Education

Federal File

May 22, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Tourist Attractions

They may not rate as high as the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial on a list of things to see in the nation’s capital, but the eight little red schoolhouses stationed at the entrances to the Department of Education’s headquarters are attracting tourists’ attention.

The bright red structures were erected last month to protect pedestrians from upcoming masonry work around the Maryland Street, S.W., building. They’ve added color to the generic office building, and tourists seem to like it.

“It’s a real innovative approach to sprucing up the neighborhood,” said department spokesman Daniel Langan, who said he has seen tourists snapping pictures of them.

Originally, the schoolhouses were planned as plain wooden covers. But Secretary of Education Rod Paige wanted something creative. Now they’re painted fire-engine red and trimmed in white. White picket fences, windows, and bell towers complete the look, along with a faux blackboard etched with the Bush administration’s education slogan, “No Child Left Behind.”

Each structure cost an additional $3,623 (over what it would have cost just to do the wooden entry cover), Mr. Langan said. That’s nearly $29,000 extra for all of them.

“It stands out, and it’s also a way to send a message that we have in place a revolutionary new law,” Mr. Langan said.

The schoolhouses caught the eye of tourist Mario Nastasi, visiting from Clinton Township, Mich., last week. “I saw it and thought it was a nice touch,” he said. “It’s a good idea. They need to sell themselves.”

The structures also piqued Dan Perez’s curiosity. Mr. Perez was in town with Columbus, Ohio’s Police & Fire Pipes and Drums band for a performance. “I said, ‘What the heck’s that?’” he said.

Mr. Langan said there has been so much positive reaction to the schoolhouses that “we’d be inclined to keep them up” even when the work is finished.

—Michelle R. Davis

A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2002 edition of Education Week

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week