Schools again

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Schools again

Philippe Beaudette
Schools are a constant source of frustration for me.  Take, for instance, [[Dean Rusk Middle School]] - personally, I wouldn't call it notable.  I've AFD'd ones similar before, and been beat back with a stick (OK, there was no stick, but let's pretend the stick is a metaphor, shall we?) and have been clearly informed that middle schools are notable and that my dog would be kidnapped and my offspring subjected to a game of thwack the mole (again, hyperbolic) should I so much as presume to look at a school listing again, must less post it to afd.  I know from my experience last time that there are a few others who, like me, question the notability of such schools, but I get the feeling we're all so shell shocked on this issue that we've just sort of started to ignore the school listings.

Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?  Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?  

Philippe
____________________
Philippe Beaudette
Tulsa, OK

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Re: Schools again

geni
On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?  Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?
>
> Philippe

Depends you could try setting up a "biography of existing
organisations policy" or you could accept that Schoolwatch and the
like are powerful enough to prevent the deletion of any school
articles.

--
geni

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Re: Schools again

The Mangoe
There's no hope for this. Random checking shows that the vast majority
of middle school articles are essentially catalog entries. When the
private schools are excluded, there isn't a one I've found that shows
the slightest hint of notability.

But we'll never be able to get rid of them. If we try, there will be a
tremendous outcry, and the indiscriminate inclusionists will appear to
support those whose editing ox is offered up for sacrifice. Perhaps
there is some hope for a blanket statement that schools under the high
school level are not intrinsically notable. Heck, I'd like to do that
for high schools too, but it won't happen. But as it stands, the
disambig page for all the "Martin Luther King, Jr." schools is going
to be huge, because the direction is at the moment that all of them
will eventually get articles.

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Re: Schools again

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette
On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on
> whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?

Doubtful.

> Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?
>
"A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant
coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject."
"This page is considered a notability guideline on Wikipedia. It is
generally accepted among editors and is considered a standard that all
users should follow. However, it is not set in stone and should be
treated with common sense and the occasional exception."

Drop the "significant" part, and that's a pretty objective guideline.

Anthony

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Re: Schools again

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette


On Jul 2, 2007, at 1:01 PM, Philippe Beaudette wrote:

> Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes)  
> make a determination on whether such school should be included in  
> the 'pedia?  Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong  
> suggestion?

Nothing in the history of Wikipedia has ever suggested that we could  
make such a determination.

-Phil
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Re: Schools again

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette
Oh yeah, one more thing.

On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I know from my experience last time that there are a few others who, like me, question
> the notability of such schools, but I get the feeling we're all so shell shocked on this issue
> that we've just sort of started to ignore the school listings.
>
Ignoring such things which some people like and isn't harming anyone
else is a good step toward reaching a consensus.

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Re: Schools again

Philippe Beaudette

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Anthony
  To: English Wikipedia
  Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 1:37 PM
  Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Schools again


  Oh yeah, one more thing.

  On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
  > I know from my experience last time that there are a few others who, like me, question
  > the notability of such schools, but I get the feeling we're all so shell shocked on this issue
  > that we've just sort of started to ignore the school listings.
  >
  Ignoring such things which some people like and isn't harming anyone
  else is a good step toward reaching a consensus.

That is, assuming that one believes it isn't really harming the project (or anyone else, as you put it).  One could also argue (as has been argued almost ad nauseum) that it is not, in fact, helpful to leave them in the project.

Philippe

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Re: Schools again

gamaliel8
It would be nice if we could form a sensible compromise solution like
folding most of the non-notable ones into district or county or town
articles.  I'm not sure this is possible given that most sensible
people probably want to stay out of the school debate.

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Re: Schools again

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette
On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> That is, assuming that one believes it isn't really harming the project (or anyone else, as you put it).

Of course.

> One could also argue (as has been argued almost ad nauseum) that it is not, in fact, helpful to leave them in the project.

"Harmful" and "not helpful" are two different things, though.

If you have an argument that these articles are harming the project, I
for one would like to hear it.

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Re: Schools again

Andrew Gray
On 02/07/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If you have an argument that these articles are harming the project, I
> for one would like to hear it.

They're magnets for crap; they go bad, they don't improve, and they
thus lower the average quality of the articles we possess. (This is
anecdotal, but I can provide a theory explaining the observed
evidence...)

Very little community involvement in them because of their specialised
interest; the articles tend to get "owned" by a group of pupils at
that school. As a result, we either get a well-meaning (but usually
rambling and parochial) brochure/student-newspaper, which isn't
wonderful but is tolerable, or we get a scurrilous attack page about
this-or-that trivial "scandal" at the school, or just abusive attacks
on the staff. And because of the lack of eyeballs on them, they
fester.

Part two of this - now speculative - is that the people this impacts
most are the schools; they react badly against us, assumping This Sort
Of Thing is symptomatic, and thus the very people we ought to be
reaching out to are being systematically pissed-off because of our
optomistic toleration of this stuff...

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Schools again

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
Anthony wrote:

>On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on
>>whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?
>>    
>>
>Doubtful.
>  
>
>>Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?
>>    
>>
>"A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant
>coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject."
>"This page is considered a notability guideline on Wikipedia. It is
>generally accepted among editors and is considered a standard that all
>users should follow. However, it is not set in stone and should be
>treated with common sense and the occasional exception."
>
>Drop the "significant" part, and that's a pretty objective guideline.
>
Yeah!  "Significant" is just another weasel word.

Ec


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Re: Schools again

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
Anthony wrote:

>On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>That is, assuming that one believes it isn't really harming the project (or anyone else, as you put it).
>>    
>>
>Of course.
>  
>
>>One could also argue (as has been argued almost ad nauseum) that it is not, in fact, helpful to leave them in the project.
>>    
>>
>"Harmful" and "not helpful" are two different things, though.
>
>If you have an argument that these articles are harming the project, I
>for one would like to hear it.
>
Agreed, and "not helpful" at worse suggests a neutral effect.

Ec


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Re: Schools again

Bryan Derksen
In reply to this post by gamaliel8
Rob wrote:
> It would be nice if we could form a sensible compromise solution like
> folding most of the non-notable ones into district or county or town
> articles.  I'm not sure this is possible given that most sensible
> people probably want to stay out of the school debate.

And also because not everyone is going to agree that this is "sensible".
I've merged plenty of articles in my time, but the recent trend towards
pasting together a whole bunch of small articles on narrowly-focused
topics into one gigantic mega-article with a section on each, leaving a
redirect behind, seems like a backwards way to go about it. All the same
material is still there, it's just harder to find the specific thing
you're looking for.


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Re: Schools again

gamaliel8
On 7/2/07, Bryan Derksen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've merged plenty of articles in my time, but the recent trend towards
> pasting together a whole bunch of small articles on narrowly-focused
> topics into one gigantic mega-article with a section on each, leaving a
> redirect behind, seems like a backwards way to go about it. All the same
> material is still there, it's just harder to find the specific thing
> you're looking for.

In general I agree, but schools seem the ideal article topic to be
merging: a group of small, relatively identical articles about a group
of relatively identical institutions.

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Re: Schools again

Anthony-73
On 7/2/07, Rob <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 7/2/07, Bryan Derksen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I've merged plenty of articles in my time, but the recent trend towards
> > pasting together a whole bunch of small articles on narrowly-focused
> > topics into one gigantic mega-article with a section on each, leaving a
> > redirect behind, seems like a backwards way to go about it. All the same
> > material is still there, it's just harder to find the specific thing
> > you're looking for.
>
> In general I agree, but schools seem the ideal article topic to be
> merging: a group of small, relatively identical articles about a group
> of relatively identical institutions.
>
A better merge would probably be of multiple schools into an article
on the school district (or whatever grouping is used locally).  And
then only if there isn't much being said about the individual schools.
 More than one paragraph on one school and it should have its own
article, IMO.

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Re: Schools again

Brian Salter-Duke-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Mon, Jul 02, 2007 at 02:34:58PM -0400, Anthony wrote:

> On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on
> > whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?
>
> Doubtful.
>
> > Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?
> >
> "A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant
> coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject."
> "This page is considered a notability guideline on Wikipedia. It is
> generally accepted among editors and is considered a standard that all
> users should follow. However, it is not set in stone and should be
> treated with common sense and the occasional exception."
>
> Drop the "significant" part, and that's a pretty objective guideline.

The problem is that it is not objective. The terms "reliable" and
"independent" are subjective. This is particualrly important for
schools, because they all get a mention in local papers, local govenment
reports etc. Also you can not remove "significant" as using the
notability guideline, we need need something to reject passing mentions
to a School in an  article in a local paper about someone winning a
minor prize.

My own take on this is that High Schools are notable enough to have an
article, but we only write an article if we have what we consider to be
good sources. At the first sign of trouble, such as attacks on staff we
semiprotect as we would with BLP. We should encourage WPs to put local
schools on their watch list.

Brian.
 
> Anthony
>
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--
          Brian Salter-Duke            [hidden email]  
               [[User:Bduke]]  mainly on en:Wikipedia.
           Also on fr: Wikipedia, Meta-Wiki and Wikiversity


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Re: Schools again

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
Anthony wrote:

>On 7/2/07, Rob <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>On 7/2/07, Bryan Derksen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>    
>>
>>>I've merged plenty of articles in my time, but the recent trend towards
>>>pasting together a whole bunch of small articles on narrowly-focused
>>>topics into one gigantic mega-article with a section on each, leaving a
>>>redirect behind, seems like a backwards way to go about it. All the same
>>>material is still there, it's just harder to find the specific thing
>>>you're looking for.
>>>      
>>>
>>In general I agree, but schools seem the ideal article topic to be
>>merging: a group of small, relatively identical articles about a group
>>of relatively identical institutions.
>>    
>>
>A better merge would probably be of multiple schools into an article
>on the school district (or whatever grouping is used locally).  And
>then only if there isn't much being said about the individual schools.
> More than one paragraph on one school and it should have its own
>article, IMO.
>
That being the case, an info box should count as a paragraph by itself.

Ec


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Re: Schools again

C.J. Croy
In reply to this post by Philippe Beaudette
On 7/2/07, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Could we, once and for all (or at least until the wind changes) make a determination on whether such school should be included in the 'pedia?  Or, if not a determination, at least a very strong suggestion?

The current status quo evolved from deletionists going on rampages and
indiscriminately purging school articles.  Nominators couldn't be
trusted to have googled the school, or to even have pure motives -
Some users openly advocated deleting all school articles, so there was
distinct a possibility their claims of 'Fails WP:NOT' or whatnot were
just a smokescreen for their real agenda.  Enough good, promising, etc
articles were whacked for the inclusionists to muster the motivation
to organize SchoolWatch.  In a practical sense, high school deletion
debates now default to keep.  This is not necessarily a good thing;
Some of the kept articles normally wouldn't pass the notability test
and some are simply irredeemable crap.  Schoolwatch stands as an
example of one result of sufficiently antagonizing inclusionists.

-Chris Croy

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Re: Schools again

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
On 7/2/07, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Anthony wrote:
> >A better merge would probably be of multiple schools into an article
> >on the school district (or whatever grouping is used locally).  And
> >then only if there isn't much being said about the individual schools.
> > More than one paragraph on one school and it should have its own
> >article, IMO.
> >
> That being the case, an info box should count as a paragraph by itself.
>
Infoboxes wouldn't be a good way to organize an article on multiple
schools - a table would be more appropriate.  If you're going to
combine multiple articles into one, please do more than just
concatenate one article after another.

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Re: Schools again

Earle Martin
In reply to this post by gamaliel8
On 02/07/07, Rob <[hidden email]> wrote:
> schools seem the ideal article topic to be
> merging: a group of small, relatively identical articles about a group
> of relatively identical institutions.

I look forward to reading [[Schools in the United States named after
Martin Luther King]]...

--
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            http://downlode.org/
http://purl.org/net/earlemartin/

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