Inkwell has posted a couple of highly positive blogs about education this morning (here and here), but now it’s time to talk about that Taj Mahal of a school in Los Angeles. Not a positive development.

Here’s the description from the Christian Science Monitor:

A football-field-sized lawn – lined with walks and trees – stretches from the street to a five-story, glass-front building in this otherwise scruffy neighborhood just west of downtown skyscrapers.

On the site of the Ambassador Hotel, known as the site of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1968, now sprawl 23 acres of elementary, middle and high school buildings which will serve the poorest, most congested, and diverse district of America’s second-largest school system.

The price tag is $578 million. The assembly hall is modeled after the legendary Coconut Grove nightclub. The CSM quotes a defender of the project saying that funds came not from the state coffers but from a $20 billion in bond measure approved in 2006. Let me summarize: It’s okay to waste bond money.

Others have spoken of the “uplifting symbolism” of such a project in a poor district. How about false values? This school says that it’s okay to waste money on show, and the money doesn’t matter anyway because it’s somehow “free.” A nice, modest building, with good teachers and the ability to expel students who are disciplinary problems-now that’s uplifting, and it might help turn kids in a poor neighborhood into literate citizens.