The Post ran an article this morning on the importance of education, and how candidates are reacting to those needs. There is an absolute education crisis in DC. There are crumbling, unsafe schools that cannot woo great teachers. There isnt enough money spent on the schools to ensure children have an environment, and proper building and curriculum to succeed. Schools are being closed around town due to drops in population. What is one of the reasons for drops in population despite the efforts of Mayor Williams? Schools. The schools are terrible. And even though there has been a resurgence of shops, arts, restaurants all over the city, there is an overwhelming sentiment; I cant raise kids here. DC will never be able to bring back 100,000 people until this issue is solved. In fact, we are losing people to the burbs.
The article points out these stark performance measures:
Average test scores are lower than in every other district participating in a federal assessment of urban schools. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education labeled the D.C. system a "high risk" recipient of federal grants, calling its fiscal management, in effect, the worst in the country. With enrollment dropping, officials last week announced plans to close six underused schools. Program cuts mean art, music and Spanish are unavailable in some schools. At others, parent groups pay for libraries, nurses and teachers' aides.
There are bright spots. Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Tenleytown and Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Columbia Heights consistently rank in the top 1 percent of public high schools in the country and among the top 30 schools in the Washington region. But the overall picture is grim: Nearly half -- 44 percent -- of District residents don't have a high school diploma.
I sincerely hope that Cropp, Fenty, Johns, et al have a plan.......