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Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Schools/Criteria for Speedy Deletion A7

Centralized Discussion

This is a centralized discussion to discuss whether schools should continue to enjoy blanket exemptions from Speedy Deletion Criteria A7:

  • An article about a real person, an organization (e.g. band, club, company, etc., except schools), or web content that does not indicate why its subject is important or significant. This is distinct from verifiability and reliability of sources, and is a lower standard than notability. A7 applies only to articles about web content and to articles about people and organizations themselves, not to articles about their books, albums, software and so on. A7 does not apply to any article that makes any credible claim of significance or importance even if the claim is not supported by a reliable source. If the claim's credibility is unclear, you can improve the article yourself, propose deletion, or list the article at articles for deletion.

The exemption for schools was added on 2 October 2008. The former wording used schools as an example of a "controversial" type, which suggested not using CSD-A7. As of 2 October, CSD-A7 no longer applied to schools. Note: Struck suggested... at 15:22, 24 December 2008 (UTC) per #Misconceptions below. Thanks Davidwild. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail)

Clarification: It seems like this edit from just over a year ago is where the school exception came from. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:54, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

There has been discussion on Wikipedia Talk:Criteria for speedy deletion for several days on whether schools should be exempt from A7.

Being exempt from A7 is not an exemption from notability, it only means if a school article does not claim notability, it cannot be speedy-deleted through A7, it must be speedy-deleted through some other means, deleted through WP:PROD or WP:AFD, or better yet, improved. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:37, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to list several options for discussion. Feel free to add more. At this stage, it's brainstorming time.

Option 1: Schools stay exempt

Do nothing. Leave the criteria as it was.

Option 1 Discussion

I certainly do not support the no exception position. My comment here was to express my thought that this RFC was not set up as well as I thought it should have been and that there was no real difference between options 1 or 2 either of which I do support. Davewild (talk) 21:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
My apologies (travb) Ikip (talk) 10:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • This is simply a retread of the old school inclusion, exclusion debate of 2004-2005. As Jim Wales wrote:
    "if someone wants to write an article about their high school, we should relax and accommodate them, even if we wish they wouldn't do it. And that's true *even if* we should react differently if someone comes in and starts mass-adding articles on every high school in the world.
    Let me make this more concrete. Let's say I start writing an article about my high school, Randolph School, of Huntsville, Alabama. I could write a decent 2 page article about it, citing information that can easily be verified by anyone who visits their website.
    Then I think people should relax and accomodate me. It isn't hurting anything. It'd be a good article, I'm a good contributor, and so cutting me some slack is a very reasonable thing to do."[O1D 1]
    I encourage these deletion editors to take Jimbo's advice and relax, there is plenty of other contributors work that you can delete everyday, without deleting schools too. travb (talk) 20:57, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Leave well alone - since speedies are without community consensus they should be restricted to uncontroversial deletions. All schools can be sourced to some extent (whether sufficient to meet WP:ORG depends on the case in question) so it is a judgement whether each one is notable. TerriersFan (talk) 02:54, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Option 2: Revert to previous wording: Exercise caution

Simply revert to the previous wording: Other article types are not eligible for deletion by this criterion. If controversial, as with schools, list the article at Articles for deletion instead.

Option 2 Discussion

I certainly do not support the no exception position. My comment here was to express my thought that this RFC was not set up as well as I thought it should have been and that there was no real difference between options 1 or 2 either of which I do support. Davewild (talk) 21:01, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Option 3: Don't mention schools

Take out all references to schools. Expect A7 nominators and deleters to evaluate articles the same as they would any other organization.

Option 3 Discussion

This is what I'd say here. Many, but not all, companies are notable. We don't exempt companies from A7. Many, but not all, bands are notable. We don't exempt bands from A7. Many, but not all, schools are notable. We shouldn't exempt schools from A7. For a genuinely notable school, asserting notability should be trivial ("The University of Fooville is a state-accredited university with 10,000 students" is more than sufficient.) What this would exclude is "Foo School is a school in Barville." That's no different than "Foo Corporation is a company in Barville" and should be treated no differently. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:41, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I couldn't say it any better. - Mgm|(talk) 09:35, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
    I would ask you both then if you feel schools meet the standard for the speedy criteria - "Uncontestable: it must be the case that almost all articles that could be deleted using the rule, should be deleted, according to general consensus. CSD criteria should only cover situations where there is a strong precedent for deletion. Don't forget that a rule may be used in a way you don't expect if not carefully worded."
    As I state at the bottom of this discussion schools do not usually get deleted at AFD, they are either kept or merged/deleted - more examples Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School (Wyandotte, Michigan), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Burger School for Students with Autism - see the version when this article was nominated for deletion (no assertion of importance) - [[1]] but AFD was withdrawn by nominator. In fact I struggle to find any examples of schools that are actually deleted at AFD. If we start speedying schools then we are basically saying that speedy deletion should be used in cases that don't get deleted at AFD and are always controversial. Davewild (talk) 09:57, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
As per Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Schools/Criteria_for_Speedy_Deletion_A7#Not_about_notability below. I feel that schools should make some implied or expressed claim of significance or importance as distinct from the notability talk above and have no special exception . However I am not generally pro deletion but I am very worried but the current extremely low notability standards being applied to schools.Why is Burger_School_for_Students_with_Autism ,Detroit_Cristo_Rey_High_School,Alpena_High_School_(Michigan) notable? What has they achieved? Why draw the line at highschools? Gnevin (talk) 10:18, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Then argue that case at AFDs on schools or try and get a guideline on school notability accepted. Speedy deletion is not the right place to change the notability standards. Davewild (talk) 10:22, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not attempting to change the notability standards here. Gnevin (talk) 10:30, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Answering my own question I would say the phrase "is a college" or "is a university" definitely meets A7, as relatively few of these will be non-accredited, not really post-secondary colleges, trade schools misusing the "college" name, or otherwise not notable. We can sort those out at PROD or AFD. I would also say the phrase "is a high school," "is a prep school," "grades whatever-12," or equivalent meets A7, mainly because deleting high school articles is contentious, and contentious deletions shouldn't be speedied over lack of a notability claim. Also, almost all high schools participate in interscholastic activities and are extremely likely to be mentioned in non-local newspapers in a non-trivial manner. The same cannot be said of most lower-level schools. On the other hand, I think "is a middle school" or "is a preschool" don't qualify as an assertion of notability. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 15:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Time for an analogy: In the U.S., federal laws take precedence over state laws. Similarly, the fundamental principle of CSD — that a deletion must be uncontested — takes precedence over the "assertion of notability" clause. I feel that all schools should go to AfD simply because it's hard to draw the line. Moreover, the sheer proportion of schools surviving AfD shows that CSD can do more harm than good. Why are schools any different from companies, bands, etc.? Because anyone can start a business and call it a company. Anyone can get together in their garage and call it a band. (For the same reason, I think private schools/academies/etc. should be considered companies.) However, the government starts public schools, so those schools can't be created on a whim. -- King of ♠ 00:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • And I emphasize speedy. CSD is meant to speed up the deletion process, not inhibit it from accomplishing what it's designed for — determining which articles are notable and should stay, and which articles are not and should go. -- King of ♠ 00:29, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree with this, and offer the following justifications:

  • Attempts to develop a notability guide for schools at WP:SCHOOL failed as there was never a consensus that any category of schools are automatically notable. WP:ORG is the notability relevant guideline and it doesn't specify that schools be treated differently from other articles - in fact, it explicitly lumps educational institutions together with the other organisations within its scope. As such, the current exemption isn't based on any notability guidelines and there's no reason to assume that sketchy school articles can be improved.
  • The claim that school articles are rarely deleted in AfDs isn't correct - while school AfDs are often closed as a merge into their locality, this is only because they're a plausible search target and the material on the school is almost never moved in total (mainly as its normally trivial and unsourced). As little of the material is judged worth preserving the article is effectively deleted when its turned into a redirect and speedy deletion would stop time being wasted on such articles.
  • The threshold for being out of scope for speedy deletion is very low - any credible claim of notability (even a somewhat dubious and unsourced claim) is enough to mean that the article has to go to a prod or AfD, so there seems to be little danger of viable articles being deleted (eg, there's no more risk for school articles than there is for articles on other organisations). Moreover, there is no deadline for creating articles, and speedy deleted articles can always be recreated later with a claim to notability. Nick-D (talk) 05:23, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • deleted articles can always be recreated is a fallacy, at least in practical terms. Without access to the deleted edits, a future editor will have to start over, which typically means less information in the resulting article or an editor saying "this is too hard/uninteresting-to-me/someone else will do it, I'll write an article on something else instead." Perhaps "bold redirect" to the parent city or school system should be encouraged for school articles or for that matter any A7-ish article that had a good redirect target. That would make a good essay, and if adopted, a good guideline. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 14:23, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Given that the reason articles are deleted is that their content is judged to not be suitable for inclusion, I don't see the problem with editors starting over and don't see why schools should be treated differently in this regard - especially as the school articles which are deleted are either copyvios from the school website or are nothing more than a few badly written sentences of unsourced text which would be of no value to someone interested in writing a sustainable article on the school (eg, they normally consist of something like "'x' is a school in 'y'. Its principal is Mrs Smith. Its sports team is called 'z'. - any editor interested in writing on the school would easily find this in the sources they're using to develop the article). When editors recreate an article which has been previously deleted there's a note at the top of the page notifying them of this, and they can ask any admin to recover the previous content if they're interested in it. Nick-D (talk) 22:51, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • A merge/redirect is not the same as any form of deletion, especially since deletion is an action that can only be performed by administrators. I also disagree with the idea that sketchy school articles cannot be improved. Almost every school article I've seen starts out terribly sketchy, yet it is clear from the Deletion policy that several alternatives to deletion exist and "if the page can be improved, this should be solved through regular editing, rather than deletion." I would definitely be more favorable of a bolder redirect policy, and perhaps of stronger actions at Afd to redirect non-notable primary schools and delete when the "article" barely exists. But I don't see how an inability to reach a consensus for deletion at Afd allows for quick Csd decisions by a single administrator because "If it is doubtful whether a page is or is not speedily deletable, a deletion discussion takes precedence. In practice this means that a page that had a deletion discussion resulting in 'keep' or 'no consensus' should not be speedily deleted." --Jh12 (talk) 21:42, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • That seems to be an argument that schools have inherent notability and can always be brought up to the standard required by WP:ORG. You're welcome to this view, and certainly aren't alone in holding it, but there does not appear to be consensus support for this position at the moment and AfDs on primary schools frequently end with either a result of 'delete' or the article being converted into nothing but a redirect to the locality or school authority. A speedy redirect option for schools which meet at least WP:V (eg, when a Google search proves that it actually exists/existed) might be a worthwhile option to discuss here as a new option though. Nick-D (talk) 22:55, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Delete and redirect is a form if deletion. I've seen it done in some cases at AFD, especially when there was a very clear majority who supported delete or delete-and-redirect. I've even seen delete-redirect-lock-the-redirect at least once in the last month, to prevent article re-creation. I think this one was a non-notable song, if I remember correctly, it got redirected to something sensible like the artist or album per the WP:Notability (music) guideline. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:43, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

This option sounds best to me. CSD A7 should indeed be school-agnostic. Whether the topic of an article is a school shouldn't affect whether the article merits deletion one way or the other. Judge on notability, not schooliness. --Cyde Weys 01:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

  • This seems the most logical. - Rjd0060 (talk) 21:34, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This implies the other extreme: that schools are exactly the same as any other organization and such articles cannot be improved to satisfy WP:NOTE. If that is the case, why do we even have the section Wikipedia:Notability#Articles_not_satisfying_the_notability_guidelines, Alternatives for deletion, and deletion discussions? It clearly says at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion that "Before nominating an article for speedy deletion, consider whether it could be improved, reduced to a stub, merged or redirected elsewhere or be handled with some other action short of deletion. If this is possible, speedy deletion is probably inappropriate." Wikipedia:Deletion_policy#Process_interaction states that pages for speedy deletion should not be able to have a "keep" or "no consensus" at deletion discussion. Yet merge/redirect, keep, and no consensus are frequently results for school articles at Afd. I need evidence of such consensus for lumping school articles in the same category as other organizations; where are the deletion discussions that indicate that such deletions are never controversial or have no reasonable doubt? Where is the proof that all organizations are mentioned as frequently as schools in magazines, newspapers, books, and television programs? --Jh12 (talk) 22:16, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Most of this discussion revolves around the fallacious idea the community decided that companies and organizations should be in A7. They didn't. Schools should remain out, along with companies and organizations. travb (talk) 20:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • This would be OK. Stifle (talk) 20:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Option 4: Don't mention schools, with the understanding that no article should be speedily deleted unless an AfD for that article would be clearly uncontroversial.

The list of CSD criteria is some imperfect attempt at capturing a conservative set of circumstances under which an article would clearly fail an AfD. In a perfect world, where all administrators acted with common sense, CSD criteria would be completely unnecessary; such is not our world, sadly, so we've distilled the spirit of the law down into a set of (mostly) unambiguous rules. The reason schools are exempted from A7, as has been mentioned above, is that school articles regularly pass AfD. I fully support removing the school exemption from A7 as being excess bureaucracy and instruction creep if we can all agree to be conservative about speedily deleting articles, only doing so when we're sure the deletion is uncontroversial. Conversely I strongly oppose removing the exemption if there's any chance of the following scenario occurring: the wording of A7 is revised, and in short order some overzealous administrator speedily deletes dozens of existing school articles which have survived or have never even been sent to AfD in the past. TotientDragooned (talk) 23:29, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Option 4 Discussion

  • That's not actually correct. Our speedy deletion criteria are a set of narrowly defined criteria where the community thinks it relatively safe (i.e. no encyclopaedic content will get deleted in error) for a decision on deletion to be made by a single pair of eyes — the deleting administrator. In other words, they are articles that can be safely deleted "on sight" by any administrator, with regards to the cultural and experiential biases that all administrators inevitably have, leading them to not know about every possible subject that an encyclopaedia can cover, and the errors that can result from such biases.

    This is why they are almost entirely content-based, with judgements that can be made mechanistically by an administrator ("Was this content copied wholesale from somewhere?" "Does this content make any coherent sense as English prose?" "Is this simply a user testing the editing function?" "Is this article empty?" "Does this article identify the subject that it is about, providing context for any editor to be capable of working on it?" And so forth.) without relying upon factors that can vary from administrator to administrator (such as their personal knowledge of individual topics) or upon factors that can only be safely determined by the entire editor community as a whole (such as whether sources exist for a subject), with multiple editors providing multiple slices of Swiss Cheese to ensure that the wrong answer isn't arrived at. In other words: All other deletions can only safely be done after multiple pairs of eyes, from a wide range of editors, with enough time for deliberation and research, have reviewed the article.

    And the reason that schools articles have been exempted from criterion #A7 is nothing to do with the success rate at AFD, and everything to do with the fact that criterion #A7 was never intended (right from the start) to cover controversial cases. Schools articles — all schools articles — have been a subject of long-standing controversy for at least 5 years, now. It's not as overtly factionalistic as it was a few years ago, but the controversy still exists nonetheless. Uncle G (talk) 05:15, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Looking at the history of WP:Speedy. In some cases, the expansions of A7 involved only eight editors, and sometimes as little as one editor. (see below). One editor gets to decide the fate of 2 million articles, and the behavior of tens of thousands of editors.
Again and again I have seen in AfDs that the nominating editor, often an administor, did not take the time to research the article even on google before electing it to be deleted. travb (talk) 19:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Option 5: A7 reverted to: people/vanity pages and blatantly commercial non-notable corporations

"Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made."--Attributed to Otto von Bismarck

I suggest that we revert A7 to the version with only people/vanity pages, and blantatly commercial non-notable organizations. The "organization (e.g. band, club, company, etc., except schools) and web content sections get thrown out, until a RfC is initiated to decide whether these policies stay. Here is why.

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion is one of only a few policies, affecting 2 million articles, and the behavior of tens of thousands of editors. Despite the far reaching implications of this policy, often only a handful of editors decide policy for all of wikipedia.

The original page read:

Unremarkable people or groups/vanity pages. An article about a real person, group of people, band, or club that does not assert the importance or significance of its subject. If the assertion is disputed or controversial, it should be taken to AfD instead.
  • In September 2006, an editor posted a concern about webpages. After a converstation on the talk page, and a posting about the converstaion on the village pump, 14 people gave their opinion. Of those 14, 2 opposed, 4 had no comment about the policy, and 8 people supported the policy change. One veteran editor said a poll wasn't even necessary. Because of 8 people, A7 for webpages is now an official policy. Edit differences here
  • On October 1, 2006, an editor posted a legal opinion by Brad Patrick, wikipedia's lawyer: " Per request of Brad Patrick, this also includes blatantly commercial pages for non-notable corporations." The same day, another editor changed the "blatantly commercial pages for non-notable corporations" to simply "companies" Because of 1 editor, all new company entries can now be speedy deleted. Edit differences here

If we are going to have a RfC for schools, we should also have a RfC for:

  1. what kind of company can be speedy deleted, is "blatantly commerical", as the wikipedia attorney ask, still the standard?
  2. for webpage entries.

Every new entry to Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion takes more power to decide what should be on wikipedia away from the average editor. If administrators are going to decide for themselves what should and should not be on wikipedia, we should have a say it what rules they follow to delete without the community's input.

How many times have you been in an Article for Deletion debate and the nominator, often an administrator, didn't do his homework, didn't even bother to take 5 seconds to see if there were any entries on google for the page that they are deleting? Journalists have written time and time again that their entries were speedy deleted, not because they were not notable, but because administators didn't take the time to research the page. These same journalists then returned and added easily findable references to the page, and the page is here today.

Nine wikipedians (those who created these two A7 policies) shouldn't have the power to delete everything we have built or everything we will build on wikipedia. travb (talk) 09:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Option 5 Discussion

Option n: Your option here

Option n Discussion

General Discussion

General discussion here.

Silly Question

Silly question: Exactly what qualifies as a "school?" In the American context, this would usually refer to public and private institutions offering primary and secondary education; colleges and universities sometimes are considered "schools" but it's not clear cut and greatly depends on the context. --ElKevbo (talk) 04:45, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

As currently worded, it applies to all schools from preschools to high schools plus trade schools and universities. Some editors may think this is too broad, hence the discussion. I expect that after the discussion, accredited post-secondary colleges and universities and maybe secondary schools will continue to be exempt, but the discussion could wind up with no schools exempt or all schools exempt. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:53, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick answer. Can you or anyone else provide any insight into why schools of any level are exempt from A7? Are other institutions similarly exempt? If so, why? --ElKevbo (talk) 05:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't have diffs handy, but in my 2 years on Wikipedia, I've seen several arguments to the effect that "some schools are notable just because they are schools that serve insert grade level here therefore they are exempt from WP:N" with counter-arguments of "if they are notable, surely you can prove it." Either way, it would be wrong to speedy-delete such articles just because the original author didn't do what should be a very easy homework job. There's also the claim by some, myself included, that says some things that some schools do, such as granting an accredited Ph.D., make you worthy of an article either under WP:N or WP:IAR. If you wrote an article called "The State University of Southeast Michigan" then the claim of notability is in the article name as far as I'm concerned, bypassing A7. I'd still check it out and probably CSD it as a hoax but not as A7. The "dividing line" between "presumptive notability" and "presumptive non-notability" seems to be whether the institution is a university, college, or high school, with high school being a grey area without previous consensus for presuming WP:N is met by virtue of existance. My guess is that even people that want high schools to prove their notabiity would be willing to waive A7 on the grounds that it's better for the project to search for something and add it than to tag it for deletion, especially since for American high schools at least such a search would take all of 1 minute. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 05:20, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
While I haven't been involved in the discussion before, I would suspect that schools have been deemed notable in the past because even non-notable schools play pivital roles in their local communities and may be of general interest to people. For example, a person with school aged children may not look up the local churches, but they are almost definitely going to do some research on the local schools. Thus, most schools in my opinion, would be worthy of having an article. But not all. A number of churches have small private schools. Personally, I would deem that small one room private school in a major metropolitan as worth keeping, but make that school a public school in poduck North Dakato...---Balloonman PoppaBalloon 14:44, 24 December 2008 (UTC) EDIT: There is also the political aspect too: A few years ago WP:SCHOOL was very strong and active at AFD, and their actions established strong precident that schools shouldn't be deleted. That doesn't mean that was the correct decision, but they routinely successfully campaigned to keep schools, to the point where nobody bothered to debate it anymore.---Balloonman PoppaBalloon 15:28, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe that in this section the question is being disputed, DGG seems to be assuming that schools can't be deleted under A7, while Seraphimblade says they can. DGG's idea eventually made it into the CSD policy as a result of this discussion. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 15:32, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


  • I am reluctant to comment in any sections here as I think this has several statements in it which completely bias the discussion and do not reflect what the actual state of the speedy criteria has been. Basically the wording here states that an exemption was added on the 2 October and that the previous wording was merely a suggestion. The previous wording was "If controversial, as with schools, list the article at Articles for deletion instead." Nowhere was this stated that it was merely a suggestion - it was saying that where it was controversial, such it always was with (elementary, middle and higher) schools, do not speedy the article but use AFD instead. Based on the idea that this was merely a suggestion we now have two different sections which to me are no different.
  • Secondly why are schools listed as a controversial type of article? Quite simply because most schools do not get deleted at AFD. At the top of Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion there is instructions on when to propose new criteria, in it one section is "Uncontestable: it must be the case that almost all articles that could be deleted using the rule, should be deleted, according to general consensus. CSD criteria should only cover situations where there is a strong precedent for deletion. Don't forget that a rule may be used in a way you don't expect if not carefully worded." There is no way at all that schools ever meet this criteria. I have looked back at some recent AFD discussions thinking maybe this had changed but found some examples such as this article was nominated for deletion on the 31 October (note that there is no assertion of importance). The result at AFD? - overwhelming keep Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Turku International School. Even where consensus does not support keeping schools in most cases they are merged/redirected such as at this primary school - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Greenwich Public School. Speedy deletion is only for non-controversial cases where deletion would take place almost all of the time, as shown above schools do not fit this criteria and a good example of a controversial case where speedy should not be used. Davewild (talk) 09:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Not about notability

This is not about notability,infact A7 makes it clear "This is distinct from verifiability and reliability of sources, and is a lower standard than notability" and "A7 does not apply to any article that makes any credible claim of significance or importance even if the claim is not supported by a reliable source". Gnevin (talk) 10:12, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes but speedy deletion is only for articles that would normally get deleted at AFD. Schools do not normally get deleted at AFD. It is plainly wrong to speedy delete articles that would not be deleted if their was more discussion at AFD. I have already shown a couple of examples above of articles on schools that did not make any claim to importance or significance but which were easily kept at AFD. Davewild (talk) 10:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The point of speedy deletion is that we delete things that we know would get deleted at AfD, saving time (and where it may be a bit urgent, with attack pages & copyright infringements. Highschools are almost universally kept at AfD, other schools - depends. But where the AFD would not be lopesided, or where it might result in "keep", speedy deletion must not be applied. WilyD 17:02, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
    • No. Speedy deletion is about the safety of decision-making by just one person. It is not a shortcut for what would be "inevitable". It's not actually possible to formulate rules, that can be applied on sight by a single person, as to what is inevitably deleted at AFD. Speedy deletion covers purely content-based and mechanically applied tests that can be safely applied by just one person, with potentially limited subject knowledge and ability, in confidence of the result being the correct decision. See above. This is why criterion #A7 talks about "claims" of "significance or importance", and sets a lower threshold for a "no deletion" result than AFD does. It's a limited test that can (it is believed) be safely applied by just one person, on sight, with confidence that the results won't be the wrong ones, leading to stubs on encyclopaedic subjects being erroneously deleted on sight, rather than left to the normal article expansion process. Uncle G (talk) 05:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Actually, it is a bit of both. The reason speedy deletion is necessary in the first place is because we get a huge flood of new articles each day. A lot of them need to be removed. If we took every new article that needed to be deleted through a discussion, AfD would be flooded beyond any ability to function. So, we quietly take the obvious cases out and shoot them on sight, and utilize AfD for cases where more doubt exists whether there might be potential. As to Davewild, above, a couple of erroneous AfD closes (and if the article really didn't even so much as assert significance, someone counted hands rather than evaluated arguments, and should've closed it as delete) doesn't mean we shouldn't be speedying anything. AfDs are closed the wrong way often, see WP:DRV. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:08, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
        • The examples where I said there was no assertion of importance were from the start of the AFD, not at the end where the articles had been improved. If you feel they are incorrect then take them to deletion review but I doubt they will be overturned. Davewild (talk) 08:52, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

reasons for the present wording

For schools at both primary and secondary levels that can be shown to have a real existence, actual deletion for lack of notability is never the appropriate option. Not that they should all have articles--but they can at least always be merged to the school district, or other body, or, failing that, to the locality. I have never seen a single actual primary or secondary school so non-notable that listing in such an article with a redirect at least would not be appropriate.

As for keeping rather than merging, whatever we may say here, there is practical consensus at AfD that almost all actually existing high school would justify an article, because sufficient information to justify keeping can always be found if looked for carefully enough including in printed sources. The few disputed cases are ones where because of our cultural bias, such a search would be almost impossible at present. There is similar practical consensus that, in the absence of major awards or something similar, a primary school is very rarely notable enough for a separate article and should instead be merged. It is much easier to obtain consensus at AfD than at a policy or guidelines page, for a smallish minority here can hold up consensus indefinitely, while at AfD there must be a decision one way or another, and the absence of consensus is a keep by default.

Since deletion for lack of notability is almost never the solution, speedy for lack of notability is all the more never the solution. In fact, for secondary schools, neither is prod as long as some information is available, because an number of good faith etablished editors will always contest the prod & so it's useless.

Myself, I do not consider all high schools to be actually notable; & when I came here two years ago I said to delete at about 1/4 the afds. But so very many of them were, and the time taken in discussing each of them at AfD was simply not worth it, considering that decisions were not really much of an improvement over random,. Trying to remove the 20% or so which were not notable was not worth the time, when the result is that we removed only about half the ones that should be removed and deleted at least an equal number of those that should be kept. Other people convinced me that we would make fewer mistakes if we just took them all. Our purpose is to build an encyclopedia, not have endless disputes over minor articles at AfD.

As there is no way of ever establishing a stable consensus on anything at Wikipedia, I anticipate reiterating this at least semi-annually at any of the dozen or so places where the discussion can be reopened.

Now, as for CSD A7, we can probably find a better way or wording the exclusion, to make it unambiguously clear that schools can be speedy deleted for many other reasons,--copyvio, BLP, vandalism, test page, empty. I practice I personally speedy delete several a week as an admin. The reason that it is worth specifying schools in particular there, is that there are so many school articles submitted, as it is an obvious subject for beginners at wikipedia. Speedy is for what frequently occurs--odd cases should go to Afd for the community, not 2 editors.

WP is not seriously harmed by a few articles on slightly less than notable subjects--WP is much more seriously harmed by advertising and self-promotion, not to mention poor writing, errors and downright vandalism. That's where we should devote our main efforts. That's the bad stuff that people notice. DGG (talk) 05:15, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

  • What about non-notable preschools and private primary schools? I open up my phone book and look at almost all of the preschools and private early-age-elementary schools and very few of them are notable in any way, and most of them either don't have a plausible redirect or the redirect would likely be deleted in RfD as spamcruft. "First XYZ Church Day Care and School" that serves ages 6 months to 1st grade, could theoretically be redirected to First XYZ Church or it's parent city, but First XYZ Church may also be non-notable and redirecting to the city would be a redirection of something totally un-encyclopedic. Likewise the unaffiliated and very non-notable "Happy Acres Preschool and Kindergarten," which is a glorified day-care that hired a real teacher because it was good for business has no business in Wikipedia and, barring a false claim of notability, no business wasting time at AFD. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 14:35, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I can't believe I'm reading this. So sure, there are commercial enterprises which call themselves a "school" despite having snog-all to do with actual education, but they seem like a straw-man. Surely we can handle them without manipulating the "notability" requirements of actual schools. That said, I'm a bit perplexed that the current wording was ever deemed necessary (it surprises me that an otherwise reasonable person would interpret "band, club, company, etc." to include "school" in the first place). Alas there may be no foolproof way to prohibit the use of "db-nn" for anything and everything without listing anything and everything in the criteria. Depressing. — CharlotteWebb 15:16, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


Wikipedia is not censored, and although a lot of people seem to think that only means there are articles that may contain content that some find sexually offensive, but the policy states Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so, and objectionable, by definition, means offensive and arousing disapproval; worthy of objection, so the fact that there are people that object to school articles being on Wikipedia, or to the apparent notability of schools, is no reason to delete. CSD is only for blatant violations of policy, and because articles about "Joe the everyday football jock," "Jane the everyday cheerleader," "the night their team finally managed to beat Port Charlotte," "the fact they wish they went to Port Charlotte," "the fact they're glad they don't go to Port Charlotte," "Peachland Publix" (an individual grocery store part of a chain of thousands, which could rightfully be redirected to the parent company if such an article actually existed), "my individual laptop computer" (which was probably mass produced), "my pretty girlfriend," "my ugly worst enemy," "my dog," "my house," "my sore thumb," and other articles which pretty much anyone would agree are useful to hardly anyone, and would hurt Wikipedia's reputation. Encyclopedic school articles, whether we're considering a world famous, award winning academy, or a run-of-the-mill elementary school with at least 200 students, are unique, are of interest to some people, are topics that people would search for in Google, usually can be individually indentified and be researched, usually can be the subject of at least a considerable Wikipedia stub, and when all else fails, can be merged somewhere rather than deleted via speedy deletion. Also, such articles are useful to some people, do not hurt Wikipedia's reputation, give younger readers a reason to get interested in editing, help Wikipedia reach its goals, and can be verified. It is important to not keep blatantly non-notable articles here for the sake of Wikipedia's reputation, but CSD should only be used for blatant violations. If a school appears non-notable per some odd essay or guideline, such as WP:SCHOOL and WP:N, then a PROD tag should be added, and if contested, then AfD should be considered. The same goes for organizations. A7, in my opinion, should only be for articles that make Wikipedia look silly because they are obviously non-notable. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 23:12, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

The current WP:A7 criteria deals with articles that do not claim notability, any article that makes a non-bogus, non-trivial claim of notability automatically bypasses A7. "Joe Plumber: Joe Plumber is a plumber" fails A7 and can be speedied, "Joe Plumber: Joe Plubmer is a plumber who campaigned with John McCain" cannot. Right now, the discussion is whether school articles that do not assert notability can be A7'd. As of last October, they cannot. "Oak Hill is an elementary school" cannot be deleted under A7, neither can "Oak Hill is an elementary school that won Blue Ribbon School last year!" If the A7 criteria were changed to allow schools, the first could be speedy-deleted under A7, the second could not. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:18, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
You just completely missed my point. I'm taking this proposal beyond just schools; I'm proposing a plicy change for articles over all, but if y'all can't comprehend my position as explained above, then this project is doomed. If we all can't agree on something simple like this, then what we'll we do with bigger issues? Besides, who are we to say what's notable or non-notable? Who are we to decide what is kept or not kept? Just as said at WP:ABUSE, we're not official representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation after all. Only the foundation can submit an official complaint to law enforcement and ISPs, so why shouldn't they be the only ones who can approve official policies here? Seems to me that the foundation should have the last word here. They own and operate the host servers afterall. If there was a conflict betweeen authors and editors of Britannica, those issues would likely be brought to the publisher, and the publisher would have the final say. Although I first came here in 2007, and therefore was not around when WP:N and such was created, I'd have to say that WP:N was probably created to prevent silly articles, such as articles about the random homeless guy, the individual park bench he sleeps on, and the individual Walmart store that it's in front of, but not one-of-a-kind schools and organizations with similar notability. Okay, we've got all these bull-shit policies, rules, censorships, dos and don'ts, blah, blah, blah, and blah blah, but what are the actual goals of this enyclodpedia? Are we here to be another <1,000,000 article encyclopedia like Britannica where the big know-it-alls and dictators control everything that's included here, or are we here to allow users to create decent articles about endless topics, restricting only the things that must not be allowed in order to keep a functional enyclopedia, such as articles about John and Mary Nobody. I think that school's should be allowed at proposed deletions, but not speedy deletion; as said before, sppedy deletion should be for worst case screnarios. There ARE school articles eligible for speedy, but not under A7. I think instead of allowing A7 on schools, we should disallow A7 on orgs (or at least when we're talking about bands, businesses, etc), and only allow it for individuals, small groups of people (such as families), and possibly web content (I'm not sure whether we should delete web-content on A-7 or not, but that's something we can save for another debate). Furthermore, it's better to just make a redirect anyway when we're talking about schools unless it's an attack page and we don't want people to see the history, and redirects can be done even by non-admins. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 19:42, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
"Besides, who are we to say what's notable or non-notable? Who are we to decide what is kept or not kept?" We're the editors of this encyclopedia.
I admire your enthusiasm but I don't think your views are shared by many nor do I think that your proposals are practical. Minimal standards must be maintained to maintain the quality and credibility of the project. --ElKevbo (talk) 20:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
WP:WrongPlace? This proposal is very limited in scope. It's just to ask "should schools be added to the list of entities that are eligible for A7, and if so, should that be all schools nursery school through graduate school or should it be only a subset of schools." Anything else is outside the scope of this discussion and needs to be raised as a new discussion, either at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) or on the talk page of the appropriate policy or guideline page, such as Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. That's how this idea started - it came out of several discussions on the Criteria for speedy deletion talk page. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 05:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand the relevance of WP:NOTCENSORED to this discussion - the notability threshold is not a form of censorship. However, as Davidwr said, if you're talking about changing all of A7, that should be done elsewhere. The discussion above indicates that deletion of school articles is usually controversial, which means prodding school articles for deletion would not be appropriate - prod is only for articles that are uncontroversial deletion candidates, but don't meet the speedy criteria. Somno (talk) 07:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Change topic: PROD. I don't see anyone saying school articles are usually controversial. I am seeing some people say that as a group school articles contain enough controverial-to-delete cases that speedying even ones that don't assert notability is too high a risk. PROD has a huge advantage over speedy: You are supposed to give the primary author or authors 5 days' notice so they can de-prod it and, hopefully, improve it. There seems to be a general consensus from practice not to bother creating elementary school articles absent notability beyond existence and to redirect existing stubs or weak articles to the parent school system, and a general consensus not to delete or redirect-to-district high school stubs. There's less of a consensus for lower-level secondary schools. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:17, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree; but they're controversial enough that PROD isn't OK for all of them by default. There will be some that are obviously suitable for prod (e.g. most primary/elementary schools), but others that should be taken to AfD to gain consensus. I probably should have been clearer in my original comment that they still need to be evaluated individually and a reasoned decision made, rather than simply "It's a school article, so I can't speedy it, but I can prod it". Somno (talk) 04:44, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • There is no universal definition of what is a school. Everything from Sunday School, Traffic School (which in California is a place where you may elect to "attend" to avoid points on your driving license if you're caught speeding, etc.), to a day care calling itself a pre-school or nursery school, to lectures given in retirement homes called "Elder Universities", to the millions of self-help, get-rich-quick, buy real estate, sell door-to-door, MLM, and tax preparation "schools", and what have you all calling themselves schools, to Harvard, Oxford and their ilk.

What a thing that is claimed school is - boiled down - is an organization: if it claims notability, it avoids speedy. If it doesn't, A7 is there to remove the craporama. And Not Censored has nothing to do with it - it is not a policy to include every nn thing indiscriminately. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 19:02, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

These criteria are worded narrowly, so that in most cases reasonable editors will agree what does and does not meet a given criterion. Where reasonable doubt exists, discussion using another method under the deletion policy should occur instead. If a page has survived a prior deletion discussion, it may not be speedily deleted, except in the case of newly discovered copyright infringements. Deletion is not required if a page meets these criteria. Before nominating an article for speedy deletion, consider whether it could be improved, reduced to a stub, merged or redirected elsewhere or be handled with some other action short of deletion. If this is possible, speedy deletion is probably inappropriate. Contributors sometimes create articles over several edits, so try to avoid deleting a page too soon after its creation if it appears incomplete.

Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion

From what I'm reading, speedy deletion is saying not only that these school articles do not assert notability, but that there is no doubt as to whether the school itself could be notable, that it is not possible for the article to be reasonably improved to assert notability, and that the article cannot be merged or redirected to the school district/locality article.
Again, I disagree with the concept that a school is equivalent to any organization. I have seen far too many Afds for secondary schools where there are readily available sources to establish some form of notability. Even then, there are times when editors disagree on what constitutes notability: Top .01% according to Newsweek, Top 1%? Speedy deletion assumes there is a community consensus for deletion that I do not believe exists. I think the concept of speedy redirecting primary school articles is an option that should explored, not a policy where every school article that doesn't fit a single admin's definition of a notable organization can be deleted without prior discussion. --Jh12 (talk) 20:22, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, censorship or not censorship issues aside, when exactly is a school not notable to the point that speedy is required? With individuals, I can see speedy being appropriate because there will always be that popular person at a school, organization, or town that thinks a little too highly of him/herself and creates an article about him/herself, but schools could be handled with PROD don't ya think. There are unfortunately cases where school articles need to be speedied, but notability isn't the reason in those cases; there are sometimes school articles created that meet other CSDs. In a nutshell: school's can go to PROD unless they meet a criteria for speedy deletion other than A7, such as an attack page or a copyright vio. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 23:08, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

No, you are over-simplifying things. Articles can only go through proposed deletion if their deletion is non-controversial. Say you come across a school article with the following content:

The Lycée Louis-le-Grand (sometimes nicknamed LLG) is a public secondary school located in Paris, widely regarded as one of the most demanding in France. Formerly known as the Collège de Clermont, it was named in king Louis XIV of France's honor after he visited the school and offered his patronage.

You look up "Lycée Louis-le-Grand" in Google and don't find any English references. Even if you believe this article should be deleted, it should be taken to articles for deletion rather than using proposed deletion; it is not "uncontroversially a deletion candidate" because the article makes claims to notability. Rather than using simplified "rules", use your good judgement when deciding which deletion process to use. There is nothing wrong with taking articles to AFD to get the opinions of others. Somno (talk) 03:37, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Technically, any article that hasn't been prod'ed or gone to afd can be prodded, whether or not such a deletion would be controversial. To quote from the current version of the policy: "Proposed deletion is the way to suggest that an article is uncontroversially a deletion candidate" [emphasis added]. If I think, in good faith, that it would not be controversial, I should prod it and notify the major contributors. People watchlist pending prods. If I'm wrong, it will likely be de-prodded before the prod expires. Now, if I act maliciously and prod a major university or even a well-known college, or for that matter a good-article high school, that would likely get me in trouble for vandalism. Personally, I don't see the point of deleting existing school articles unless there is no logical redirect target. Either leave the article or redirect it, don't delete it. However, this is way off the topic of this proposal, which is should the A7 speedy deletion criteria apply to schools that do not assert a claim of notability. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:24, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the discussion is getting a bit off track! My point to PCHS-NJROTC was that prod isn't always suitable, the same way speedy deletion isn't always suitable, for every article in a particular category. Things aren't as simple as he/she suggests: that school articles can be prodded if they're not attack pages or copyright violations. But I feel I may be repeating myself unnecessarily, so I'll shut up about prod now. :) Somno (talk) 02:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
To make all of this discussion relevant, I'd like to point out that speedy deletion certainly couldn't be appropriate if even PROD is too controversial. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 02:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't go that far - the same article-creators who put {{hangon}} on A7-eligible pages are some of the same ones who would de-prod their own articles. Now, if you said that a 3rd party would likely de-prod it, then you are correct, it's probably too controversial for A7. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:51, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


This does not look like it will get anywhere. I intend delisting it from WP:CENT within a week unless there's some developments. Stifle (talk) 20:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I started this page. Go ahead and delist it, I'll relist it if discussion restarts. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Schools/Criteria for Speedy Deletion A7".