing all the potential Thomas Jefferson High School articles is well underway.) --Dystopos 17:49, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I truly hate to say this, but: Let me see if I can summarize your position then:
  1. The standards on the project page, which will in fact admit every school in existence, are perfectly acceptable. Since they do not screen out any schools, they are not actually standards, but rather represent a fairly elaborate codification of the fact that there are no standards, as well as offering protection against all and any contentions that standards should exist. And that's OK; that's what you want.
  2. No matter how the concerns of other Wikipedians are presented to you, you categorically and systematically refuse to accept or adopt standards which screen out any schools below the college level.
  3. No matter how the concerns of other Wikipedians are presented to you, you categorically and systematically refuse to accept the task of self-regulation, under any conditions and in any systematic manner.
  4. No matter how the benefits of self-regulation are presented to you, you categorically and systematically refuse to accept the task of self-regulation, under any conditions and in any systematic manner.
  5. As a result of 1-4, my presence here has been a nontrivial waste of time.
  • That seems like a summary of all I have read so far. Comments?--Ling.Nut 19:23, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That seems about right. In my opinion, the contention that there should be standards that exclude articles on verifiable, real-life institutions is against the mission of Wikipedia. There should be standards for how those articles are presented, of course - but yes, I believe most, if not all schools meet the existing policies for Wikipedia content and help it toward its mission. The concerns of other Wikipedians, where they undermine that mission, should be challenged. I am sorry that you have chosen to, as you say, "waste your time" with this. --Dystopos 21:54, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Partial suggestion... and good luck![edit]

Hi, others have suggested standards, so I will as well. If it seems there are important things missing it's 'cause I didn't have time t finsih. However, I'm afraid I have papers to write. I'm taking this page off my Watch List. As the Coffee Klatsch lady used to say, "Talk amongst yourselves." Good luck!

  • Regardless of any standards outlined below, any school which makes no attempt to establish notability, and whose entire content consists of less than [250] words of meaningful text and less than [3] secondary sources is automatically considered a stub. All stubs can be nominated for [merge] to an unspecified larger article. After a period of no less than two months from the date of being so nominated, all stubs are eligible for nomination for WP:AFD. This rule contravenes any other evidence of eligibility a school may have.
  • No monkeying with the standards, once they're agreed on. Proposed changes should be announced publically (by listing on this page, on a special page in the project itself, and perhaps by a blurb on the Wikipedia Signpost or similar) and given a full period of public debate before being adopted.
  1. Accredited public colleges & universities at or above the level of Tier 4 on US News & World reports rankings are automatically eligible to create and maintain high quality articles on Wikipedia. [Note: Don't sweat the "high-quality." It's not defined & not enforced, at least not above whatever enforcement applies to any and all Wikipedia articles. It's just a subliminal message of sorts... lol.]
  2. All other schools, public or private, must establish notability by a 5-point system, as described below:
    1. Schools selected as Superior School Article of the Month (by a Cmte. of the Wikiproject; if you leave it open to popular voting you'll be flooded by votes biased in favor of their own school) ---- 2 points. [This is a door for "quality points" for superior articles for schools that almost-but-not-quite meet notability standards. A given article can win only once. Winners are selected only once per month.]
    2. Schools rec'ving at least one dedicated paragraph in any national or international news article. ----- 1 point per instance. [So you see that Columbine High School (again, tragically) passes the threshold of acceptability from the very beginning.]
    3. Schools rec'ving at least one dedicated paragraph in any national or international academic journal article. ----- 1 point per instance.
    4. Schools having faculty rec'ving national or international honors of any kind -- 1 point per instance, to a maximum of 2 points.
    5. Schools having one or more students rec'ving national or international honors of any kind -- 1 point total. [So you see, if a school has 100 National Merit students, plus 4 Nobel prize winners, it gets only 1 point total. The notability of alumni should not be the centerpiece of a school's notability, to avoid cases of historical accident.]
    6. The school has notable alumni or staff (e.g. would qualify for an article under WP:BIO or WP:MUSIC). ---- 1 point.
    7. The school building or campus has notable architectural features that set it apart from others, or is officially designated as a site of Historical Interest or similar status -- 1 point.
  • Oops that's where I stopped. Cheers! --Ling.Nut 21:11, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

You want to cure "taking too much effort" with this? 8-) Let's logically separate this:

  • What to do with current school articles.
    • There is widespread consensus to merge small and not very notable school articles into the parent location. People can and should "just do it" per WP:BOLD.
    • We don't need much more rules or specifications on this, I think.
  • Wikiproject schools
    • Sounds like a great idea, though I think you're way overspecifying it. I suggest that you just create it and see who shows up to help.
    • If you want to use the above as a proposal within WP:SCHOOLS go right ahead. See what people think.

Good luck with your papers and the schools project. Georgewilliamherbert 21:43, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

New page content[edit]

I peeked again. I'm human.

OK then, in the name of intellectual honesty, I suggest that the following changes be made to the project page:

Collective goods (or social goods) are delivered to the public as public goods, when they could be delivered as private goods. This is done as an exercise in social policy as relates to the changing, maintenance or creation of living conditions that are conducive to human welfare.

National governments have in many cases established systems of public education as an exercise in public policy and as an extension of the will of the people. The Wikipedia:Schools project accepts this expression of the public good at face value. By extension, it expressly rejects the notion of establishing notability as it may apply to accredited public schools. We declare that every such school is notable without regard to any external standards, and therefore, no standards for notability are posited.

Private schools deliver private goods, and enjoy no similar mandate from the will of the people. In some cases therefore, private schools may need to meet the notability requirements of WP:CORP.

The only standards applied to school pages relate solely and specifically to the quality and quantity of the information presented. Those standards are:

  • <insert your standards about the length that is not a "stub," and the quality that is required... or desired.>
  • <note that all the talk of this 'n that and 50 years and whatever on the page should then be deleted.>

Cheers!--Ling.Nut 01:01, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

  • That's an interesting essay. I don't see that it adds anything except a POV. What if we said, "Articles on schools should follow all of Wikipedia's existing policies on content, presentation and organization. The consensus on whether most schools are notable enough to merit an article is weak. Thought should be given to whether a proposed school article meets Wikipedia's core policies on article content. To assist with improving school-related articles, the following recommendations are made:
  1. With respect to the core policy "Wikipedia has a neutral point of view", no article should be written merely to promote a school. Information should be descriptive and balanced rather than selected and polished to improve a school's image. Those with strong ties to a particular school are often highly motivated to expand Wikipedia's coverage. Those persons should be mindful, however, of the temptation to write from an overly-supportive POV.
  2. With respect to core policy "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia", all content should be composed as encyclopedia articles, not as directory or almanac data. Much information about individual schools is trivial in nature and should not be added. For Wikipedia's general audience, consider the aspects that make a particular school notable in comparison with similar schools. Is the building architecturally or historically significant? Was the school founded by a notable group or with a mind to a particular pedagogy? Have the faculty, athletic teams or academic teams attained significant achievements in competition? Have notable events taken place at the school? Was it used as a location for a notable film? Does it have well-known graduates? These topics will all carry more general interest than a mere recitation of typical school-board statistics.
  3. If there is not enough information available to write a complete article, consider expanding articles on the locality or school district to provide context before creating a new article. In these cases it is acceptable to create a redirect so that people searching for information about the school will find it. You may notice that other editors are quick to exercise boldness in merging stub articles to broader topics. This is usually the correct procedure for stub and substub articles on schools.
  4. With respect to the core policy "Wikipedia is not the place for original research", articles about schools should be compiled from verifiable sources and not from personal recollection. The degree to which a claim is controversial increases the need for citations to support the claim. (i. e. "Foo Valley is the most prestigious preparatory academy in North Foovia" would need a specific and authoritative citation, but "Foo Valley is situated on a broad knoll at the north terminus of Foo Road" is unlikely to be challenged). See Wikipedia:Reliable_sources for more information. A local library is likely to have much richer source material than the school's website.
  5. For discussion on specific content and formatting issues pertaining to school articles, and for good examples, see the project page Wikipedia:WikiProject Schools. --Dystopos 04:14, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Hiya Dystopos, the reason my essay is 100% POV is because your position is pure 100% POV: "All schools are notable." I was trying to hand you at least some form of rationale for insisting upon your personal POV. You can't logically reject POV and insist on POV in the same breath. [In fact, by stating above that I am "undermining the Mission of Wikipedia," you imply that your POV is the One True Mission of Wikipedia, further implying that people who do not embrace your POV also do not embrace the One True Mission of Wikipedia, whatever that one true mission may be...uh..I'm getting a headache.]
But it doesn't matter! :-) Really, I have been saying for three weeks that I need to work on schoolwork, and for three weeks I have been spending too much time on Wikipedia. Perhaps it's because I support the Mission of Wikipedia...? Is that at least possible...? Anyhow, I must must must stop for about 2 months. I wish everyone -- sincerely -- best wishes and Good Luck with the schools project! --Ling.Nut 12:05, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It's not that "all schools are notable", but that "all schools are notable enough to merit coverage on Wikipedia." There is a difference. One can certainly refer to non-notable schools, just as one can refer to non-notable planets or presidents. But, as a class, schools should be allowed to have articles as long as those articles follow the official policies of Wikipedia. I am not proposing that my view become Wikipedia's mission, I am proposing that my view reflects the existing mission of Wikipedia, as expressed in the first statement that greets visitors to wikimediafoundation.org: "Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." --Dystopos 17:36, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Some background re: the potential problems for maintenance of school pages. Dystopos and I had both been involved in a heavily vandalised school, Horace Mann in NYC. It was laden with POV from IP address from the schools own computers. It was interesting to note that over time our repeated reverts and talk page contributions became less important as a cadre of HM IP's got there own user ID's and started productive editing to police the vandalism and POV. I'd like to think that leading by example has helped that school become more stable and new editors have been recruited to the project. I was skeptical that this would happen but it was good to see. Likewise i have edited many problem schools that are on my watch list. Invariably they pop up on my watchlist from time to time. The ratio of productive to vandalism type edits is much higher than i wold have expected. In summary, i always thought vandalism would be an issue with the school pages. My experience, however, has been the opposite. David D. (Talk) 19:03, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Failed consensus[edit]

This talk page (especially the straw poll above) seem to make it clear that this proposed guideline has failed to get a consensus. If no one has a compelling objection in the next 48 hours or so I will tag it as such. JoshuaZ 02:15, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I sorta like what Dystopos wrote immediately above (as far as it goes), but it makes no mention of a desire to prevent stubcruft. I don't think there's any harmonious reconciliation between hard-core deletionists and hard-core inclusionists, but something resembling robust self-regulation regarding schoolstubcruft and perhaps a few other offenses (but which does not rule out the existence of High school pages per se.. fellow deletionists, we gotta sacrifice as well) may -- just may -- be a conciliatory move that would help the situation. People-- somebody's gotta give up something they don't want to give up, or this effort is doomed... No sacrifices, no progress, period. But I can't discuss at length. Papers due, blah blah blah.--Ling.Nut 16:20, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • There is a failure of consensus. So let's tag it and editors will not rely on it in the AfD realm; hey anyone can propose a guideline. Carlossuarez46 17:04, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Is there consensus for {{Unmerged School}}? If so that should be created now to get this stuff off of AfD of do we just force the use of the {{mergto}} as consensus. Vegaswikian 19:12, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I don't really see why a special template would be needed for merging schools. {{mergeto}} would do fine. Of course, the merge is much more likely to be accomplished quickly if one just does it instead of adding tags. Unfortunately, since there's no clear agreement about when schools should be merged, discussions about whether individual merges should in fact occur will probably be much more complicated than they would be were a proposal like this to be approved. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
      • Do you think that a consensus guideline for merging could be achieved? If so, then we would have something that could be expanded in the future. Vegaswikian 21:06, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
        • I think it will be difficult, partly because a guideline on when to merge and when not to merge implies that the information is being kept either way. So it is impossible to divest this organizational issue (which is in fact pretty well agreed on) from the issue of whether to include schools in Wikipedia, which obviously remains very controversial. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:39, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
        • Regarding a merging guideline, WP:LOCAL has been pretty dormant the past few months. With WP:SCHOOL stalling, I'm thinking of pushing WP:LOCAL a bit more, <plug>so any comments/suggestions/work/whatever on that would be much appreciated</plug>. JYolkowski // talk 21:51, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
          • Well, if we were to follow WP:LOCAL then we could state 'use {{merge}} instead of AfD' and insert the template in the article if that is appropiate when you browse the article before voting. Vegaswikian 22:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The sole and only point of {{Unmerged School}} was that it would place the article in a category that could be watched by dedicated editors. I for one am willing to let school articles which have a certain number of secondary sources live (and let live), and am willing to be flexible about how many sources is enough. I was hoping for compromise in which both sides make meaningful sacrifices. But.... --Ling.Nut 22:59, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
    • As to both "sides" (a term I detest) making sacrifices, this doesn't have anyone but the "deletionists" making sacrifices. In any event, let me reask my quesition: do we think this is in fact a failed guideline at this point in time? JoshuaZ 01:34, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't really see the "deletionists" having to sacrifice, as very little's getting deleted right now anyway. To answer your actual question, as much as I'd like this to succeed, I'm thinking it might be time to concede that it's probably going to be difficult to reach consensus with all parties and move on. JYolkowski // talk 01:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
        • I think that this one at least seems to have been closer than the previous to reaching a consensus. I think it almost would make most of the anti-school people happy. At least for me, any possibility of considering standard government reports towards the multiple sources is highly problematic. I'd almost be willing to support if not for that. JoshuaZ 03:52, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
          • I assume you mean that government reports are great sources, but shouldn't count toward some kind of minimum requirement for the number of sources needed to establish that a school exists and can be written about? --Dystopos 04:36, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
            • Exactly. My other primary issue with this is that schools are automatically included if they are part of a series. I see no rational for this. Apart from these two (major) issues I would be willing to consider this a reasonable compromise. JoshuaZ 15:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
              • <frustration>Wonderful. So you've agreed on what you want. When it comes time to get feedback from those of us who actually regularly work on editing and reading school articles, let us know.</frustration> It is incredible to see how polarized many of us are -- myself included, I know! -- when it comes to school articles... In addition to being a member of a school wikiproject, I'm a also a member of the bridge wikiproject, and I find it interesting to see how some wikiprojects don't suffer the same problem as schools. There isn't a drive by a group of people to keep trying to delete large groups of tiny 2 or 3 sentence articles on bridges over no-name creeks in the middle of nowhere. The project members actually get to work on articles instead of wasting so many precious hours on administration! Why have schools been singled out this way? For example, why is it ok for people to create a series of articles on all of the bridges that cross Springfield Creek, but to create a series of articles on schools in the town of Springfield a difficult thing for some to accept? --Stéphane Charette 16:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                • Hmm, I don't know why schools have been singled out except that possibly they are more common articles than bridges. However, I didn't even know there was a bridge project and would be more than happy to take a look at what sort of notability criteria are or are not being applied to them. "large groups of tiny 2 or 3 sentence articles on bridges over no-name creeks in the middle of nowhere" seem even more unnotable than schools. JoshuaZ 17:40, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                  • I fail to grasp who would be helped by looking around for new places to apply "notability criteria" when there is no official policy on notability. --Dystopos 17:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                  • Also one other detail- this isn't actually what I would want but it seems more like a reasonable compromise rather than an excuse to keep all schools. JoshuaZ 17:51, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                • I think the reason is clear, schools make it to AfD on a regular basis. The reason for this is that many of the articles are a complete joke from the perspective of POV, so many editors just go for AfD if the schools is otherwise unnotable, rather than cleaning it up or merging it. I suspect the no name bridge articles are not laden with POV, hence people let them lie. David D. (Talk) 17:46, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                  • These articles are non-encyclopedic. The only reason Wikipedia has any credibility at all is because we don't have junk. We don't include minor things like garage bands and I don't see any difference between that and "bridges over no-name creeks in the middle of nowhere" (Schools also are vandalism magnets, presumably bridges will have less of that problem). JoshuaZ 17:51, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                    • Can you show me any independent review that has questioned Wikipedia's credibility on the basis of having too many articles? It seems that people questioning our credibility focus on errors and accountability, not on there being "too much information". No one here is proposing dropping the standards for accuracy and accountability. Schools are much more notable and documentable than garage bands, so I would hope you would see a difference. The biggest vandalism magnets are the most central articles, not the ones on the periphery. Yes, there have been many cases where partisans use school articles to push their POV, but their presence also encourages participation by new Wikipedians (as I've witnessed more than once). The way to handle vandalism is to watch articles and enforce standards of conduct, not to delete verifiable content. --Dystopos 18:02, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                    • Why worry about junk articles on Wikipedia? Most of it is junk anyway, and school articles are an insignificant contributor to that. Timmy12 23:11, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
                      • To some extent I would argue that independent sources so far have not criticized us for that because we have done a good job keeping such junk out. JoshuaZ 14:50, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

[undo indent]Some background re: the potential problems for maintenance of school pages. Dystopos and I had both been involved in a heavily vandalised school, Horace Mann in NYC. It was laden with POV from IP address from the schools own computers. It was interesting to note that over time our repeated reverts and talk page contributions became less important as a cadre of HM IP's got there own user ID's and started productive editing to police the vandalism and POV. I'd like to think that leading by example has helped that school become more stable and new editors have been recruited to the project. I was skeptical that this would happen but it was good to see. Likewise i have edited many problem schools that are on my watch list. Invariably they pop up on my watchlist from time to time. The ratio of productive to vandalism type edits is much higher than i wold have expected. In summary, i always thought vandalism would be an issue with the school pages. My experience, however, has been the opposite. David D. (Talk) 19:05, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I've had similar experiences in some cases, but I have many school articles on my watchlist and many of them go in the other direction. There are (as I understand it) frequent OTRS complaints about long-term vandalism and related problems on school articles. JoshuaZ 14:50, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Repeated vandalism is not a reason to keep an article on an otherwise notable subject (school, or otherwise -- you might be amazed at how many times that vandalism to the rather noncontroversial article Nile has to be reverted but that doesn't mean it ought to be merged with something or deleted). What we have is a failure of consensus that all schools are inherently notable enough to have WP articles. I for one am of the opinion that lots of schools are so un-notable that were they all (must be more than 1,000,000 or more of them) made articles at WP, WP would be generally a school directory with some other articles besides. And were we to have adopted an "all schools are notable" position, then we have the debate over whether private schools, traffic schools, typing schools, correspondence schools, home schools, "alternative schools", prison reformatories, and anything else that may pass for education is notable: yes "all" means "all" in the same way as "all men were created equal" coexisted with slavery. So, where do we go from here? I think that schools that don't merit independent articles be descibed in their school district's article where there is one, and where there isn't one like the laugh-a-minute traffic school that should be a pretty big red flag that the school doesn't merit a mention anywhere at WP (we're not an indiscriminate collection of information, right). Carlossuarez46 23:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with your observation that many schools won't have worthwhile articles any time soon, and I agree that many of the ones we do have should be merged with articles on their school district or locality. I disagree with those who insist on deleting these articles, especially using "notability" as the measure. In my opinion most, if not all, schools have the potential to have worthwhile articles written - but that doesn't mean that they will. Until they do, a redirect is perfectly harmless. Even if Wikipedia did have 10 school articles for every other article, you'd never know unless you use the "random article" link for a while to get a sampling. I think it's better to have a functioning redirect than an invitation to create a new article. And for those that merit deletion, like Bob's Upstairs Typing School of East Podunk, the normal criteria will suffice on AfD without our efforts to pre-ordain the limits of notability. If someone writes a fantastic, neutral and comprehensive article on their elementary school I'd rather have that in our encyclopedia than another obsessive list of every pop-culture reference in a Simpsons episode. --Dystopos 07:03, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Are you saying that your objection to deletion is the lack of a redirect? I would suspect that the vast majority of those some consider deletionists would strongly support leaving a redirect with a merge. My feeling is that the deletionists don't object to the information, just to it being in an article until it becomes notable. Vegaswikian 07:21, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
    • How is the continued effort to remove school information from Wikipedia congruent with the idea that most deletionists don't object to the information? Clearly someone objects to the information, because people keep taking the articles to AFD, and lots of people are "voting" delete. Christopher Parham (talk) 15:57, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The matter is slightly more complicated. I suspect many "deletionists" would not mind short summaries about the schools, but would in fact prefer that the majority of the information be removed. I don't think anyone would ever reject simple redirects ever. JoshuaZ 18:36, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Failed Consensus. While I respect all parties involved in this discussion, and am beginning to see some value in school articles, all the comments I see above seem to me at least to be offshoots from fixed positions, with respect to the issue at hand. I don't see any effort directed at determining criteria for inclusion as an article. I don't see anyone's position moving toward any compromise. I hope my own position has not been expressed too harshly. In particular, by expressly using the terms deletionist and inclusionist, I fear I may have sidetracked the discussion onto fruitless debate. Cheers. --Ling.Nut 17:28, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Can I suggest a simple criteria for including information on a school - that there is someone willing to put it in! Then lets decide where it goes. I think the idea of a tag to ask school entries to merge is a good one because it is extremely rude to greet a new (possibly fairly young) author with the words DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE - in a playground it would be called bullying. A much more positive message is to say "please merge your article with". Better still would be to have a much more positive attitude, an article on every school ensures a complete coverage of all areas of population. Even if you personally don't like the school entry, it will bring in more recruits, because local schools are much more likely to research the local history and add entries if they also have an entry - obvious its got to be in proportion. If a sensible policy like this can't be accomodated then someone should set up a wiki-school project with the intention of completing an entry for every school worldwide!
  • So you want to have completely different criteria for schools and for all other content? Or do you think that every flash animation should be included as long as someone is willing to put it in? Guy 11:23, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

My reasoning[edit]

I believe that any educational institution is notable as long as it is accredited. However, non-acredited educational institutions can also be notable if they have a notable history. --Ineffable3000 01:26, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Notability[edit]

Honestly, the fact that a school has existed for 500 years is still meaningless in Wikipedia terms if no one's ever written anything about it. I mean think about it, if it wasn't written down anywhere verifiable, you'd just be taking my word for it that the place was 500 years old.

Likewise with all of the other criteria after the first one. A school may have some awesome program, but if all we can cite about it is the personal knowledge of students of parents, that's not fair game for an encyclopedia article. None of those things existing guarantees that we'll be able to write a good article about them, it's not like the minute a school has a cool architectural feature that reporters show up to write a story on it, thus giving us information to use in an article of our own.

So I say that criteria 2 through 7 be instead classified as something along the lines of "Signs that a school probably has been the subject of non-trivial published works". --W.marsh 01:46, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

  • If nothing has been published about the school, it doesn't meet WP:Verifiability. I don't see the point in adding another policy here that would only confuse that primary criterion. --Dystopos 03:25, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Well something could not meet WP:V but people would still vote keep because the school supposedly meet one of the other criteria listed on this page. --W.marsh 12:59, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That would be improper under existing guidelines, so I don't know that adding more guidelines will change it. If the school's existence is verifiable, but there's little or nothing to say about it in an encyclopedia, it is not necessary to delete it. Better to create a redirect to a real article so as not to tempt the next person who searches to start a new worthless article. --Dystopos 13:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • A 500 year old school must have had something written about it, if only to confirm that it was built 500 years ago. Any institution of education that has lasted that long, even if it is not mentioned in history books, is pretty remarkable in my book. — RJH (talk) 21:31, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

All schools are notable[edit]

All schools are notable to the people who have attended them. Just because I didn't attend a high school doesn't mean that others aren't looking for information about them. --Alpharigel 18:55, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

First of all, my high school sucked. I only consider it "notable" because I was forced to go there for four years. My high school happens to be rather notable in the encyclopedic sense, but your first statement is completely untrue. Second of all, why isn't the hospital where one was born inherently notable? Why isn't a child's little league team (believe me, I learned more from playing team sports during second grade than I did in second grade) inherently notable? Why aren't many unaccredited diploma mill "colleges" inherently notable? They are to someone. Considering both of my parents and two of my aunts were teachers, I certainly have great respect for the school system as far as a child's development is concerned. However, they are not notable simply for existing. -- Kicking222 20:56, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
This conversation exemplifies the reason we don't need to create a policy here on notability. It's subjective. We're better off enforcing Wikipedia's core policies instead of coming up with separate criteria on notability. A truly non-notable institution will be plainly unsuited for an encyclopedia article under existing criteria; and any other institution will be unlikely to command a consensus for deletion with or without a guideline. --Dystopos 03:28, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
However, the way wikipedia works, if you get a group of core supporters you can cause articles on a subject to be deleted or kept. Hence you can in fact have non notable articles kept and notable articles deleted. Vegaswikian 05:24, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
All houses are notable to the people who've lived in them, and the hospitals thing has been pointed out. Subjective "it's notable to me" notability criteria is what we're trying to avoid here, because it's pure bias. --W.marsh 13:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, that's exactly what I'm saying. We can avoid playing into bias and factionalism altogether by NOT creating a separate "notability test" for schools and instead applying the core policies of WP:Verifiability, WP:No original research, and WP:Neutral point of view to school articles as they appear. Surely our time would be better spent fixing real problems instead of anticipating bogeymen. --Dystopos 13:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. The school sould be the primary focus of multiple non-trivial coverage in reliable sources independent of the school itself. This would exclude directory entries, league tables and inspection reports, because those are not significanctly from the building regulations approval report for a new building; inspectons are required in some jurisdictions. My school is notable, most are not. Guy 21:58, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Are you suggesting that the results of government inspections are "trivial"? Kappa 23:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think the bigger point than the triviality (or non-triviality) of gov't inspections is that every school has one, so inspections don't confirm notability. -- Kicking222 13:17, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Correct. It's as notable as a building inspection report. The forms of words are settled in advance and the amount of non-boilerplate text in an individual inspection report is very small. They are valuable to the school (or rather, the post-inspection wrap-up is valuable) but of remarkably little use to a parent. The school's PANDA would be of much more use but this is confidential. Guy 10:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

PROTECTION OF Coral Way K-8 Center[edit]

To whom it may concern,

Coral Way K-8 Center is a VERY notable school. Principals accross the US visit there to dive in and investigate the bilingual program.

Chances are its due to recent vandalism. In that case, see the discussion page on Coral Way K-8 Center.

Once again, save this article. --Hempfel 00:32, 26 October 2006 (UTC)User:Hempfel

  • I've overhauled the article to meet with Wikipedia's standards. There was a lot of editorializing and trivia that needed to be dumped. Nevertheless, the decision to put this school on "proposed deletion" on the grounds of not meeting the "notability standards of WP:SCHOOLS" was poorly made. First of all, WP:SCHOOLS is only a proposed guideline. Secondly, this school was a pioneer in bilingual education. I have removed the template. --Dystopos 20:09, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Notability Criteria 2 and 6[edit]

Regarding these two criteria that help establish notability... I feel they are FAR too encompassing and virtually make the rest of the criteria useless. Almost all high schools of any reasonable size are going to have some notable alumni, whether high schools or junior highs. Also, a large number of the public schools in the US are more than 50 years old. Take these two issues combined and you have a recipe for accepting virtually every high school in the United States. Is that really what we want? --The Way 18:45, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with the alumni part, just about every decent size school will have notable alumni. TJ Spyke 22:04, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Who are your main customers?[edit]

I don't know why Wikipedia is so inward looking, perhaps it is because it is none commercial and really caters for the nerds (like me) that put in articles rather than those that read them. By far the biggest users of an encyclopedia must be the school children at secondary school doing home work. If a school has 30 people entering each year then it is notable to around 2100 people who directly went there and perhaps another 2-5000 who know the school in some way. That population is bigger than many villages that get a mention on wikipedia. This is a stupid inward looking policy which can only do harm to wikipedia --Mike 07:48, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't necessarily agree (and I don't think merely calling it 'stupid' helps in anyway). A lot of institutions are relevant to people, however that does not mean that they all deserve articles. Almost everyone in the developed world is born in a hospital and thousands of individuals work in many hospitals, should we have articles for all of them (I borrowed this example from someone else). What about restaurants, small businesses, police departments, fired departments, elementary schools, preschools and every other conceivable institution that has public effects? They're all notable to people, but we don't need articles for every single one.
Most high schools do the same things in the same way: they educate students in grades 9 through 12 and follow state guidelines in the way they approach that education. They just differ in things such as the size of their population, their location, their mascot, their sports teams, etc. Wikipedia is not a directory and there are better sources out there if you need to look up the location of a school. There are notable exceptions and these deserve articles, but I don't see why the rest do; it's not being 'inward looking' but rather discriminating as to what types of things are appropriate for an encyclopedia, albeit one following a revolutionary concept. Giving thousands upon thousands of schools, no matter how small, articles takes up resources, monetarily and labor-wise, that could be better utilized elsewhere. I do agree that Universities should all get articles; there are enough differences among them and their significance is high enough to warrant them. But everyone goes to high school (at least in the developed world) and most function roughly the same way with the same purpose. Keep in mind, also, that having a policy that allows all schools can't discriminate by country, thus you'll have to accept articles for every school worldwide.
  • Also, just as a side note: you asked who Wikipedia's main customers and speculated it's mostly secondary school children. I may be wrong, but I believe they actually represent only a relatively small percentage of users; most editors, at least, seem to be either college students, college graduates or individuals who have specialized knowledge in particular areas. This is just speculatory, but it would be interesting to have some hard statistics on it. --The Way 08:06, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I have had experience researching the most unlikely areas. Sometimes the only people providing any information about a small village or remote hamlet is the local school. Now I don't know which areas are important until I need to find information about them and I would find it much much more difficult to find the information I need without these local schools. Moreover, school kid doing an essay that can't even find there own big school in Wikipedia (whilst a posh school next door is mentioned) will immediately suspect the whole information content is biased and go look somewhere where either all schools are mentioned or none at all. Perhaps one way to achieve this is to encourage schools to group together their entries by area rather than all having their own entry. I don't know why Wikipedia is so inward looking and hostile to new authors (everyschool child is a potential new author)! --Mike 08:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
    • A major problem with the "let's encourage the children to write about their school!" argument is that it demonstrably results in articles like this and this, semi-libellous non-articles, full of things that happened in school one day and no real information. Remember the Skutt suit. We don't want such articles. That's far from the only such non-article that I've seen grown by schoolchildren. I suggest that those with administrator access look at Special:Undelete/Tile Hill Wood Girls School, moreover, which actually is grossly libellous (albeit not of specific named people). See Special:Undelete/Northshore Junior High for another of many similar examples. The argument about encouraging schoolchildren is deeply flawed. It hands a significant potential libel headache to Wikipedia. It's missing the point entirely, in fact. We want to encourage good editors, of any age. But we want to strongly discourage editors who give us libellous content. Uncle G 12:42, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The reason this initiative is "Failed Consensus" is becaue there are a large number of people who take the pure, unadulterated P-O-V (please see ref: WP:NPOV) that all schools are notable as an article of One True School Faith. There is no willingness to exclude any school based on notability (or rather the lack of notability). We've poured hours of typing and killed tons of cyber-trees :-) making that plain and proving it incontrovertibly.
  • There do seem to be some -- perhaps a minority! -- in that group who would be willing to delete utter meaningless "what happened in school one day" v-a-n-i-t-y p-a-g-e-s. But they seem to be a minority. Most seem willing to break two of the five pillars (at least by implication: #1 implies no vanity pages; and #2 explicitly states no POV) to put their schools on WikiPedia...
  • I am not sure why they don't start an alternate Wiki. WikiSchools. Wikipedia is an encylopedia; not MySpace for Schools.
  • But I shouldn't be typing this. It will go n-o-w-h-e-r-e. As we have spent hours proving.
  • --Ling.Nut 13:01, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Comprehensive coverage - foundations too?[edit]

The proposed text only allows for "school board" or "district" as the framework for a comprehensive set of articles. That's specifying some kind of geographic/government boundary as the only option. (There's an earlier discussion [4] about school districts.) Thinking of different structures or categories, and how editors might want to build up coverage, I suggest we ought to widen the definition to allow "other notable organization" too. OK? --Mereda 10:15, 27 October 2006 (UTC) I've popped that into the text now so it's there for others to pick up when, if ever, a new proposal gets started.--Mereda 15:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

This seems actually rejected at this point, are you trying to make it even more inclusive and thus even more likely to be rejected? This seems almost poison pillish in its absurdity. JoshuaZ 07:39, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that he is just proposing that the list of possible merge targets be expanded; this doesn't seem particularly inclusionist. Although I agree with you that it's probably time to call this rejected. It's obviously not gaining a lot of traction. The status quo will do for now. Christopher Parham (talk) 07:47, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm not happy with the status quo and would prefer almost any guideline if it actually had some consensus behind it but this getting ridiculous. Also, unless I'm missing something abotu Mereda's comment that this seems to be not just about mergers but seems to be part of the comprehensive coverage section [5]. JoshuaZ 07:56, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Joshua, have you read Rob's page on school districts? See User:Thivierr/school_district_myths. It seems that Mereda's edit it just trying to encompass other grouping scenarios with that wording. I wonder if s/he has a specific example in mind when making that edit? David D. (Talk) 08:07, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is a fascinating essay. Its relevance to this point is not obvious to me. JoshuaZ 08:09, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry i was just looking at the edit more carefully and now note the comprehensive coverage location. i am jumping into a conversation cold here. I was assuming this was criteria for a merge target and that would be reasonable. Reading the page i can't figure out what comprehensive coverage is referring to on this page. What am I missing here? David D. (Talk) 08:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The current wording is not as explicit as it was earlier. The comprehensive coverage clause asserted that if an editor or group of editors was systematically making articles about a specific set of schools of some type (such as in a school district) than they should all be kept. I and many editors find this to be an unacceptable loophole allowing absolutely all schools to be kept regardless WP:N and Wikipedia is not a directory as long as an editor is being systematic. Mereda's edit widens that loophole. JoshuaZ 13:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I see no problem in keeping it as a redirect to the school district (or whatever) page. May be the wording needs to be more clear. David D. (Talk) 22:08, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

re:Failed consensus tag removed for "rv. rejection. still under discussion. no concensus to reject has been formed.."[edit]

The failed consensus tag has been removed because "rv. rejection. still under discussion. no concensus to reject has been formed"

You seem to be missing the point that those of the 'All Schools Are Notable" position -- refusing to compromise, refusing to negotiate, utterly willing to break two of Wikipedi'as Five Pillars in order to push that particular POV -- will never agree to a consensus to reject. --Ling.Nut 13:31, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

To speak more clearly, the rationale for removing the Failed Consensus tag is untenable, because it sets a fundamentally unreachable standard for "Failed Consensus". The definition of "Failed Consensus" should be "Failure to Reach Consensus."--Ling.Nut 13:38, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I replaced it. Read the darn tag, Dgies. "It has not gained consensus and seems unlikely to do so." That is the case. It has not gained anything close to acceptance, and is very unlikely to do so. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:57, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Wow. Calm down. Perhaps removing the tag was too blunt a method for what I meant to say:
Certain aspects of this proposal, namely some positive criteria for notability, look like they have consensus. Others, like what types of schools are automatically notable, seem unlikely to reach consensus. This doesn't mean the whole proposal has to be junked, just that only parts of it should be used as a guideline. Look for example at Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Precedents: some rules are always applied, others require the subject to be judged on its own merits. I don't think it's an impossible standard for "Failed Consensus" to require proposals with consensus on some criteria may be promoted separately from those criteria which do lack consensus. Dgies 16:00, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The logical extension of this argument would be to take each and every line of the proposal on the project page (and sometimes perhaps clauses within lines!) and submit them separately to straw polls. You seriously wanna go that route? I suspect it would only result in adding another year to this discussion, and very little progress toward compromise. Thanks--Ling.Nut 16:10, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The guideline needs to be considered in its entirety. While there may be consensus for parts of the proposal, even if those were removed and put up for a vote they might not reach consensus. Why? They don't form the basis of a complete guideline. It's what they ignore that still needs to be addressed. Editors will support some portions of a guideline in an affort to achieve conseusus. Removing the renaminder of the topic could well mean that the perceived consensus for parts of the guideline would also be lost. Vegaswikian 19:10, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The fundamental problem is that a guideline which does not say "all schools are inherently notable" will be vehemently opposed by a few, while one that includes such a statement will be equally vehemently opposed by the balanced. There can never be consensus because one side refuses to countenance even the possibility of compromise. Thus: it is rejected. Guy 20:28, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the rejection tag. This is for two reasons. First: The rationale for rejection was that "this has been going on for two years". That's clearly false. It hasn't. As the edit history will show, this proposal was created a little over two months, not years, ago. Second: This proposal isn't, in fact, rejected. It has actually begun to be used in AFD discussions of schools. I've seen several editors base their AFD rationales, for both keeping and deleting, on the criteria here. The community has not rejected this proposal. What we have are a very few editors on this talk page clamouring for its rejection, claiming that "the community" has rejected it, when in fact it is only they themselves that have rejected it. In other words, what we have are a very few people wanting to declare this proposal rejected by simple fiat, rather than by observation of what the community has actually been doing. In actual practice, it has begun to be accepted and employed by some editors. I strongly suspect that this will continue. Uncle G 20:53, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

  • The argument over notability of schools has been going on for well over two years. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:03, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Nonetheless, that doesn't change the facts that this proposal is in actual use in practice and that it has only existed since August. Uncle G 10:49, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Hiya Uncle G, I dunno where the whole two years thing came from either. I was thrown by that... it was a down the rabbit hole moment. I'm feeling dazed and disoriented. But seriously, all accusations of a tiny cabal of rejection-minded souls aside, do you seriously, sincerely and truly see any hope that there will ever be any resolution to this debate? JzG|Guy said it correctly:
    1. There is a vocal group who assert that "ALL schools are notable."
    2. There is an opposing group (count me among them) who assert that "There is no way under the sun that all schools are notable."
  • One group wants EVERYTHING. The other group, on the other hand, does not want NOTHING, we just want some meaningful guidelines. Heck, I plan to write an article about a freaking kindergarten in the next few months. Why? I searched for it on Google Scholar (not just plain ol' Google, whose results are clogged with Wikipedia-clones) and got 35 ghits. Dude, I see possibilities there. But again, in all seriousness, there is just no hope. Some people value schools more than encyclopedias; some people value encyclopedias more than schools. It is a question of ranking contradictory constraints. That's all! And thanks for your comments.--Ling.Nut 21:08, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
    • So... why not agree to "XYZ are valid criteria to establish the notability of a school. In the absence of these criteria, there is no consensus and schools should be handled on a case-by-case basis." --Dgies 05:53, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
    • There is hope. The schools debate has begun to change recently, partly because of this very proposal and people putting it into practice. It's a very slow process, but there is hope that editors will stop parroting dogma, employing "stuck record" arguments, and making subjective judgements, and will start focusing upon each individual subject at hand and upon the finding, reading, citing, and evaluating of published works dealing with that subject, as is required in order to employ these criteria properly. A change in the character of debates happened for companies with the introduction of WP:CORP, with web sites with WP:WEB, and it has begun to happen for schools with these criteria. It's simply a slower process for schools. Uncle G 10:49, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Current policy exempts....[edit]

.....all public schools and most private schools from deletion. Time for someone to put something new on the table.

  • Sorry for the long subject/headline, but I guess it about says it all.
  • This project, with its current wording, will never gain consensus.
    • The reason is given in the distressingly long subject line: there is absolutely no provision for deletion of any public school, ever. Almost every imaginable private school would be safe as well, except perhaps for Kung Fu Lessons in someone's garage.
  • I think 7 days should be long enough for someone to put something new on the table. If that doesn't happen, then I'll be the one to tag the project "Failed Consensus" this time.
  • By the way, and just as an aside, I found out what was going on with the "this discussion is 2 years old" thread. If you look at "What links here" you can find discussions of (apparently) a previous project with precisely the same name. That project, obviously, died. At that time, the fact of the project's existence was frequently referred to in AFD discussions as a sort of default dev/null argument for filing any attempts to AFD any school.
  • But that's not the main point. The main point is:
  • [Insert new proposal which makes provision for deletion of schools here]:
  • Thanks --Ling.Nut 21:53, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Remind me, what was your objection to merging the really crap school articles until an editor is willing to improve it beyond a microstub? While this does not involve a deletion it does mean the actual article only exists as a redirect. This is a problem for you? David D. (Talk) 22:04, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, this is not a policy and the proposal is not likely to gain consensus in this form. So it will die again. It would be nice to reach a compromise. Also I don't see where it exempts all public schools from deletion. Vegaswikian 22:06, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
The old one is at Wikipedia talk:Schools/Defunct, but there was one with a different name before that, in addition to the Wikipedia:Schools/Arguments and their predecessors. I could dig through history and find the older stuff, but why bother? Nothing new at all. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:09, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Wow, remind me never to make a subject header that long again. It takes up the whole edit summary box. Well, I suppose everyone has to do it once. :-)
  • Vegaswikian, were you referring to my comments or David D's when you said "This is not a policy...?" I'm just not clear as to the reference. Thanks.--Ling.Nut 01:21, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
    • The section heading. Vegaswikian 06:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • David D, given time I might come up with several objections to merging. Off the top of my head:
  1. Without AFD, there is no mechanism for finding microstubs and merging them. Will pro-school people patrol the new stubs? I mean, on an ongoing basis? I tried to get people to set up a WikiProject to do similar things... the response was a rush to ignore.
  2. Merged non-notable shtuff is still non-notable and non-encyclopedic shtuff.
  3. Leaving aside the issue of stubs & moving on to schools that have content (but not notability): Why does every school have a right to exist in an encyclopedia (which is not a list, or a directory, or least of all MySpace for Schools)?
Gosh, why don't you just make a separate Wiki for schools? There you can do whatever you want (that isn't actionable, I mean ... :-) ).--Ling.Nut 01:47, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Go ahead an keep trying to find a reason to object to redirects. These aren't very convincing. Using AfD to enforce article quality is like using an appeals court to enforce talking in class. Notability needs to be thought of across categories of articles, not within those categories. By that measure, schools are among the least of our problems. It will have to be enough that we enforce verifiability and neutrality. The growth of Wikipedia is redefining what "encyclopedic" means. Heavy metal umlaut wasn't encyclopedic in 1999, but here it was a featured article. A well-written article on a school should be given the same opportunity without having to defend itself against arbitrary rules to appease deletionists. An article's right to exist is set forth by its creator, its editors, and the existing policies of Wikipedia. That "right" does not need to be further restricted by writing new policies. Every problem that could possibly occur other than "I don't like to see so many articles" can be solved by applying existing policies. --Dystopos 02:49, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The principal problem with redirects, Dystopos, is that no one is there to make sure they happen. I don't wanna clog up AFD, but there is no AFR (article for redirect). The problem is that after a while they won't happen. The whole discussion of merging etc. seems like a sham clause to me; an escape hatch that exists merely to deflect talk of deletion (and never to actually be used, unless somehow forced to by repeated AFDs or similar).

I'm surprised Vegaswikian said "I don't see where it exempts all public schools from deletion." Vegaswikian, you've been in the same threads I have. The policy is intended to prevent deletion. Period.

As for Wikipedia redefining "encyclopedia," it is just as likely that is becoming an uncyclopedia instead. I dunno.

Gosh, pro-school people, your policy/guideline/whatever in a nutshell is "We don't need no stinking policy.. or guideline.. or suggestion.. or whatever."

Does any of that make sense?--Ling.Nut 03:05, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, it does. I suggested a guideline above that added no new policies, but applied existing policies to the issues that frequently arise with school articles. That is my recommendation for WP:Schools. As for "AfR", the process is called "edit this page". If a stub appears in a forest and no editor sees it, did it make a sound? --Dystopos 04:52, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • But here we go round in a circle again. Current policy deletes nothing (mmm, only a few perhaps that the pro-school people may perhaps be sleeping during the AFD or something).
  • Stubs are not my main issue; tho others may not agree with me. My main issue is a full-page "Foo Valley High" article that has three count them three refs in one strictly local paper over a thirty-year period (one retirement, and two competition also rans -- one in cheerleading and one in chess). The rest of the page is taken up with prosaic mediocrity about school spirit etc.
  • You want the world. You want it all. You want every school in America on Wikipedia; heck, throw in Canada, the UK, and any other country that happens along as well. You'll keep banging away until you get what you want. I hate to say this, but you do not care what anyone else wants. You only care what you want.
  • Mmmmm, those are pointed words. It's late.--Ling.Nut 05:07, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Lingnut, you need to be wary of labelling people here as pro-school. If you look back at the history of this debate I was very deletionist with respect to schools but I soon realised that it was a huge time sink. My opinions are shaped by the reality of schools here in wikipedia, not by any desire to keep all school articles. It seems to me that the important thing here is to divert these really bad school articles from going to AfD.
A while back i messed around with creating School District pages as holding tanks for school stubs. One, Howard County Public Schools, has grown quite well since I was last involved in March from this to its current format. Another, the Lincoln_Public_Schools, holds all the information from several middle school stubs that were created. I think this works relatively well since the miniscule amount of information can be kept. These pages can be much more than directories AND have much more context than single school articles. So I think there are quite a few advantages gained from a merge redirect approach rather than a delete approach.
Users who continually send school microstubs to AfD can be encouraged to merge them and categorise them as Category:Redirects_from_school_articles rather than trying to get them deleted. Surely this is a win-win proposal since all the time saved from the endless squabbling on AfD can be used to either improve the schools in the redirect category or hunt down more microstubs to merge or improve (depending on your inclusionist or deletionist tendancies). School district pages (and such) get renovation, school articles get improved or merged, the arguments stop.
When a bad school article is found the real question should be "merge or not?". This is the savvy argument for several reasons.
  1. verifiable school articles created on wikipedia are kept with the potential for improvement (inclusionists kept happy);
  2. opportunity to merge the really bad articles that really add nothing of value to the encyclopedia (deletionists kept happy);
  3. more productive wo/man hours can be devoted to improving school articles rather than defending/criticising them on AfD;
  4. merge targets such as school districts or town pages get improved;
  5. there is less bad blood between otherwise productive editors in wikipedia.
The alternative is to continue using Afd as the school improvement drive. And argue bitterly while the improvements are in progress. Anyone that thinks this is preferable is not looking at this from a lost productivity perspective. Why do we continue arguing about deletion rather than just asking ourselves should this school microstub be merged or is there room for improvement? David D. (Talk) 05:21, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

As David D. says, you are confused about several very basic things: Deletion isn't the answer to everything. Merger into articles with broader scopes is just as employable for schools and school districts (or other umbrella organizations) as it is for WP:FICT and other subjects. The discussion fora for discussing mergers and redirects are article talk pages, and the way to merge an article is to simply do the merger yourself, following the procedure. (There is no foundation to any claim that one is helpless to do mergers. Even editors without accounts have the necessary tools to do mergers.) AFD isn't a method for policing micro-stubs either. And the fact that a lot of subjects exceed the threshold is a cause for you to complain to the world at large that it creates lots of non-trivial published works about subjects, not anything to do with Wikipedia. (The well-known and long-since-refuted Pokémon argument, which is what this is, is simply rebutted by pointing to things like Bulbasaur#Notes_and_references. If one has a complaint that the world writes lots of stuff about subjects that one personally deems to be trivial, and not enough about subjects that one personally deems to be important, then it is to the world at large that one must address one's complaint. Campaign for people in the world at large to stop writing about the things that one personally deems to be trivial and start writing about the things that one personally deems to be important. Persuade the world to make more source material on those latter. Wikipedia is not the tool for fixing any perceived disproportionate skews of the corpus of human knowledge. Wikipedia reflects human knowledge. It doesn't create it.) Uncle G 12:35, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I never even tried to suggest that deletion is the solution to everything. Theoretically, I support the idea of well-managed mergers in many cases. Please argue the theoretical issues involved in the stubs/mergers issue with other people, not me. My problem with stubs/mergers is that I am extremely skeptical (for a large number of very benign and very prosaic reasons) that these will ever actually be done in the majority of cases. [There will of course be exceptions.]
  • My overarching problem -- please hear -- is that the current policy removes deletion from the table. It does so implicitly, not explicitly, by making every Foo Valley High article notable by default. Please mentally underscore this point.
  • If you reduce a Foo Valley High page to its pure factual content, it is completely non-unique in every way except for the names of the people involved. We have a term for articles whose content is completely non-unique in every aspect except for the names of the actors involved. We call them WP:VANITY.
  • I've decided that the term deletionist is inappropriate in my case. I am an encyclopediast. I want to see well-developed, well-referenced articles whose factual content is not pure vanity.
  • Mmmmmmm, one very minor point: it's fairly obvious that this discussion is full of pro-school people. Count the number of times that people have flatly asserted "All schools are notable." But I retract the term if it is offensive to some. I will use it no more.
  • Oops, late for real life stuff! Again, please forgive if I have offended anyone.--Ling.Nut 14:16, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I am not offended by being called pro-school, although I am not, I just wanted you to be aware that the arguments for merger, rather than deletion, are coming from both sides of the debate. Historically, over a year ago, the merge with a redirect option came from discussion initiated by User:Hipocrite and User:Thivierr (Rob) who both tend to be more inclusionist. Many who would rather see schools deleted, such as User:Gateman1997 and User:Denni) saw it as a fair compromise (you'll need to check through the Wikipedia talk:Notability (schools) archives here and here). Clearly there are extreme views on both sides that refuse to accept mergers as viable. I ask you though, where else can we meet on this issue? In reality a solid merging policy is the only possible way to build a consensus on this issue.
I fully understand that you have a problem with notable by default but i think you need to consider compromising on this issue. Surely keeping a redirect is not so bad? And if a good article emerges at a later date few would complain. Do you really consider that getting a policy in place to allow deletions will stop the arguments in AfD and deletion review? Personally, I realised long ago that the only hope for a school solution is to avoid AfD or deletion review. How could an encyclopediast honestly enjoy the frustrating battles in those arenas? Who likes being insulted, who has time to waste? David D. (Talk) 17:15, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Ling.Nut, you're mischaracterizing the issue with WP:Vanity (which redirects to Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. The main issue, then, is conflict sof interest. The section on that page regarding notability says this:
There is currently no consensus on the degree of notability required to justify an article. --Dystopos 17:20, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to merge with Wikipedia:Places of local interest[edit]

  • Is there any reason that the debate on school notability should be conducted independently of the debate on places of local interest? --Dystopos 17:20, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
  • It certainly would make waiting for the page to load a less time-consuming chore... as well as scrolling to the bottom of the page :-)--Ling.Nut 05:57, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Actually WP:LOCAL was originally spun out of this page. I'm not sure about merging them back because at least keeping school here would stop these endless circular discussions from clogging up WP:LOCAL's talk. Kappa 06:28, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • It would seem that WP:LOCAL's scope would have to include schools as primary examples of locally-recognized institutions. It would seem that if their guidelines were accepted by consensus, that it would be appropriate to refer to them, rather than to this project page, when debating the merit of individual school articles. So, are you saying that this page's function is to serve as an asylum - to remove disruptive behavior from the main stream? --Dystopos 14:42, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Please see Kappa's comments about endless circular discussions. That interminal circularity is the sole reason -- and a compelling one -- why I wanna slap a "Failed Consensus" tag on this page. I respect everyone here, but we do not seem to be making substantial progress.--Ling.Nut 14:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I looked at Wikipedia:Places of local interest and the discussion does in fact seem more sane. Peoples' positions are less polar; there is actually menion of (gasp!!) deletion of stubs. I oppose merging this debate with that one.
  • In fact, I have a wild-eyed counter-proposal, which is going to seem totally out of character for me. I'm a bit fuzzy on the chain of non-command at Wikipedia. Is there anyone or any group of Jimmy Wales-ish status who could speak for Wikipedia as a whole, and make a rule that says "Wikipedia wishes to support education. We hereby declare schools to be an exception to all AFDs with respect to local institutions, etc etc etc, blah blah blah. This exception does not aplly to any other institution blah blah." Believe it or not, if a small, unobtrusive, tasteful template to that effect (worded more eloquently) were put on every school article, I would certainly respect it. Just a thought.--Ling.Nut 15:11, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I would argue that, without a specific policy on school notability, the basic statement "Wikipedia content is intended to be factual, notable, verifiable with external sources, and neutrally presented, with external sources cited." already serves that purpose. (Wikipedia:About#Wikipedia content criteria) --Dystopos 16:41, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Eh? I'm confused. Please explain. The policy you cited would seem to me to say that "everythin herein should be (but is not absolutely required to be) notable" .. which I think gives me the right to AFD schools that cannot establish notability. I am suggesting that for schools -- and only for schools -- a once-off, one-time-only, top-down, for-the-public-good, bona-fide policy be set exempting them from AFD (but not merger) scrutiny. I'm acually OK with this as long as a huge, huge wall is put up between schools and everything else under the sun. Then I can go pick fights with the Pokemon and Professional Wrestling people (just kidding... I think).
  • I would think the arguments for this POV being policy would be the "public good" ones I set forth earlier, plus a desire to end this endless controversy and start people doing other (perhaps more productive) work.
  • But it's all so un-Wikipedia. It's wild-eyed. --Ling.Nut 16:54, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Don't be confused. The premise is that even hardly-notable schools are notable subjects for an encyclopedia which gives detailed coverage to Pokemon and Professional Wrestling topics. Since it is evident (to me, at least) that this is the case, the stated basic content policy is the rationale for allowing articles on schools to be developed. Where school articles fail to meet the stated basic content policy, they would still be candidates for deletion. --Dystopos 18:01, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I am running out of things to say. That may be bad or good. The point I am making with talk of a separate Wiki as well as talk of an actual and explicit policy uniquely identifying schools as non-AFD-able (did I just make that up?) is that if you can't do something to make schools unique in all the universe, I am bound by my worldview to oppose the idea all schools are notable... and thus bound to oppose this proposal. I am so sorry that we must disagree. --Ling.Nut 18:08, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

A refutation of "all schools are notable"[edit]

I attended three schools: Maran School, Welwyn Garden City; How Wood School, Park Street and St Albans School, Hertfordshire. One of these, Maran, is not only non-notable but pretty much unverifiable. It existed, it was a state-maintained school, but I defy anybody to provide any credible proof of notability. Guy 01:19, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

  • So if some district or village in Africa doesn't google very well, it's non-notable? Kappa 02:17, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
    • JzG didn't say that the school in question wasn't googlable, he made a very different statement. Don't put words in his mouth. JoshuaZ 02:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I can "prove" that African districts are "non-notable" by exactly the same method that he is using. Kappa 02:37, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
        • I have made genuine attempts to find references to Maran School, and can't. It took me some months of work to be reasonably sure of the spelling, and that only because it;s a variant of Mimram (a river). I only know it sounds like Marren. I can't find any references at all which prove it ever existed, still less foundation and dissolution dates. Guy 22:04, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Nobody is arguing for unverifiable topics. So, your arguing against a straw man, if "Maran" is unverifiable. As for "proving" something notable, well, if we agreed on the relevance of "notability" and what constituted proof of it, there wouldn't be the debates. Also, I think its great your proud of your alma matter, which is why you've "dropped" mentions of St Albans numerous times over the last year. I suggest you express your pride with a User Box like everybody else. --Rob 04:09, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed. See the last sentence of this diff: [6]. Nice to know that you consider a school that has existed 1000 years only "borderline notable". Stop showing off. And yes, I call it showing off because in my corner of the world the "white man" was more than 600 years away when your borderline notable school was discovered. Every time this comes up (not JzG's school but the topic of school notability) I cannot help but think we're stuck in some strange reverse version of the preverbial schoolyard pissing contest. Instead of bragging rights, we have a section of Wikipedians who seem to enjoy minimizing schools, going so far as the example above of pointing out how "their" schools (which happen to have articles) are "barely" notable. Get over it! We don't make such a big fuss on a miriad of other articles. So school articles are not important to you, and you refuse to see notability in them (as exemplified above). Big deal. Some of us do think that schools are notable enough to warrant articles. I cannot imagine how we're somehow going to find a compromise between the two camps. --Stéphane Charette 05:53, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I am not proud of my school, it did very badly by me. One of the teachers admitted as much to me some years after I left. It is, however, notable in a way that, say, St. Julians is not. Can you show the notability of St Julians School, St. Albans, Hertfordshire? The point is the absurdity of stating that "all schools are notable". They aren't. There is a spectrum, with the profoundly unimportant at one end, and Eton and Harrow at the other. Mine lies somewhere below the middle, it's only real claims to notability being a foundation date over 1,000 years ago and being the only school in the English speaking world to have educated a Pope. It's not a great school, it's a reasonably good school wihch has been around a while. But all that is beside the point, which is that all schools are notable is nonsense. At least one school I attended is sufficiently non-notable to be functionally unverifiable. The point below, however, is entirely valid. A sub-stub, foo High School is a high school in foo, is much less useful than an article on schools in foo. We also ought to be clear on who the audience is here. The argument has been raised that school articles are a "useful" resource for parents. This is bollocks, and I venture to suggest that no parent has ever asserted such a thing. The level of detail required when choosing a school is vastly in excess of what Wikipedia would tolerate, and much of it comes from primary sources. I have a sneaking suspicion that none of those who assert "all schools are notable" were born before 1980. Guy 22:04, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
      Having said this, one thing I believe we can focus on to bring the two camps together is "what makes a good article?" I have no problem seeing horribly written articles being deleted from Wikipedia, whether the articles are on schools or any other topic. The problem that I and many other "school" editors have is that we seem to focus on notability factors which would serve to outright exclude schools from Wikipedia. Coming up with black-and-white rules like "school must exist for 100 years" which very obviously excludes most schools in North America for example doesn't leave much wiggle room. Yes, I know this is one of many proposed notability criteria, but the point I'm trying to make is that instead of trying to come up with these black-and-white rules, we should focus on what would describe a well-written article. Here is a counter example:
      • Main Street High School in <insert city, state> was founded in 1905. <End of article.>
      Having passed the 100+ year existence, does this article automatically pass the criteria and get to stay in Wikipedia? Obviously not. --Stéphane Charette 05:53, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • OK, so don't create an article about Maran School. What's the problem? If someone else creates one and it doesn't have any content or sources you don't need a guideline about notability to get it deleted, and if they do have content and sources, what would be the gain in deleting it? --Dystopos 06:03, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

public question[edit]

I wanna ask a question here in this public forum... It is a serious and genuine question. I'm not gonna reply or debate (well I may ask for clarification or extension). I hope others won't debate either...

With an open and honest heart, I ask:why not start a separate Wiki for schools? Why put schools in an encyclopedia? Thanks--Ling.Nut 06:18, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

A separate wiki for schools would either be an encylopedia of schools, which would make redundant with what wikipedia should be doing, or it would be something else, which is not what we are interested in building. Kappa 06:25, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you..--Ling.Nut 11:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • This has been suggested in the past. At one point an editor indicated they would do it, but nothing ever happened. An argument against was that it is not wikipedia so the schools would not be in the encylopedia. An arguement for was that all schools could be included. Unresolved was what you would do with all of the school articles already on wikipedia. I suspect that if someone started wikischools, there would not be many objections. (edit conflict) Vegaswikian 06:26, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you..--Ling.Nut 11:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Because when people want to know something about <topic>, they come to Wikipedia and look up <topic>. It would become a nightmare issue to teach people that for biology topics they go to biowikipedia, while history topics historywikipedia, and for schools they go to schoolwikipedia. One place to look up what you'd ever want to know. --Stéphane Charette 06:56, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you..--Ling.Nut 11:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Everything encylopedic you'd ever want to know, hehe. Kappa 07:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Hey! C'mon now... be nice :-)--Ling.Nut 11:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Follow up questions allowed? This one may start an argument. Again, I strongly hope no one will argue in this space, which is (hopefully) just for me to ask questions... Isn't your goal a phatic one? [Oops, popups tells me this word is strictly used in linguistics.. my field of study.. but you get the idea..] You want to offer support and.. not to be too sticky-sweet.. love to every school in the world? To acknowledge their existence? --Ling.Nut 11:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

My goal in defending school articles is to make Wikipedia as comprehensive as it can possibly be while maintaining its role as an encyclopedia. I would like for people to be able to find a neutral, well-cited article on a school instead of ad-supported "school info" sites with no actual info. I think that "acknowledging the existence" of things that actually exist is reasonable, and does not require an emotional or sociological justification. --Dystopos 14:37, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
<counting all the indent colons>: Thank you. --Ling.Nut 14:52, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Specifically with regard to a separate Wiki, I think this makes perfect sense for isolated subjects such as documenting the Star Wars universe or forging policy within an organization. I don't think it makes sense for things that occupy positions in the real world. The name for that encyclopedia is Wikipedia. --Dystopos 16:50, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Probably the people who need a new wiki, are those pursuing the "ultra notable" agenda, who dislike how inclusive Wikipedia is, with its million+ articles, and tens of thousands of regular school articles, and 30+ new school articles/day. To be exclusionary with articles you need to be exclusionary in the editor-base. To do that, you need a whole new wiki, ideally a fork, with a subset of articles. Generally Wikipedia-forks, get very few editors, and litte new content. But, for the "ultra notable" crowd, that's precisely what they want. --Rob 18:20, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of taking a tangent, perhaps the best fork would be a "Notablepedia" in which those with a penchant for exclusion could exercise their discretion. --Dystopos 21:13, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, over two years[edit]

These date to 2004 and 2003, and believe me, there was debate before these. Why on earth is everyone "thrown" that this is an Old Debate? KillerChihuahua?!? 10:12, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

    • You are erroneously conflating the debate with this set of criteria, which is not even 6 months old yet, let alone 2 years. Uncle G 13:31, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Another challenge[edit]

Would someone like to explain to me how deleting encylopedic information about schools, rather than merging it, is compatible with placing the sum total of encylopedic knowledge in my hands? Kappa 04:19, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Merge. It's not the idea of letting little things have time to grow that I don't like; it's the idea of having full-page things that still add up to non-notable. My two cents. --Ling.Nut 04:22, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm better check that you agree that at least some encylopedic things can be said about "non-notable" (ie. not particularly notable) schools? Kappa 04:39, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course everything is case-by-case. It's just unfair to assert that "all schools are notable, period." It isn't playing by the rules. Don't say there are no rules; the rule is "No one deserves better treatment than anyone else; no one deserves a free pass on every challenge. Every article should stand or fall on its own merits" But that statement, of course, will lead to the dreaded interminable circular arguments.
IN practice, I believe I would be significantly kinder (and slower to delete) than you might perceive me to be. But I cannot accept the idea of removing deletion from the table (see above). --Ling.Nut 14:04, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Um you are saying that an article might have encylopedic information which could be legitimately merged into a larger topic but you still want the option of deleting it "on the table"? Kappa 14:31, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Don't confuse a general principle with a specific case. I'm saying that the option of deleting every article in the main namespace of Wikipedia should be on the table. Some articles are slam-dunk Keep, so much so that AFD would be a ridiculous WP:SNOW3. [And there is good reason that is true]. Some articles are slam-dunk Delete, esp. attack pages, obvious business solicitations, etc. The vast majority of articles are somewhere in between, and should be dealt with case-by-case. But no one group of articles is somehow inherently more worthy than others. The fundamental position of some contributors to this page is that school pages are always and everywhere fundamentally worthy of a free pass on any discussion of deletion. That position is a slippery slope: If schools are fundamentally worthy of a free pass, why not churches? If churches, why not faiths? If faiths, why not political beliefs? If political beliefs, why not anti-[insert racial group name here] attack pages? And why not Pokemon? And Professional Wrestling? And my Aunt Leona's recipes?--Ling.Nut 14:51, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Fundamentally I agree that "the vast majority of articles are somewhere in between, and should be dealt with case-by-case." Furthermore, I agree that school articles which do not meet WP content criteria, as they exist, are candidates for deletion (though I believe that in most cases, excluding those where the school's existence or significance simply cannot be verified, merging is the better option). So I am not asking for a "free pass" for schools, I am asking that they be subjected to existing criteria, and not to new, specific school notability criteria. Where we differ (and I know you understand this), is that in the context of this enormously comprehensive encyclopedia, I believe articles on schools rank somewhere closer to articles on members of parliament in the broad scale of notability, well above articles on individual episodes of sitcoms, specific professional wrestling personalities, or specific internet memes. So, given a case-by-case look, I would tend to try to expand school articles rather than scuttle them. --Dystopos 15:45, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Another proposal, then
I've been whining for weeks about needing to finish papers for school, and now it really is crunch time. Right in the middle of the party, too...
But wht not make a new proposal, then. Scrap every single notability criterion etc. on the project page. Write some sort of preamble along the lines of what you just said. Propose a template that gives any and all school article(s) tagged AFD a six-month free pass from deletion, citing that the proposal is agreed upon by consensus. [I foresee a cute little picture of a baby beside a red schoolhouse; I've seen a baby icon on a barnstar for helping newbies.] That baby-school-article only applies after having been tagged AFD. Make an exception clause covering automated AWB application of AFD tags. [But for heaven's sake never RFC someone who does this; they just see the world differently than you do.] Form a subproject within your school wikiproject to incubate or merge articles that rec'v that 6-month tag. If you fail to do one or the other ater that 6-month tag, the article is never again eligible for the 6-month free pass. Blah blah blah, you fill in the details.
If I saw any efforts in that direction, then by no means would I Failed Consensus this project (as I promised a couple days ago, remember?).
GOtta go!--Ling.Nut 17:51, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't think making any special policies for schools is going get community support. Going back a bit, I'm confused about where the current proposal says "school pages are always and everywhere fundamentally worthy of a free pass on any discussion of deletion" Kappa 03:42, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Q: "making special policies"
A: I may be grasping at straws. I actually want this project to succeed in producing high-quality articles about schools. I guess I was hoping that since the free-pass was
  • temporary
  • had a clear and explicit expiration date for each article
  • but giving lots of time
  • and was once-only for every article (the assumption being that when the 6-month incubation period is up, the "Keep" voters have exhausted their options for that particular article).
...that the community would avert its gaze in the name of draining the fever swamp that is Wikipedia talk:Schools and its borderlands in the AFD skirmishes (which apparently spill over into other areas of Wikipedia... the more I read, the more I find). I also guess I was hoping that people who are committed to protecting schools articles would corporately and explicitly agree to adopt the problem rather than talking at it.
  • It's nice that people post the AFDs of schools on their project talk page, and rush to vote "Keep." It does show a minimum of commitment. Real commitment would be a commitment to personally and actively incubate (userfy?) or merge articles rather than passively trusting to the process.
  • I'm sure there are individual people who do this. I'm talking about something collective and explicit. If such a program does exist & I didn't see it, then accept my apologies. I will retract my statement.
Q: "confused where the proposal"
A: Here copy/pasting from above: "My overarching problem -- please hear -- is that the current policy removes deletion from the table. It does so implicitly, not explicitly, by making every Foo Valley High article notable by default. Please mentally underscore this point"--Ling.Nut 11:28, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
  • As applied at AfD, "notability" refers only to the question of whether an article by a certain name can ever become a suitable article, whether it is a redirect or not. For example, an article about The maple tree in James Day's back yard could never become a worthwhile article (well, barring a miracle, anyway). I contend that any Foo Valley High School that is verifiable does have that potential. (Though it may spend quite a while as a redirect to Foo Valley School District). If that is the case, there is no reason for deletion to be explicitly "on the table" -- and likewise there is no reason to remove it from the table in cases which, for reasons other than failed notability, do not meet Wikipedia's standards (lack of verifiability, etc). --Dystopos 20:17, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

New proposal (take 2)[edit]

There have been some complaints that "deletionists" have not proposed their own guidelines even while preventing this one from gaining consensus. Now, I think this is inaccurate in that I and other editors have made clear on the talk pages what they find unacceptable about this proposal. However, to stave off these complains, I have constructed a modified, less inclusive proposal at User:JoshuaZ/Schoolproposal. In the interest of compromise, the proposal is more inclusive than I would idealy prefer. Major differences include 1) making clear that local news coverage that amounts to uncritical puff does not meet the basic criterion. Similarly, ruling out other forms of uncritical material from local sources. 2) Removal of the 50 year criterion (I may be open to modification of this to add a note that if a school is old it might make more sense to look for sources rather than AfD it). 3) Removal of the architecture criterion since any interpretation of it is vague inclusive or redundant. 4) Explicitly strengthening the notable associated individuals criterion to be at least 2 people. Comments as well as grammar changes or other uncontroversial changes are invited on the talk page. Thanks. JoshuaZ 23:25, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I made a proposal farther up the page which seemed to elicit only amusement. I admit it was deliberately more restrictive and complicated than I envisioned the final product being; I hoped it would be "bargained down" somewhat. But apparently I was way off base.
  • I'll look at your proposal tomorrow, JoshuaZ. Thanks for doing this.--Ling.Nut 23:47, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I've looked, and it looks good to me. I'll re-read it and see if I can offer any constructive criticism as soon as I have bandwidth - but currently I have none, it looks good as it is. Others may see something I missed, though. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:16, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Can you clean up your proposal? I'm not sure where the second #1 fits in. Vegaswikian 03:58, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Done. JoshuaZ 04:03, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I have no willpower whatsoever. Actually the KillerChihuahua support vote sucked me in. Initial comments here.

--Ling.Nut 00:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Ok, if there are no more major issues about phrasing, spelling, formatting etc. I am going to move my proposal into Wikipedia space to Wikipedia:Schools3 with a redirect of WP:SCHOOLS3. JoshuaZ 18:03, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I think that some of the examples under 1 should be included in the notes. In fact, some of them may already be. The guideline should be short and simple. The notes should be used to answer questions about what the points in the guideline mean. Vegaswikian 19:08, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've moved it into Wikipedia space so feel free to modify it as you see fit. Thanks for the changes you've already made. They definitely help tighten and clarify things. JoshuaZ 20:21, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
This proposal is far, far, far better, WITH THE GLARING EXCEPTION of the "notable alumni" clause. For the thousandth time, due to the nature of schools (they see thousands upon thousands of students over the years, and everyone has to go to some school), ALMOST EVERY SCHOOL THAT HAS EVER EXISTED CAN BOAST NOTABLE ALUMNI. I would !vote for this proposal if not for this clause, but with it in place, I would never support this proposed guideline. -- Kicking222 14:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, the proposal on the table adds nothing to the status quo, except needless complication. --Dystopos 16:22, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Hello to the more inclusionist editors. We need your input if this has any chance of becoming a compromise. Please speak up. JoshuaZ 16:55, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • My proposal is to close this project and refer school debates to the existing guideline Wikipedia:Places of local interest which already addresses school articles within the context of the relevant policy issues. --Dystopos 18:04, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me that WP:LOCAL has a real consensus behind it (see my comments on its talk page) and there seem to be many editors who disagree with treating schools under it. Furthermore, WP:LOCAL would not give very specific guidelines about when school articles should be kept or not. JoshuaZ 18:12, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I do not find the lack of excessive and arbitrary deletion criteria to be a weakness, but rather a strength of WP:LOCAL's astute discussion of how to apply Wikipedia's content policies to schools. The continual effort to draft a policy that would make deletion candidates of perfectly valid topics, by contrast, does not apply Wikipedia's content policies... it extends them. These are my opinions and I would like to hear what it is about WP:LOCAL the prevents the so-called "school deletionists" from accomplishing what is needed for Wikipedia. --Dystopos 19:03, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Ultimately, the problem withWP:LOCAL is that it is ignored by everyone. There are an awful lot of articles brought to AFD that would not have existed to bring to AFD if WP:LOCAL had been followed in the first place. And once they are brought there, nobody goes and implements the guidance in WP:LOCAL. The inclusionists just say keep the article, the deletionists just say to delete it. Mostly, the usual no consensus outcome occurs, and nobody does anything with the article. GRBerry 20:21, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • So how is adding another guideline going to help? Why not start making use of what we have. Stop ignoring WP:LOCAL. Implement the guidance. Do something with the articles. Heck, send them to me. I'll fix them. It's a very reasonable guideline. Adding more guidelines that will be (a) unreasonable and/or (b) equally ignored doesn't solve the problem. This proposal (and its predecessors) make problems where none exist without necessarily solving the ones that do, in fact, crop up. --Dystopos 21:54, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Implementing WP:LOCAL, when appropriate, is how you differentiate from a routine AfD closer and an excellent AfD closer. WP:LOCAL is an almost ideal compromise when a "Full content paste merge" is used to execute the change. Unfocused 16:16, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Not always. Not everyone is convinced that any or all the information should always be merged. Even Kappa (who I think would be described as a strong inclusionist) in one recent AfD discussed removing some verifiable info in the merge. JoshuaZ 16:40, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Please re-read WP:MERGE, especially the "Full content paste merge". One of the steps in the "Full content paste merge" is to go back and edit out undesired content from the merged article. Because content is saved in the history, then edited out rather than deleted outright, it remains there in the history. It sure makes it difficult to argue that you're deleting anything valuable if it's still there. Naturally there'll be some content disputes, but I am certain that they will be less toxic than what currently passes for "discussion" of school articles at AfD and DRV. Unfocused 16:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me why remaining in history as opposed to deleted should be such a concern. And removal of material if anything turns school district articles even closest to directories entries which Wikipedia is not. It also isn't completely clear to me that AfDs are that "toxic" now or that this would deal with those issues fundamentally. Furthermore, a lot of this is info which many would consider not-notable regardless of where it is. JoshuaZ 18:45, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Keeping content in the merge target's history respects the efforts of previous editors, and allows for later retrieval, while doing no harm at all. Don't underestimate the power of that little bit of courtesy to others to reduce arguments. Such merges would take significantly less time and effort than is now devoted to arguments of notability.
If someone later finds reason to expand a school redirect to a full article, I see no reason to deny them that content as a starting point. For example, you never heard of Columbine High School before the shootings, but a wholly developed article about that high school would have been very informative had there been one available at the time of the shooting. What if during the next Olympics you hear that an athlete came from some school in the middle of nowhere and you want to know more about that person and their background?
Further, it's impossible to know from a brief Google search if any famous alumni exist. Yet if the local historical society goes through the old yearbooks and finds many, they're stuck starting research from scratch if the articles are deleted wholesale instead. Subjective judgment based on knowledge available today is often proven wrong tomorrow.
There is no Wikipedia space shortage. The whole database can fit in most users' local hard drives. A full content paste merge has a lot of benefits and virtually no drawbacks. Unfocused 19:31, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, but this seems to be more an argument for making them into redirects rather than deleting. This is something I don't in principle disagree with. Redirects preserve all the history and such. JoshuaZ 19:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's a way of creating redirects, but with the added element of deliberately avoiding a fight over what happened to the previous editors' work, and making it easier to incorporate anything valuable into the merge target either immediately, or later when other facts come to light. If you do a "full content paste merger", and then edit out a local sports hero as "not notable enough", it's easily reversible. Deletion is not, which is the reason it causes fights. Digging through various redirects to find old content isn't a very intuitive nor fun way to create valuable content when the situation changes. Unfocused 20:18, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Consensus?[edit]

I'm new to policy and guideline debates - don't bite me.

I pretty much agree with this guideline, and it would save so much time on AfD if we could refer to WP:school as at the minute we have no notability guideline one way or the other. What needs to happen to make this an accepted policy? How can consensus ever be reached when so many people (from my observations at AfD) have polarised views on this? Will it acutally be taken to a vote? Who decides if and when a consensus has been reached? I see this has been a proposed policy for a while now, it would be good to make some progress on it. --Amists 16:21, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Consensus is almost never found by taking something to a poll or vote. (See an elaboration at Wikipedia:Discuss, don't vote#Polling discourages consensus.) If this was taken to a poll or vote, it would almost definitely establish a lack of consensus, and send this to the rejected bin. I say this because I believe that there are a significant number of regular editors who participate only irregularly in school articles and AFDs, but who strongly object to the proposal here and would all show up for a poll.
Consensus is usually found by discussing and compromising until we find a version that everyone says "well, it could be better, but we can live with that". See the more elaborate answer at the Wikipedia:Consensus guideline. I particularly highlight and endorse this quotation used there:

In fact WP's standard way of operating is a rather good illustration of what it does mean: a mixture across the community of those who are largely agreed, some who disagree but 'agree to disagree' without disaffection, those who don't agree but give low priority to the given issue, those who disagree strongly but concede that there is a community view and respect it on that level, some vocal and unreconciled folk, some who operate 'outside the law'. You find out whether you have consensus, if not unanimity, when you try to build on it.

You'll know you have consensus for a guideline when both "keep" and "delete" opinions refer to it and the disagreement is about whether the article meets the guideline, not about whether the guideline is relevant. GRBerry 16:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

An example[edit]

  • I went to AfD to see if there was anything I could use for an example of what I've been talking about. I found a boring, repetitive debate at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/North View Primary School‎. Instead of rehashing old opinions, I took a look at the article. Almost completely worthless. Very likely to be deleted on the basis of having no encyclopedic information (with or without a "notability criteria"). So I looked around. There are a few other schools in Yishun which also have worthless articles (along with a couple of quite good ones). I started a new article, Schools in Yishun and collected the two or three bits of relevent information from the worthless articles - turned them into redirects, and established a category. In my opinion this establishes a better framework from which useful contributions might be cultivated. At least it may have curtailed three of four more pointless AfD debates, and all that under existing policies and guidelines. --Dystopos 22:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • So you've merged the article with some others, which respects the prior contributors' efforts, while at the same time making Wikipedia cleaner and more useful. All while leaving open the possibility that the merged topics can later be divided out if their content warrants. Even while arguing in favor of keeping schools, I've always been in favor of this, as long as a "full content paste merge" is chosen to keep the full content readily available to future editors. Congratulations, you've done good work. Please continue. Unfocused 16:10, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks. It's really no big deal. Anyone can do it. One note... I did not merge entire articles, as about 90% of the article in question was completely unencyclopedic. (Now that you've brought my attention to WP:MERGE, I'll give that method more consideration).--Dystopos 19:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Great job Dystopos, this is exactly what people should be doing. Why can't editors on both sides of the debate understand that this saves more time (no AfD) and improves wikipedia at the same time. It is the no brainer course of action. As far as i can tell the solution to the school debate is to persuade people that this really is a win-win solution. That might be easier said to done. David D. (Talk) 16:48, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
By the way, the result of the AfD above (Afd for North View Primary School) was no consensus, and it took more than 2000 words of effort. David D. (Talk) 18:50, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Criteria #3[edit]

Can we discuss expanding this criteria to include schools that hold (or once held) a record in the listed activities? Note, I posted the same question at Wikipedia talk:Schools3 with regard to its Criteria #2. Accurizer 21:57, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I think as long as any criteria exists, in any inclusion guideline, it should be interpretted as timeless, meaning once an article qualifies, it always qualifies. If it would have qualified 20 years ago, than it must still qualify today, even if the school totally changed, or even it closed. So, I think we basically agree on a prinicipal, but I'm unclear on what you're talking about, as I don't see any mention of the word "record". The only change I can see needed to make this criteria "timeless" is to change "The school participates in the highest..." to "The school has participated in the highest...". Sorry if I misunderstood you. --Rob 02:04, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for you point on the timelessness issue, I agree with your interpretation and it was a concern that I had. However, what I contemplated in this suggestion was to broaden the notability criteria so that a school that holds (or held) a record (e.g., for fastest 4 x 100 metres relay) need not also have "won at least two regional championships or one national championship" in order to satisfy the notability criteria. Hope this clarifies. Thanks. Accurizer 14:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

No need for a new proposal[edit]

There is no need for an entirely new proposal when all that one wants is several modifications to existing criteria. The objections seem to be to the "50 year" criterion and the "notable alumni" criterion. This is not the first time that they have been objected to.

To start this off by addressing the "50 year" criterion: There are several objections from several editors above (JYolkowski, Vectro, et al.) to the 50 year criterion, and scant defence of it. Its only justification seems to be laziness, an unwillingness to expend the effort of finding and citing sources to demonstrate that the first criterion is satisfied. That effort is exactly what benefits Wikipedia, because its results can be used to improve artices. Failing to expend it leads to exactly the sorts of schools articles that nobody wants: full of semi-libellous rubbish, things that happened in school one day, and no real information. It's a bad shortcut, with an arbitrary cutoff that introduces systemic bias because it is always going to be inappropriate to one or more countries, that we don't need, and whose effects are counterproductive. I suggest, therefore, that we simply remove it. If we do, that is one of the objections settled. Uncle G 13:59, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Seconded. (Radiant) 16:54, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I completely disagree. The 50 year rule is not laziness: a lot of schools that are over 50 years have notable outside sources and are well known in their own cities and local areas. While it shouldn't be a criterion on its own, a school being 50 years old or older in addition to some notable sources of information about the school should give it notability within Wikipedia. I'm fed up of school proposals being used by trolls to delete a lot of articles which should be kept. It's about time this nonsense was stopped. Let's get a consensus on this and keep it that way and stop deleting articles. JROBBO 04:15, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
    • The notion that a school is important because of being 50 years old is systemic bias; just about everywhere in the Western and Eastern worlds outside of the USA is it considered pretty young for a school (e.g. my high school is now 670 years old, that is old). (Radiant) 09:18, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Actuallly I think there is support to not delete articles and to merge them instead. If there is any opposition to this it is not from the so called deletionist camp. AfD comments show increasing support for this approach. Failure to reach consensus is preventing that merge position from becoming the normal result on AfD and maybe putting an end to the nominations. Vegaswikian 05:38, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
      • Re: Vegaswikian's comments. The merge solution is acceptable in some cases. However, some of the more pro-school inclusion editors are unwilling to accept any guideline that ever allows for school deletion. Furthermore, as a matter of policy, large scale merging frequently leads to Wikipedia is not a directory problems even more blatantly than having ultra-small school stubs does. Re: JROBBO's claim- almost by defintion if no one has had anything to say about the school it isn't notable- we can't just say "oh. It's old so it must be notable" Furthermore, the 50 year criterion is US-centric. In most of Europe almost all schools are at least 50 years old and so this becomes a ridiculously over-inclusive criterion. As to the statement that " I'm fed up of school proposals being used by trolls to delete a lot of articles which should be kept. It's about time this nonsense was stopped. Let's get a consensus on this and keep it that way and stop deleting articles" since almost no school articles ever get deleted this is a bit hard to understand. However, its nice to know that my failure to AGF below was in fact justified. Calling editors who disagree with you about schools "trolls" is uncivil and unproductive. JoshuaZ 05:51, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
        • What do you mean by "large scale merging"? Kappa 07:36, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
          • When many schools are merged into a single district article the even minimal amount of non-dictionary info is generally stripped. We thus get a long list of schools with a small amount of numeric data and maybe the name of the headmaster. (In fact, in one recent AfD you explicitly advocated merging and removal of details when the merge was complete). While it is arguable whether small school stubs run afoul of Wikipedia not being a directory these district article certainly do run afoul. JoshuaZ 16:38, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
            • Info should only be stripped if it does not meet Wikipedia's content policy (In a recent example, I removed a listing of what the different food stalls sold where the students bought lunches). A listing of schools with verifiable information is no more a violation of WP:NOT than any other list-type article. We're not listing phone numbers from some category of otherwise-unrelated institutions, we're documenting a particular school district which is, naturally, made up of individual schools. --Dystopos 18:01, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
      • Ok, so the "trolls" comment was out of order and I'm sorry - it's just that I'm tired of seeing schools appear on the Australian deletion list, have the same "it's not notable" comment without any backing up whatsoever, and no researching done of the article at all, and then the article deleted, over and over again. I suppose that all I wish is for people to weigh into debates properly and actually do the work to make sure it isn't notable. I'm all for merging the information where it is appropriate, and that is probably lots of cases - a lot of schools have a few independent sources and probably can't sustain their own page, but that doesn't mean the information shouldn't be on WP - I think people need to take more notice of WP:LOCAL and do some merging into the local area articles. That way people can improve them, and not at the expense of us losing information in useless AfDs which are going on at the moment. JROBBO 08:29, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
        • Do you have that many examples of these showing up on the Australian noticeboard? There haven't been that many Australian schools on schoolwatch which makes me wonder if we have misse any. Since I'd prefer that the project have a list of all school AfDs any Australian ones that we missed would be appreciated. JoshuaZ 16:38, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
        • Merging some of the stubs on schools with e.g. little encyclopedic information available is a good idea. (Radiant) 09:18, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
          • See my above comment regarding this. I don't think mergers are always optimal and the possibility of deletion needs to be considered. JoshuaZ 16:38, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Ok, here's another thought - I agree that the 50 year rule can't be used on its own to guarantee notability, however I think it should have some weight in determining borderline cases. If an article does have some notability established by non-trivial sources, but is a borderline case, we should be more reticent to keep it where the school is 50 years or older; if not, it should perhaps lean the other way. A decent history gives us more momentum towards finding more reliable sources, after all... As for the notable alumni, I don't think that should be included at all for a single or a couple of persons; if it has produced a list long enough to have its own article (as has happened in some cases), the school would be notable in other ways. JROBBO 02:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Can we please hold off on AfDs on Schools?[edit]

I have a request: on the Australian noticeboard there have been quite a number of deletions in the past week or two, all based on different interpretations of the WP:SCHOOLS policy. As there has been no consensus, can we please hold off all AfDs on schools (unless the article is deletable under a different guideline) until this is resolved? There are too many people taking advantage of the mishmash of policy at present to reopen old debates, delete other schools that they want to, and so on. This is wrong: deletions are going ahead to make a point, and many of them in bad faith. Can we please put a moratorium on these deletions until there is a WP:SCHOOLS consensus? JROBBO 04:29, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I rarely if ever nominate schools for deletion but am one of the less inclusionist editors. That said regarding the above- absolutely not. As it is now there is little incentive for the more inclusionist editors to reach any consensus about schools. Making all schools get a free pass until consensus is reached will do even less to help that. I may be failing to WP:AGF(maybe I need a wiki break) but I find the timing of this comment interesting, just as a few schools have actually been deleted and even more controversial deletions were endorsed on DRV now we get a request to stop the AfDs? If anything we now have a breakthrough. If this continues we might a) give the more inclusionist editors some incentive to actually talk. You will note that on the talk page of WP:SCHOOLS3 at least one self-identifying (I think) inclusionist has stated outright that until schools are being deleted there will not be any cooperation from the school inclusionists in making a new guideline that allows for any deletion. JoshuaZ 04:36, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
I am for the merge proposal but i came from a wish to prune schools back significantly. Clearly that was not going to happen so a merge proposal seemed to be a reachable goal. However, Joshua is correct that many inclusionists are not willing to meet in the middle (actually more in favor of inclusion) on this issue. So why would a moritorium solve anything? Another issue is that a lot of AfD's are brought by people who just can't stand to see a hopeless article and may not even know about a moritorium. So unless there are a few users currently nominating schools such a moritorium would have little effect. David D. (Talk) 05:54, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Reasoning[edit]

Ok - I've decided I'll refrain from participation in any School-related deletion debates until further notice. I'll try and help you guys in building some sensible policy instead. I believe that just about all schools deserve some notification on Wikipedia (be it only a name), but they do not all deserve their own article - most should need only a sentence or two in an article on their local area. That will defeat "cruft" and "not-notable" arguments. That said, I feel we ought to be a bit more international in determining what does and what doesn't constitute a notable school on WP. I'll have a bit more of a think about this and get back on it. JROBBO 13:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

A mention in the locality's article seems entirely reasonable to me. It's determining what constitutes a notable school that's the sticking point. I do think SCHOOLS3 has shown some progress on that front, though it still needs some refinement. Shimeru 09:21, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Shimeru, if that's truly what you believe, then working on SCHOOLS3 is probably a waste of your valuable time; you should be promoting WP:LOCAL, which when combined with a full paste merge from WP:MERGE solves the problem completely in true compromise fashion.
The remaining problem I see is that those who wish to delete the articles outright don't seem willing to put forth any effort at all to merge them. Tagging them to be merged is just as easy as tagging to delete. Noting them at the appropriate WikiProject, WP:SCH is just as easy as posting them at AfD. Unfocused 18:49, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Some of us don't want to merge them. Mergers leave the district articles even more like directory entries since when articles get merged one often only merges the name location and not much else. Even if a full merger occurs they are then often stripped down. This is unacceptable per WP:NOT. JoshuaZ 18:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I think you're misreading WP:NOT. Merged "listings" in a parent article about the locality or district are clearly permissible. Unfocused 01:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I am not interested in WP:LOCAL, and I do not necessarily agree that all such articles should be merged. I simply think that if others have an interest in including schools, a sentence or so in the locality's article is a better solution than a slew of stubby articles that will mostly not expand for lack of either interest or sources. Articles should be reserved for those schools about which there is something more significant to say. Shimeru 21:30, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm genuinely curious about where the notion that "articles can't possibly be useful if they're short" comes from. Any clues? "Articles should be reserved for..."? Reserved? Because we have a finite supply? Clearly not. Articles should exist when they are useful to exist. That's why WP:LOCAL is so useful; data contributed is gathered until it makes sense to break off parts. For example, if you found that Brooke Shields was from The Birch Wathen Lenox School and I knew Barbara Walters was from The Birch Wathen Lenox School, but there was no article, we would still have a place to put that notable data until someone else contributed the history of the school, or that tuition for kindergarten is around $25,000. Wikis are supposed to make work easier for everyone involved; you contribute where you can, and I add my part. No one should need research an article from scratch just to link to what high school some famous person attended. It's a fundamental principle of Wiki operation you discard every time you throw away someone's good faith contribution. That's why it's so critical to me that we find appropriate places for what is added in good faith whenever we can. Unfocused 01:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Notability question on schools - The "all schools are notable" theory doesnt work[edit]

Are these good criteria for inclusion of school notability:

  • The ex-alumni aree notable
  • The staff have been involved in a major scandal/won a major award/saved a person's life etc.
  • The building has notable architectural features

Would anyone agree with me here?? --SunStar Net 16:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Mildly disagree on the first. If an alumnus is notable for academic work, then I think his/her secondary school would be notable, but I'm not so sure about an elementary school. If the person became notable before or during her attendance at the school (i.e. royalty), then ... um, probably the school, no matter what level, is notable. (Have to think about that one.) Otherwise, if the person is notable for reasons unrelated to their attendance, then it would have to depend on multiple independent non-trivial coverage of the connection (mere school records would not be sufficient, IMO). As for the second proposed criterion, which actually has three parts, the first two are fine, but I'm dubious about "saved a person's life". I got a nasty electrical shock in elementary school, and couldn't breathe, and the teacher who gave me CPR may well have saved my life, but I hardly think that fact alone makes the school notable. (Although I'm very grateful to the teacher.) As for the third, I agree with the caveat that it may be more appropriate to mention the school in the article about the architectural feature if no other evidence of notability can be found.
In general, I tend to think that any school is worth mentioning somewhere in Wikipedia (i.e. in an article about the district, region or city where it's located), but I don't think that average, everyday, mundane schools deserve their own separate article. Xtifr tälk 01:31, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Removal of the 50-year criteria and seeking middle ground[edit]

I will agree with Uncle G's raising an issue over criterian 2, the "50-year standard" as being a subject of question. Whether it should be an automatic standard for inclusion, should be raised (or lowered, or variable depending on region - new world vs. old world) is certainly a proper matter for discussion. However, I must steadfastly disagree with Uncle G's removal of the criterion based on his own personal views and the support of two other individuals. This is an effort to reach consensus, and arbitrarily chopping away at criteria one disagrees with is an effort to impose consensus, not reach it. AS WP:SCHOOL is not a consensus guideline at this point, I will restore that criterion while we discuss further and it can be removed or modified as necessary based on consensus of all participants.

As in so many debates, this one is being taken over by extremists on both ends of the spectrum. I don't think that all "schools are notable" can be justified, but I think that a "no schools are notable" approach makes no more sense.If we agree that there is a middle ground -- that "there are schools that are notable and reasonably objective criteria to determine them can be developed" -- thenwe have a prayer of reaching a consensus. WP:SCHOOLS3, which seems to be focused on sharply limiting the number of school articles in Wikipedia, does not seem to be a viable approach at reaching a middle ground.

I do not believe that all schools are notable. Yet many school articles are notable, and the fact that so few schools (especially existing U.S. high schools with any non-trivial content) seems to indicate that there is no consensus whatsoever for deleting most of these articles, despite the frequent AfDs and motivated advocates for deletion.

While WP:SCHOOLS3 seems to be a dead end, WP:SCHOOL has not reached consensus and the criteria that exist are at best a hodge-podge.

Right now we have a laundry list, where meeting any one qualification confers notability. Yet these criteria vary widely in significance. I would suggest a point system / Chinese menu, where there are some automatic qualifiers and others that require 2 or 3 lower level qualifications to be met to merit a claim of notability. I will review our existing criteria and rank as HIGH (likely that meeting criteria meets the notability standard by definition), LOW (confers notability in combination with other lower-level criteria) or MEDIUM (somewhere in between):

1) The cornerstone of a consensus must be an agreement on criterion 1 on "multiple, non-trivial coverage". Most schools do receive regular coverage in sources that are reliable and verifiable, and are valid regardless of the size or circulation of the publication in question. What is up for discussion is what is trivial? Sports scores and science fairs are in the trivial category, as would be a new principal. But a requirement on book-length analysis is over-reaching. HIGH

2) Criterion 2, the "50-year standard" needs revisiting. Adjusting the cutoff and/or having variable criteria in different areas of the world Europe vs. the Americas, vs. the rest of the world, in rough order of when school systems were created, might be in order. LOW

3) "The school participates in the highest grade of the state, province or regional competitions in at least three extracurricular activities and has won at least two regional championships or one national championship in any of these activities, or holds a verifiable record in such an activity." desparately needs to be reworded to clarify what is, and what is not included. LOW

4) "substantial and unique program, structure, or technique that differentiates it from similar schools" is usually an indication of notability. But we must differentiate between those that have developed a brand new technique or methodology and those that apply it in their own geographical area. MEDIUM

5) "Significant awards or commendations". There are some awards that are probably indications of notability, particularly those awarded at the national level (e.g., the Blue Ribbon Schools Program in the US). State / provincial level awards may not confer definitive notability, and may need to be evaluated on an award-by-award basis for selectivity. Multiple award recipients should be jusdged as a greater indication of notability. HIGH for national awards. LOW for regional.

6) "Notable alumni or staff (who would qualify for an article under WP:BIO or WP:MUSIC)." Perhaps the school that a President or prime Minister attended might be inherently notable, but other than that we need to evaluate that the school has multiple notable alumni who have independent Wikipedia articles. LOW

7) "school building or campus has notable architectural features" is another criteria that likely confers notability. Often, such a school will have non-trivial coverage of this fact. Medium

A point system (not unlike the document standards for obtaining a driver's license where a passport is "worth" more than a utility bill) might be a useful approach. A school must have ten points earned, with HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW rated accordingly and each notable additional alumnus or award above the minimum earning an extra point or two.

Other criteria can also be considered and added to this hierarchy. "Site of major event" has been discussed above, though there should be ample media coverage.

As discussed elsewhere, in most cases DELETE should be an extreme rarity and an article that does not meet these criteria should be a MERGE/REDIRECT. There are few cases where the information offered can not reside in the article for the district or municipality where the school is located.

There is a middle ground, I just don't know how to reach it, but hope that this may be a useful starting point. Alansohn 17:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Some agreement with the above. I think that a point system may be unnecessarily complicated. I would tentatively suggest modifying this slightly closer to the WP:SCHOOLS3. I think the main issue really is what criterion 1 has. I agree with the 50 year form being highly problematic (and would prefer to replace it with a note to the affect that schools which are old should be extensively researched before AfDing since the probability that good but obscure sources exist is high). As observed on the SCHOOLS3 page, it isn't clear how 7 could be plausibly made without it satisfying 1 anyways. I also think we should emphasize that when redirects are formed (even when no merge occurs) we don't gain anything by deleting prior to redirecting. Indeed, on the chance that we do eventually get to have a real article on the topic having the prior history around would be helpful. In regard to alumni, I think it makes some sense to let there be some number of notable alumni where the school becomes notable, say 3 perhaps? I'll make a few more comments when I have some time. JoshuaZ 18:15, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course you'd suggest modifying closer to SCHOOLS3, since it's clear you'd like to delete most school articles. But that doesn't come closer to the goal of a large many of us, which is making Wikipedia inclusive of an "Encyclopedia of World Education". Quite frankly, I think the only compromise possible already exists: WP:LOCAL, especially when done by full content paste merger from WP:MERGE. Doing it this way preserves the content in the edit history, yet doesn't leave a bunch of stub articles around which you seem to so desperately hate. Unfocused 18:59, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
*Snort* And I'd like to modify WP:SCHOOLS3 closer to WP:SCHOOLS. This is called trying to make a compromise. And as I have explained on multiple occasions, merging often leaves the targets as blatant directories which is very problematic per WP:NOT. Also, I don't think terms like "desperately hate" are useful. I'm trying to construct a compromise here. Try to AGF a bit. (Also, I don't think an Encyclopedia of World Education would include all schools but that might just be me). JoshuaZ 19:04, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I take issue with your misreading of WP:NOT#DIR. The policy clearly states that, "Merged groups of small articles based on a core topic are certainly permitted." I see no violation of that policy in a school district article composed mainly of short descriptions of the various schools under the district's jurisdiction. --Dystopos 22:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I would disagree as to whether the descriptions given really fall under that category. Often the descriptions are nothing but the name, location and possibly the year of founding. This distinct from a "small article" JoshuaZ 17:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Articles can be deleted for lack of content, without bringing notabiity into question. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 17:57, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Incomplete articles are better candidates for expansion than they are for deletion. We have been referencing the policy on WP:NOT#DIR, but the type of "directory" discouraged by that policy is not at all what we're talking about with regard to school district articles. I suggest that anyone following this discussion, read the policy (it's not too long) and make a determination for themselves. --Dystopos 18:03, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I meant lack of available verfiable content, precluding possible future expansion. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 18:23, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Per this very talk page, there is a consensus to remove the criterion. Nicodemus75 stated that it was systemic bias. JYolkowski disagrees with it, as does TerriersFan who opines that "In truth, I don't think that this is a valid criterion - Schools should stand or fall by their notability and age alone shouldn't come in to it.". Vectro thinks that it should be removed. W.marsh says that it should merely be taken as a sign that criterion #1 is likely to be satisfied. The Way objects to it. JoshuaZ wants it removed. Even JROBBO, in discussion, stated that xe agreed that that the 50 year rule can't be used on its own. Xtifr opposes it at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Trinity Christian School (Williston, North Dakota). This isn't "an effort to reach consensus". Consensus has long since been reached on this issue. Indeed, this rule was controversial right from the start, and it was never really consensus in the first place. A Man In Black stated that xe "was just pulling a number out of the air". The problem here is not my personal views "and the support of two other individuals". It is Alansohn not recognizing a consensus. The onus is not on us to attempt to reach a consensus, Alansohn. Consensus has pretty clearly already been reached, if one reads the many opinions expressed on this rule. The onus is on you to demonstrate that there is a consensus to include this criterion. Uncle G 19:25, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

You can add me to the opposition. 50 years is a laughable standard. Would we allow every 50-year-old person to have an article on the grounds of a vague assertion that "there must be reliable sources somewhere, because he's so old"? Of course not; we would require those reliable sources to be produced and cited. So too with schools. Shimeru 20:05, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I strongly agree with Uncle G. As someone who is edging in on 50 himself, I find the notion that something which is 50 years old is inherently notable somewhat flattering, but implausible. Notability has to do with being notable (and noted), not with being old (which 50 years really isn't, for a school). If the notion is (as it seems to be) that a 50-year-old school is likely to be able to meet the other notability criteria (and I doubt that, and suspect I can find counter-examples), then the criterion is redundant and pointless. Find those other notability criteria! (Aside to the comment that started this section: I think a "point system" would be insanely unwieldy. Multiple non-trivial independent coverage by reliable sources is really the only criterion that matters.) Xtifr tälk 00:39, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm completely with the above three editors (for some reason, I seem to frequently agree with Shimeru and Xtifr, no matter what the issue). If this proposal is going to have even a two percent chance of finding consensus, the "50 year" garbage should be flat out gone- not a criterion, not a footnote, not an "other factor," GONE. -- Kicking222 14:11, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

{{rejected}}[edit]

I have tagged this as rejected. The tag reads It has not gained consensus and seems unlikely to do so. While there are a number of different viewpoints represented that all disagree with the proposal for different reasons, it is clear that one camp refuses to compromise. Hence, it's safe to say that this proposal seems unlikely to gain consensus. We need consensus to approve - we do not need consensus to reject. Chris talk back 23:20, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

  • There is a current effort to attempt to reach a consensus, and effort that may even have a moderate chance of success at finding a middle ground in this most contentious issue. You are encouraged to review the section above and to participate in achieving the requisite consensus. As this interjection could not have come at a more inopportune time it has been removed from the article.
    • Per your edit summary, the "factual basis" for the statement that it is unlikely to do so is the almost 2 years of discussions that have gone on about school articles in Wikipedia. All previous attempts have failed, and there is no evidence that the new attempt from October will not fail. Even if you do get consensus by a group of editors, those refusing to compromise will refuse to recognise that consensus, and block any attempt to promote it to a {{guideline}}. Consensus on this issue cannot be achieved without excluding a significant group of editors, hence it would not be consensus at all. For a start, even in the discussion started yesterday, I see we have our first case of "but $policy doesn't apply to schools!". Chris talk back 02:16, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Despite my complete objection to this proposal, I also think it is better to leave it tagged as "proposed" insated of "rejected". There is still a very, very, very small chance of meeting a consensus with this proposal- SCHOOLS3 is much more likely to reach consensus, and I don't think SCHOOLS ever would (or could), but like I said, there's a slim shot. -- Kicking222 14:07, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

WP:SCHOOLS3(plug)[edit]

I've proposed on that page some modifications to that proposed guideline which would make it (I hope) more palpable to inclusionist editors. Comments would be appreciated. JoshuaZ 02:10, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Rewording of criteria[edit]

I've attempted to reword the criteria to address some criteria that that people disputed, or that relied on arbitrary numbers of years, alumni, etc. Since WP:RS has been rewritten, I've reworded this a bit to be more in line with that. I've also changed "trivial" to "not of value in building an encyclopedia" to reduce ambiguity. Comments are welcome. Thanks, JYolkowski // talk 23:41, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Removing "non-trivial" is a problem. It helps define what we consider to be of value in building an encyclopedia. Saying "...not of value in building an encyclopedia..." while accurate, is useless, as its circular reasoning. We're trying to explain what does, and doesn't help build an encyclopedia. Also, coverage in multiple independent non-trivial sources is a common uniting notability criteria for WP:BIO, WP:MUSIC, WP:CORP, WP:WEB, and others. In fact "multiple independent non-trivial sources" could replace virtual all other criteria. Whereas "...building an encyclopedia..." merely explains what we want to accomplish, without explaining how. So, IMO your change increased ambiguity. --Rob 01:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Agreed about "non-trivial," though that phrase still exists in the lead. It would be beneficial to come to a solid definition of "trivial" works. Also, I've edited the criteria to remove instances of phrases such as "is likely to receive press coverage" -- we can't be the judges of whether or not that's "likely," and Wikipedia is not a crystal ball in any case. Shimeru 21:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The ludicrous current (14:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)) criterion #4[edit]

Is this criterion a giant joke? “The school meets half of each of criteria #1 and #3.” So, in other words, the article must only contain one published work, and must be locally notable in only one category? Aside from the idiotic 50 year rule, this might be the worst rewrite yet. Kicking222

It's been a full day, and there was no change to the criterion or addition to this discussion, so I was bold and flat-out deleted it. Let's face facts: criterion #4 was insane. -- Kicking222 15:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

And now that I think about it more, I don't like #2, either. What does "nationally distinctive" mean? It's far to vague. Is "nationally distinctive" equal to "the only one of its kind," or "has been given a national award," or "has been noted in the national press," or what? I'm not sure how a school's alumni could possibly be "nationally distinctive"- would that mean that some media outlet decided that a school had the best alumni in the country? While some definitions are obvious (e.g. sports- a school with a national championship in a sport would certainly make the school notable and "nationally distinctive"), others definitely are not. -- Kicking222 17:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Comprehensive coverage[edit]

I've placed back the comprehensive covereage bullet that was recently removed. This is very important for those of us who are working hard to come up with standardized articles on school through specific regions. Case in point, WP:EiC. This is not unique to schools. For example, we have wiki projects where comprehensive converage allows for articles on every bacteria, mold, fish, plant, insect, etc... As an example, see Macrocystis, Porphyra, Sea lettuce, Besnoitia bennetti, Besnoitia tarandi. --Stéphane Charette 19:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but simply because there exists a Wikiproject that deals with a subject does not mean that everything related to the subject is notable. A Wikiproject cannot define notability. This crtierion is just as ludicrous as the previous criterion #4. This, people, is why WP:SCHOOLS will never gain consensus. -- Kicking222 20:42, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with your assumptions. I'm placing back criteria #4 as it is essential to those of us working on creating better school articles. --Stéphane Charette 21:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
There is no criterion which says that all those bacteria are notable and the logic there is some sort of assertion that every species is notable enough for a Wikipedia article or that it is very easy for any random species to establish its notability (I'm not sure I agree with this but that does seem to be the argument). Since every species generally has a large number of sources about it, it is harder to argue with that claim. If you want to make a similar argument about schools you are welcome to try but it will most likely fail miserably. The bottom line is that if we are ever going to get an agreement on schools comprehensive coverage cannot be a condition. JoshuaZ 21:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Why? Why does it help you work on creating better school articles? Finding reliable sources and establishing notability creates better articles, not some ludicrous assumption that simply because a Wikiproject exists, every article that could possibly fall under its jurisdiction needs to exist. Does a punk music Wikiproject need to include every band, even if nobody's ever heard of them? Can a river Wikiproject not function if there are no articles on 1,000-foot-long streams? Please read WP:INN and explain to me how criterion #4 should be a factor for inclusion of an article on a school that does not assert any other notability. -- Kicking222 21:55, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
WP:INN is an essay, and by itself represents just one face of the problem. Tell me, is Besnoitia bennetti notable? By itself, no. But having the article serves the following:
  1. it is part of the comprehensive coverage we have of certain realms
  2. it is knowlege that we have which people can rely upon
If I want to know about an organism, even some otherwise insignificant bacteria or mold, I know I can come to Wikipedia and look it up. And that Wikipedia will have an article that is part of a series of articles that cover organisms. In that same vein, it is important for us to provide coverage on other issues. If the school article is not a 1-off stubby but part of a series of articles on schools, then we need to admit and recognize the value that that brings to Wikipedia. --Stéphane Charette 23:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Your argument is founded on false premises. Besnoitia bennetti is notable because multiple reliable non-trivial sources exist saying so. (I grant that the sources are not mentioned in our article, and they absolutely should be, but they exist. See [7], [8], [9], for starters.) Most if not all organisms are noteworthy for the same reason: It is easy to find published reliable sources with which to expand the article. They are not notable because they're part of Wikiproject Bacteria, or whatever -- that's a circular argument. If Wikiproject Education in Canada wants to show its series of school articles is notable, they have only to produce the sources. Assertion, however, is not sufficient, and "It's part of a wikiproject" absolutely is not enough to establish notability. Shimeru 00:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
So this criteria for school notability is too strict if it wont allow people to work on series of related school articles. Leave this criteria there, and we'll be able to continue working peacefully. From what I understand from the first 50 paragraphs or so of this talk page, we're trying to prevent the "sub-stub" articles anyway, not the series that are maintained. --Stéphane Charette 09:28, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
False premise. It will not prevent people from working on series of related school articles. It will simply require that those articles' subjects be notable according to this guideline, which means independent reliable non-trivial sources. This will, I suppose, stop people from writing two-sentence unsourced articles, but I fail to see that as a bad thing, and you have yet to offer any reason to the contrary. Comprehensive coverage is not a virtue if that coverage cannot be supported in encyclopedic style. Shimeru 10:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I second Shimeru's statement. The coverage must be encyclopedic, no matter what. If it so happens that a bunch of encyclopedic articles are related, then great, but they should not be kept in this encyclopedia based on that and that alone. -- Kicking222 12:55, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Through sheer persistence, we've now alienated from this talk page everyone who supports school articles. Some of whom were great contributors and due to the frustration have now left Wikipedia. (Wakemp being the obvious one I know.) So we have a bunch of people left who now have this page basically back to where the deletionists who first created it had it, and no-one left (but me?) who supports school articles. English is not even my first language, guys, and no matter how I try to explain to you how/why the school articles are important, you'll find ways to twist things to your liking. I wont even try to compete with you this way. But a group of deletionists who work up a text will not create a guideline that is accepted by the masses. I understand how you are trying to arrive at this mathematically pure definition of notability for schools, but you've refused to compromise. I've stayed (mostly) quiet for the past few months as item after item was removed or reworded, but it really is important that the criteria for a series of related articles to remain. Otherwise, we all know what will happen: you'll all vote to accept this criteria, and within 15 minutes most of our hundreds of articles that we had been working on for the past 10 months will be speedy deleted as "not notable enough". This whole process over the past few months has put things indefintely "on-hold" at WP:EiC. Case in point, see here: [10]. I don't know how else to describe to you why this clause is important. --Stéphane Charette 18:00, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I will not compromise on sources. Sources are absolutely necessary. Without sources, we have nothing. Any proposal that allows blanket inclusion of sourceless articles is obviously and fatally flawed. This is not simply my opinion; it is consensus. See the established, accepted-by-the-masses guideline WP:RS: "Unsourced or poorly sourced edits may be challenged and removed at any time. Sometimes it is better to have no information at all than to have information without a source." You have still presented no reason why this established guideline should not apply to schools. Shimeru 20:29, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Scharrete, no one is saying you can't have articles for school districts or such that mention the non-notable schools. Furthermore, if anything this proposal is still ridiculously inclusionist. Nothing other than the Schools proposal has ever had a comprehensive coverage criterion as a bar for notability. Such a meta-criterion is unprecedented, ridiculous and not useful. Could you imagine what it were like if WP:BIO had such a condition and we could include articles on every person in a city if we went about it systematically? Even many of the more inclusionist editors such as Alan have expressed issues with the comprehensive coverage criteria. JoshuaZ 18:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Except for municipalities, full power licensed radio/tv stations, species, models of trains, all state+ level legislators, etc.... We don't keep all albums, but we do keep all albums for any given artist who's deemed notable, no exception. So, there's a slew of things we strive to have comprehensive coverage for. Now, feel free to argue how schools don't deserve the same comprehensiveness, but please don't falsely state that being comprehensive isn't a rule in other areas, when you know it is. --Rob 01:47, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Stéphane, I feel your pain, this is a common deletionist tactic. I support comprehensive coverage of any schools that we can find verifiable information on, and merging of schools that don't yet have enough verifiable information to write a stub on. Trollderella 19:52, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Pretty low tactics: according to Shimeru's edit summary now I'm the one who has added things without consensus? Considering that the comprehensive criteria has been in this proposal for months and has been discussed plenty of times in the talk page, isn't it you who has removed it without consensus? --Stéphane Charette 00:36, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
The criteria has been there since at least August 3 [11], so it isn't like I'm adding something new. --Stéphane Charette 00:48, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
No, it isn't, in fact. A review of the history will show you that I am not the one who removed the criterion from the proposal. All I've done is revert your reinsertion of it. I am now through with that, however, since it is apparent you are not prepared to attempt to justify it rationally. Instead of indulging in a pointless edit war, I will resume my earlier view of opposition to this proposal, and, when and if that criterion is raised as a reason for keeping, point out its lack of consensus and general unsuitability. It's a shame, because progress was being made, but this criterion is self-evidently not acceptable as it stands, and so I cannot support this for a guideline while it is in place. Shimeru 09:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree, Shimeru. Just because there are people that want to spend time on something does not make it encyclopedic or necessary to include. I have felt for a long time that the same is true of, for example, many pop-culture related subjects. Just because people are interested in a subject does not mean, or even imply, that the subject can have an encyclopedic piece written about it. I have reverted the most recent reinsertion for this reason and Shimeru's above logic. --Kuzaar-T-C- 17:46, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Nope. Sorry. That criterion has to go. Its justifications are purely fallacious. It should be well-known by now that the fact that someone took the time to create and write an article is worth precisely zero on Wikipedia. What matters is whether people are writing about it outside of Wikipedia. Remember the whole "multiple, non-trivial, independent" thing? Simply because someone has decided that a specific article is part of an arbitrary series does not excuse it from our content policies. Chris cheese whine 00:06, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

criterion 3[edit]

Criterion 3 is much too broad. It will permit the inclusion of almost any school in a town that has a local newspaper.

   * Academics
   * Age
   * Alumni
   * Architecture
   * Awards
   * Events that have occurred at the school
   * Extracurricular activities, including sports

The single high school in a town will obviously be locally notable in all these categories: it will be unique--the best school in the locality for all of them (except possibly famous alumni). It is reasonable to want something narrower than "national", and I think you could rescue this criterion by changing it to "state-wide" DGG 23:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

"Events that have occurred at the school"[edit]

Not to be overly blunt, but what the hell does that even mean? That's a bit... broad. And unexplained. -- Kicking222 17:41, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, some are notable, like disasters, or major crime, that get news coverage outside of the community.
But I've also seen it used for the school as a venue for a few bands, which is I think the sort of over broad use that you have in mind. DGG 20:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
I was probably the person adding that, so I should probably explain. My intention was to include things like disasters or major crime as given in the example above (e.g. sex abuse scandals at Elder High School, mass murders at Columbine High School, and other nationally newsworthy events), and not stuff like venues for bands unless there was something nationally interesting about that. JYolkowski // talk 01:33, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
To further clarify, if a school was the site of two events of local interest, it would meet criterion #1 anyway, so probably no need to extend "events" to things of mere local interest. JYolkowski // talk 18:48, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Our differences[edit]

(Cross-posted to Wikipedia talk:Schools3) Been away a little while, so I'm wondering whether the following summary is accurate. Is the main disagreement between these two proposals that the "inclusionist" side (sorry to use labels like that, but it's hard to come up with anything else) wants routine but useful coverage (e.g. OFSTED reports) and local news coverage to count towards "multiple non-trivial published works", while the "deletionist" side (again, sorry) doesn't? Thanks, JYolkowski // talk 01:38, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Torchic[edit]

Given that an article about a fictional species of Pokemon has not only gained widespread acceptance as an encyclopedic topic, but has become a featured article on the main page of this project, I will no longer, personally, entertain arguments about the non-notability of actual brick-and-mortar learning institutions. You may continue with your business without regard for my opinion, but if you ever want it, there it is. --Dystopos 07:37, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand this general connection in people's minds between being fictional and somehow being less notable. Romeo is a fictional character but is obviously more notable than many "actual brick-and-mortar learning institutions"- whether something exists in reality or is a fictional construct should have nothing to do with whether or not it is notable. JoshuaZ 16:48, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with the first point, but I think the above response is oversimplifying. All other things being equal, being concrete, not fictional, does make things more worthy of coverage. We are actually a serious publication. Generally, fictional items, like Romeo and Juliet, are only worthy of being in the encyclopedia, because they have a substantial real world impact. An article about a real place, that does an excellent job of describing that place, may bo worthwhile (though improveable). If I write an article about a real small town, I don't have to "prove" the town is special or important, as its accepted that if they exist they are important (this is one area of almost unanimous AFD consensus). So, an article describing a ficitional place, with no real-world substance, would need to be deleted. If the fictional world is under copyright (as all new ones are), going in excessive detail about the fictional world, is actually illegal. Of course Romeo and Juliet (your example) is public domain, so our article is obviously legal. But an equal article on a modern play, would be partly copvio. Now, giving compareable detail about a "real-life" story of "doomed love", if the details were all widely reported in reliable sources, would be allowed (at least legally). --Rob 17:20, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Documenting the phenomenon of Pokemon in the context of contemporary pop culture on Wikipedia makes perfect sense. Documenting the metamorphic variegations of a fictional species within the context of its own fictional setting, however, is pretty much useless outside of a Pokemon-specific Wiki. But apparently that is now beyond arguing, since just such an article has gone through feature article review and graced the title page. --Dystopos 21:12, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
The main problem with Rob's line of argument: All other things are not equal. A school is not the same as a town, nor is a person, a work of fiction, a planet, a church, a scientific theory, an imaginary animal, a museum, a river, a musical instrument, or a roll of paper towels. In the ideal Wikipedia, all of these things would have to prove their notability. (We messed up on towns, unfortunately, and that ship has probably sailed. I don't see that as reason to repeat the mistake.) And all of these articles would be of featured quality. But the fact that one type of article exists does not imply that others automatically should (WP:INN). The fact that one article of this type (actually, two -- Bulbasaur also) has reached FA is not an indication that something else entirely is somehow more notable. It says only that the specific topic of the article is notable -- FAs don't become FAs without thorough citation, among other qualities, and it is being discussed in detail by independent parties that confers notability. The attitude that "a Pokemon is less important than topic X, so X must be included" is elitist. Is it correct? Maybe -- but the constructive approach would then be to build the article about X with sources comparable to those of the article about Pokemon (which logically must exist, if X is even more important). Hell, write it as well, too. Then X can be a featured article, and we all want to see more quality articles. There are plenty of notable people, planets, churches, theories, schools, etc. But not all of them. They need to be judged on their own merits, not in terms of anything else, even if something else is supposedly "less serious" a topic. On a side note, writing about fiction does not in any way violate copyright, assuming no passages of the work are being copied (and even then, there are provisions for fair use for limited quoting). Shimeru 01:54, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
  • If it is possible to compile a high-quality encyclopedia article about Torchic, I would have to believe that it is possible to compile a high-quality encyclopedia article about virtually any unremarkable elementary school. The world in which that school exists and its engagement within it is infinitely more complex than the relationship between the Torchic and their world. The difference is that the Torchic are part of a popular entertainment phenomenon while the school is part of a relatively stable and mundane social enterprise. There are relatively few fanatics about documenting schools. That doesn't make them less notable, less verifiable, less documentable, less useful to research or less encyclopedic. It only means that they will, on average, need more time and luck to reach their potential as encyclopedia articles. As a matter of principle I oppose deletion when a good article on a topic is possible. There is no need to turn back the tortoise just because it's not likely to win the race. --Dystopos 06:10, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Are you making silly Pokemon comparisons again? I thought we already dealt with that ages ago. As is stated above, a school is none of the things that people compare it to. A school is a school is a school. We do not compare schools to Pokemon, Presidents, or Portaloos. We compare them to other schools, which is why inclusion criteria that are relevant to schools are necessary. Contrary to popular belief, not all schools even meet the PNC. Chris cheese whine 02:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
      • You seem to misunderstand the point of the comparison. I am comparing articles to articles, not schools to Pokemon. Furthermore WP:N#The_primary_notability_criterion quotes the recommendation to merge and redirect school articles for which notability has not been established. This is a separate action from deletion, which is proposed in this argument. As I have said many times, merging is fine. Deleting is counterproductive. --Dystopos 00:23, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

School inspection reports[edit]

In England all state schools are subject to OFSTED inspections. These inspections are not just confined to secondary schools. Every single primary school and nursery school is also inspected. OFSTED is also responsible for inspecting every single childminder in England. These reports generate a huge amount of paperwork and I would suggest that they be regarded as trivial sources and removed as a primary source of published data about a school. If not you will open up the floodgates so that every single primary school and nursery school will be able to claim 'notability', and hence an entry in Wikipedia, simply because there is a published OFSTED report about them. Do other countries perhaps just publish inspection reports on notable schools? There certainly needs to be some form of clarification. Dahliarose 01:24, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

  • In the United States, most states publish equivalent reports that cover the overwhelming majority of public schools. While there is often useful information in these reports, the fact the a school has been covered by a standard governmental reports does not constitute notability. Many schools will have independent news coverage from reliable sources which does provide the notability sought. Alansohn 01:29, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
  • In other words then in both England and the United States government reports on schools are in encylopaedic terms trivial publications and should therefore be removed from Criterion 1. This point has already been agreed on Wikipedia:Schools3 Dahliarose 16:06, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
  • By the same logic, should we remove the Census information from every article about a city or Census-designated place? And then delete articles about the placas and towns that don't have much other content posted yet? Generally, the discussions claiming that "official reports" about schools are trivial have been unreasonable. An official report by a state or national oversight organiation is as verifiable and reliable as we can usually hope for. In the US, they are also by a third party, since school governance is usually local and the reports are usually prepared by a state agency. What a state report may not do is provide sufficient information by itself to justify a separate aricle for an invidual school, rather than a section or subsection in a school district or city/town article.

--Hjal 08:59, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

  • We should distinguish between using reports as sources of information (which is to be encouraged) and using the existence of such reports as validation for a topic which is being challenged on grounds of notability. --Dystopos 06:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I quite agree. I was not suggesting that school inspection reports should not be used as sources. Inspection reports can provide very valuable information which can be difficult to obtain elsewhere. However, the current argument is over whether inspection reports can be used as one of the criterion for notability justifying inclusion in a Wikepedia article. With a book, newspaper article, television or radio programme someone has judged the subject to be sufficiently newsworthy to go to the trouble of writing about the school or recording a programme about the school. Inspection reports are required by law (in England at least, if not elsewhere). There is no element of choice. I would imagine that virtually every school in England could justify inclusion in Wikipedia by virtue of its OFSTED report and a few articles in a local newspaper. If the consensus view is that every single secondary school, primary school and nursery school in England should be included in Wikipedia then by all means include inspection reports in the criteria. If not then I would suggest the wording should be amended. Dahliarose 00:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

I oppose this policy proposal as too restrictive and would like to see this tagged as {{rejected}} and forgotten. Stop trying to make rules about what others shouldn't do. Stop trying to limit others. Existing policies suffice. New users and new articles should always be encouraged. Articles should be encouraged to be improved, not deleted.--SmokeyJoe 06:06, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I think that one of the few things most Wikipedians agree on is that there ought to be a few rules. I'd say that WP:School is a fairly open and broad-minded approach as to which school articles merit retention. If you think this proposal is "too restrictive", take a gander at WP:SCHOOLS3. I'm still trying to figure out if any school is notable enough to meet the WP:SCHOOLS3 criteria. Alansohn 06:39, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Sure. Hopkins School and Eton College easily meet the current version of that proposal. I suspect that making SCHOOLS3 somewhat more inclusive is more likely to get a consensus than anything else (although at this point I'm getting very sick of stubborn people on both sides of the discussion). JoshuaZ 21:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I support the request to tag this proposal as {{rejected}}. How many people are needed before we can tag it as such? --Stéphane Charette 02:51, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've come down for deletion in a lot of AFDs for schools, but it will be harder without this guideline to refer to. I suppose then it will be easier to keep them. Hope that's what you want. Maybe the best points from this guideline proposal should be added to WP:local rather than insulting those who have worked hard on creating this by just trashing it. I am for accepting it, and frankly I was surprised to see mention of it being slapped (yet again) with a rejected tag. Did anyone see how often it was cited in school deletion debates? I recall seeing it quite a bit. Apparently since people get angry when you do a straw poll, the only way to establish a guideline is to refer to it in AFDs and tag it as approved. Edison 21:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Currently, schools are being expected to meet a particularly high standard, higher than for many other types of articles. Why? Some people seem to “not like”, even “hate” school articles and in response work to have them deleted, or write a guideline to be used as a stick to be used by elitists to overwhelm newbies. This is not a good thing. It is contrary to the principles of wikipedia. Who writes the woeful article about a humble school? A young newbie whose school is the most important influence on their lives so far outside of their family. What happens next? Their article is summarily deleted (all contributions hidden) with coded references to plethora of rules requiring hours of study to understand, and perhaps with threats to “block” if they attempt to recreate deleted material. What a welcome! What does the newbie learn? That wikipedia is patrolled by aggressive elites suppressing the contributions of those who haven’t learnt the elites’ rules.

My position is that any article that is verifiable and not original research should be allowed, subject only to very specific further conditions such as copyright or WP:BIO. Verifiable means that there must be sources. Add "No original research" and it means that at least one source must be third party. This should be applied on a section by section basis. I would support a policy stating that every article must be verifiable by at least one third party (aka secondary) source. Such a policy should be applied to Pokemon and other fantasies long before it is extended and tightened around real things like schools.

I think that this attempted guideline has become substantially misguided. It should be written to help new editors write a good new school article. Instead, it has become a tool of suppression. I would like to see a dramatic change in direction, and a clear statement that “failure to follow a guideline is not, per se, a reason for deletion”.

Where an article has zero worthy content, rather that delete it, I would prefer to see its content blanked (history preserved), and a redirect placed to a much more friendly policy, such as Wikipedia:Editing policy. SmokeyJoe 05:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with SJ. WP:N is enough of a guideline for determining whether a school article should be speedy deleted, merged, prodded or whatever. I think that we should work through WP:SCH to do as suggested above and to improve school articles generally. None of the high school articles that I have seen at AfD took as much time to improve to start class (or at least a keepable stub) as the collective time put in to argue pro and con on deletion.
Are we agreed to rewrite the policy, removing anything that can be interpreted as criteria for article deletion, and making it newbie friendly? I don't see any point in leaving a rejected form in place. SmokeyJoe 07:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
However, I don't much like the idea of blanking an article and redirecting to a policy or guideline. If there is no suitable redirect to a locality or school district article (or equivalent), I think that it would be better to leave the barest amount of verifiable data, if any, along with a Schools project template. I think that every public school in the U.S, should be included, someplace or another, since so many people are interested in them for so many different reasons. Most primary schools probably belong in locality articles or in school district or other regional groupings, but almost every high school could (and should) support an independent article. I think that equivalent private institutions and schools in other English-speaking countries should be treated the same.
It would be good to have a list of exemplary articles to refer people to--not just FAs, but Good Articles about schools of different ages and sizes, in different states and countires, so people can see what can be expected of both big high schools with lots of history and small middle schools that may never have received national media attention but which can still be locally documented in a way that results in a good article that passes all of the real policy requirements.--Hjal 07:16, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Applicable policy[edit]

With this policy rejected, what is the applicable notability policy for schools? — Swpb talk contribs 19:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Nothing has been accepted but there is an alternative policy at WP:SCHOOLS3. Really the two need to be merged so that we can meet somewhere in the middle. Dahliarose 20:11, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

This page got archived[edit]

WP:Schools was relegated to an archive and was replaced with WP:Schools3. I have copied from here the end of the discussion over to Wikipedia talk:Schools. I suggest that further discussion be conducted there. SmokeyJoe 21:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)