Greater Greater Education

How to assign DC students to schools? We now have a menu of possibilities

The committee working on changes in DC's school assignment policy has floated some proposals. They're not as radical as some fearedor perhaps hopedbut there's still plenty of fodder for debate.


Photo by Mike_fleming on Flickr.

The DC Advisory Committee on Student Assignment has been working for 6 months on the knotty issue of DC's school boundaries and feeder patterns, which haven't been fundamentally changed since 1968. Now they've unveiled three possible systems that reflect different policy priorities, along with proposed new boundaries for DCPS elementary schools.

Until now, the committee members and the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), Abigail Smith, would only say that "everything" was "on the table." That open-endedness led to much speculation. Some residents on the geographic fringes of the coveted Deal-Wilson feeder pattern feared they would be assigned to lower-performing secondary schools. Others imagined the committee adopting a lottery for all students, with an algorithm that would ensure socioeconomic diversity.

The committee members haven't necessarily taken anything off the table, since they haven't committed to any one of the 3 proposals. They say they're simply examples of how different elements might be combined, and they could still be rearranged in a "one from column A, one from column B" approach. But at least we're now getting a menu rather than an unlimited smorgasbord of possibilities.

Some suspected that the committee wasn't only trying to adjust outdated lines on a map but had broader social goals in mind. There's now confirmation that they were correct. At a community meeting at Dunbar High School on Saturday morning, Smith kicked off the proceedings with two questions that the committee has been asking and that she now threw open to the public:

  • Do our policies reflect our vision for public education in the city?
  • How can these policies help accelerate our work to increase quality at all our schools?
Given the inequities in the school system, it makes sense to ask those questions. But none of the proposals engages in radical social engineering. None, for example, adopts the controlled choice approach that would try to ensure a certain level of socioeconomic diversity at as many schools as possible.

Set-asides to varying degrees

On the other hand, all of them include, to varying degrees, a certain number of seats that would be set aside for out-of-boundary students, with preferences attached to certain categories of applicants. One category would be students whose assigned schools are "low-performing," a term that has yet to be firmly defined but would probably include a combination of test scores, attendance, and other measures.

Those schools generally have high-poverty populations. And presumably, the schools using the set-asides would be the higher-performing ones, which generally have wealthier populations.

The set-asides range from a minimum of 10% to 20%. While that would provide high-performing schools with some socioeconomic diversity, it wouldn't do anything to improve low-performing schools. In fact, it could actually harm them by draining off the most engaged parents and most motivated students.

Looked at another way, though, it provides a much-needed escape hatch for those who live in areas with sub-standard schools.

"My child will not be a sacrifice," said one mother at the Dunbar meeting who lives in Ward 7 and wants to preserve her right to apply to an out-of-bounds school. "I shouldn't be penalized because we bought a house where we could afford one."

Carrots and sticks

In addition to the out-of-boundary set-asides, the draft proposals employ some carrot-and-stick techniques to try to spread middle-class and engaged parents across the system more evenly, especially at the middle and high school levels. Right now most of them are either in the charter sector or clumped at Deal MS, Wilson HS, or one of the selective DCPS high schools.

The "stick" part of the proposal may not be as bad as some anticipated. Parents at Lafayette and Bancroft elementary schools, currently in the Deal-Wilson feeder pattern, wouldn't simply be assigned to less desirable destination schools. In the scenario that is closest to the current system, Example B, the only elementary school taken out of that feeder pattern is Eaton, whose students would be assigned to Hardy MS.

Two others, Bancroft and Shepherd, might get feeder rights to a proposed new Center City Middle School. Oyster-Adams, a preschool-through-8th grade school, might feed into Cardozo High School instead of Wilson. And Hardy, which currently feeds into Wilson, could feed into a proposed new high school if Wilson became too crowded.

The "carrot" part of the proposals includes establishing specialized programming, such as dual-language or International Baccalaureate, to make schools attractive.

More uncertainty

But two of the scenarios would introduce a greater level of uncertainty into school assignments. In Example A, both elementary and middle school students would list their choices for a set of nearby schools that, at the elementary level, might include a charter school. They would be assigned to one of those choices, but not necessarily their first choice.

In Example C, only middle school students would get a "choice set," and every middle school would have some kind of specialized program. And in both A and C, admission to high school would be entirely by lottery.

The lotteries might have preferences for factors like proximity and students in specialized programs like dual-language. Still, the lack of predictability could drive some families out of the system, and possibly out of the District.

At the Dunbar meeting, one Bancroft Elementary parent predicted that families like his won't stick around if they can no longer rely on going to Deal and Wilson. Rather than trying to improve the other schools they're assigned to, he said, "they'll leave."

Working groups

Smith's presentation at Dunbar was combined with discussions of the proposals by "working groups," composed of anyone who happened to show up. The groups sat at round tables in Dunbar's impressive atrium, and each group had a trained facilitator who took notes.

Everyone in attendance also received numerous forms that asked for their reactions to the ideas. The group I joined included residents of Capitol Hill, Petworth, Ft. Dupont, and Mt. Pleasant.

A similar community meeting took place Saturday afternoon at Anacostia High School, and a third will be held tomorrow from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Coolidge High School.

There was a lot to take in on Saturday morning, when those in attendance were seeing the detailed proposals for the first time and trying to simultaneously digest and discuss them. Sometimes the conversation at my table veered off onto tangents or overlooked important aspects of the scenarios.

But all in all, it was a remarkable instance of democracy in action: a group of strangers sitting around a table and having a civil conversation that touched on potentially explosive issues of race and class. No doubt the process won't end up pleasing everyone, but the DME's Office seems to be making a genuine effort to hear what everyone is saying.

The conversation will continue, with more meetings scheduled at all 3 locations later in the month. Additional community meetings will take place in May and June, before the final plan is released in September. Those who want to participate online should soon be able to do so at engagedc.org, a site that is not yet live.

No doubt future discussions will go deeper, but some questions may stubbornly recur. Smith began the Dunbar meeting by saying that the question she gets most often is: Why now? Why not wait until all schools have improved before redrawing boundaries and feeder patterns?

Smith explained, as she has before, that although DCPS has been "working feverishly" to raise school quality across the board, it could take a long time to get there. And given the irrationalities in the current assignment system, she said, we have to do both things at the same time.

Over two hours later, the next-to-last question Smith got was: Why now? Why not improve the schools first, and then redraw the boundaries?

Natalie Wexler is a board member at DC Scholars Public Charter School and a volunteer tutor in a DC Public School. She also serves on the board of The Writing Revolution, an organization that brings the teaching of analytical writing to underserved schools. She has been a lawyer, a historian, and a journalist, and is the author of three novels. 

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The last question reminds me of the zoning rewrite debate, where the NIMBYs argued that the City needed first to rework the parking rules and improve mass transit before it could validly discuss parking minimums for new buildings. I hope changes are made sooner than later.

I am interested on the effect on existing charter schools. I understood from the Post article they would be required to take in neighborhood children. This is one of Bowser's main education platforms, so I am interested if this is a part of the plan.

by fongfong on Apr 7, 2014 11:22 am • linkreport

This sounds like a great way to drive away the engaged parents/students we really need. Many of them will move to MD or go private if they can no longer attend their neighborhood ES, MS and/or HS. It's taken years to convince these people to come back to DCPS and many of them are tenuous participants, at best, in the "new" DCPS; several of these ideas will likely drive them away in large #s. Maybe the upsides outweigh this downside (I don't think they do), but that reality must be acknowledged.

by probono on Apr 7, 2014 11:59 am • linkreport

Wait, "none of the proposals engages in radical social engineering"? How about the proposal to completely remove high school boundaries and have everyone lottery in, perhaps with some proximity preference? That feels pretty radical to me.

I don't think it's very accurate to say that none of the scenarios would include controlled choice. The WaPo article you quoted defined controlled choice as "Parents would express preferences among a cluster of schools, and an algorithm would make matches by balancing personal preferences with the shared civic goal of maximizing socioeconomic integration. Ideally, this list of options would include both district schools and public charter schools." That's exactly what some of the policy scenarios proposed. The only differences were that they still included some out of boundary options (which was never ruled out in the WaPo article) and all neighborhoods would have clusters instead of just some.

I live in a neighborhood whose proposed cluster includes a very low-performing school (rated "Priority" which is DCPS' lowest category), an elementary that is not opening til 2015 and has no boundary, and "hopefully" a charter that doesn't at this point even exist, let alone want to be part of DCPS' system. Maybe that's better than the current system (where we're just assigned to the Priority school and take our chances on everything else in the lottery) but it's not hard to imagine a situation where lots of families in my situation would want to rank charters higher than DCPS, move to a better cluster, or just leave DC.

by sbc on Apr 7, 2014 12:08 pm • linkreport

fongfong - No, requiring charters to do anything doesn't seem to be part of the plan. Example A talks about "inviting and incentivizing" charters to join a choice set at the elementary school level. But even that would require a change in the law, because right now charters have to hold random lotteries if they're oversubscribed, and so wouldn't legally be able to offer a preference to students in the neighborhood. But in some neighborhoods (especially those east of the river), I suspect that many charters would opt into the choice set. They're drawing most of their students from the surrounding area anyway.

Example B would have DCPS giving feeder rights at the middle and high school level to charter students, where there is capacity. That might or might not affect charters' enrollment.

by Natalie Wexler on Apr 7, 2014 12:13 pm • linkreport

Natalie: I think you are too trusting and this does not ring true in particular:

"None, for example, adopts the controlled choice approach that would try to ensure a certain level of socioeconomic diversity at as many schools as possible."

There IS controlled choice all over these proposals, at the elementary, middle and high school level. Parents would rank their preferences in a "choice set" and then a lottery would be held to assign students. This is controlled choice,

Besides set-asides for OOB students from "falling schools"i.e. poor children; having the choice sets and lotteries at various levels is simply ripe to add weighting by socio-economic status a few years down the road.

For better or for worse, many aspects of these scenarios ARE a radical departure from what we have already, some are unnecessarily complicated, some are slippery slopes , and some will certainly dismantle progress already being made.

Proceed with caution and skepticism.

by Susan on Apr 7, 2014 12:32 pm • linkreport

@probono (and the Bancroft parent quoted in the post), do you have any proof other than a hunch that all of these parents will be leaving in droves if they don't get the school they want? Because to me it sounds like people are just making threats to try to get what they want.

Here's the thing; even if they do leave there will be PLENTY of parents who don't leave, who will be just as engaged and supportive of trying to improve DCPS. And DC's not exactly hurting for people to move here, so their spots will just get filled by parents who are going to work to improve the system. So as far as I'm concerned, if their only response is "let us have what we want or we'll move," then by all means move.

by Joe on Apr 7, 2014 12:43 pm • linkreport

@Joe: If you doubt that people would leave, you obviously don't know very many engaged, supportive parents. That kind of parent cares very much about the quality of their kids' schools, and will go to great lengths to make sure their kids get a good education -- even if that means moving.

How do I know? I'm about to be one of those parents. My wife and I would very much like to live in DC. But we can't afford private school, and we're not going to put our (future) kids into bad schools. So if we can't reliably get a good public school, we'll move to the suburbs. And both we and the city will be much worse off if we do.

If you want to drive people like us out of the city, you can do that. But I don't think you'll like the city that will be left when everyone like me moves out.

by Rob on Apr 7, 2014 1:16 pm • linkreport

@Rob, actually I know plenty of engaged, supportive parents, and more who are moving into DC every year, or becoming parents. My point stands, and I very much doubt we'll be worse off if some (probably a small minority, but again, there are no hard numbers just anecdotes like yours) leave.

And let's not pretend anyone is being "driven out," you're making a choice. I'd rather live in a DC where people are choosing to stay and work hard to ensure their community is really great than those who make threats when they don't get exactly what they want.

by Joe on Apr 7, 2014 1:27 pm • linkreport

@Rob, just to clarify that I don't want anyone to leave DC as a result of this process. I hope there is a solution found to this that everyone is happy with, or at least happy enough with that they stay. However DC and the school system are going to keep moving forward, regardless of who stays or goes, and I just don't feel like threats are a very constructive form of engagement. I certainly appreciate the depth of feeling behind it, and clearly we all want a good system and no one wants to move, but I think there are better and worse ways to accomplish that.

by Joe on Apr 7, 2014 1:40 pm • linkreport

@Joe: Characterizing people who disagree with you as "making threats when they don't get exactly what they want." isn't contributing to a constructive discussion, and is verging on name-calling.

As for whether people will actually leave, no one can predict the future for sure. And if you discount people telling you what they'll do as "making threats" then you obviously won't consider that. But there's an enormous amount of statistical evidence that school quality is one of the most important factors (if not the single most important factor) determining where families with children choose to live. Look at any study about housing prices, decisions about where to live, etc.

I also think it's very naive to say that DC and the school system will keep moving forward regardless of who stays or goes. Involved parents matter for schools. And having people want to live in DC is hugely important for the success of the city. My grandfather grew up in DC and went to public schools that were widely considered to be excellent. Those same schools are still there, but they're not excellent anymore, and the reason is that middle-class people moved out of those neighborhoods. The situation is different, of course, because racism played a big role in why those people left. But neighborhoods and entire cities can and do decline when middle-class people leave, and they improve when middle-class people stay and put their kids in public school.

by Rob on Apr 7, 2014 1:57 pm • linkreport

@Rob, I hear what you're saying but my point is that if people move out there is a very good chance they will be replaced by people who are just as interested and engaged, just with a slightly different orientation. That's the demographic direction DC is heading, and given that the school system seems to be making strong progress a few people here and there moving will not change that. The likelihood of there being some mass exodus out of the city based on any of the proposed plans is highly unlikely. I don't think people saying (or threatening, whichever they do) to leave is going to help anyone get what they want.

by Joe on Apr 7, 2014 2:13 pm • linkreport

@Joe I'm not sure how it's a "threat" to acknowledge reality. How do I know large #s will leave DCPS (likely to go private)? I've lived in NW DC for decades and my youngest is now in college after attending DCPS all the way through HS. I've watched as we finally turned the tide in the last 10 yrs or so. Look at the % of neighborhood kids in NW DC that attend DCPS: it used to be a small minority, now it's a hefty majority. These parents debate going private every year. I can't PROVE that many will leave DCPS if they’re forced out of their neighborhoods, but I've got substantial anecdotal evidence to suggest they will.

Maybe DCPS doesn't need these parents and their kids. I don't know. But I know that what makes many of these schools so special are their incredibly bright, involved, neighborhood-oriented parents and students. These schools don't have great test scores because they're inherently special. They do well because they've created a very strong bond within these neighborhoods with incredibly involved parents. As I said, maybe these redistricting proposals will do enough good to overcome the downsides of losing a significant portion of this engaged parent/neighborhood community and breaking up the very strong neighborhood bonds at these schools. I'm glad you can cavalierly dismiss the concerns of these DC residents - many of whom have lived here their whole lives - just because you prefer the redistricting proposals. These parents have already "stay[ed] and work[ed] hard to ensure their community is really great." Many of them have worked through much more difficult times in DC than we face today. These parents played a large role in making many of the schools in DC great.

Whatever DC does, I hope it works; everyone in DC wants a world class public school system. Obviously, though, we disagree on how best to reach that goal. I think the benefits of a neighborhood school, where most kids walk to school and play with each other after school, outweigh any benefits from these "cluster/lottery" proposals. I also think that if we throw out the model of neighborhood-based schools we will lose, perhaps forever, a significant portion of the involved, committed parents and students that have helped turn around DCPS.

by probono on Apr 7, 2014 2:24 pm • linkreport

@Joe: If people move out because they're unhappy about the changes, it seems very unlikely that they'll be replaced by people who are just as interested and engaged. The people who move out will likely be those who have kids and care a lot about schools, and they'll probably be highly engaged with schools. The ones who replace them will probably either not have kids, not want to put their kids in public school, or not care much about school quality. And those people will probably not be very engaged. This seems like common sense.

by Rob on Apr 7, 2014 2:25 pm • linkreport

@ Joe, they don't have to move. They just have to apply for charters. And the PCSB is granting more charters every year.

There aren't PLENTY of parents who are engaged and supportive. There is a small core of them spread throughout the city with clusters in some neighborhoods. If even 10% of them switch to charters, move to different neighborhoods in DC, or leave for the suburbs it could make a big difference. For example, the difference in reading proficiency rates between Powell (a "rising" school where 12 in-boundary kids were waitlisted last year) and Payne (a "focus" school with no inbounds waitlist last year and less than half the total waitlist of Powell) is only 11 percentage points.

by sbc on Apr 7, 2014 2:47 pm • linkreport

sbc - When you say "in-bounds waitlist," do you actually mean "out-of-bounds waitlist"? My understanding is that in-boundary kids are always guaranteed a slot at their neighborhood school.

by Natalie Wexler on Apr 7, 2014 3:00 pm • linkreport

@Joe - ask any real estate agent how many people choose a house because of the school district. Look at any number of "turned around" schools - Powell, Bancroft, Garfield - parents got involved when their kids were two, hoping that they could make improvements that would benefit their children when they go to the school. Like Rob, I don't know how many people will move and how many are just threatening, but as a parent of three DCPS students, I can say that if I had no idea where my kids would go to high school or if they had to commute an hour + to get go middle school, I would apply to charters and, failing that, move. I absolutely would not take a gamble with my children's education. I really don't think that could be stressed enough. My daughter only gets one chance at 9th grade, etc. I have already found the amount of uncertainty at DCPS very difficult. I think that there are an awful lot of parents who feel the same way I do, especially in northwest. No doubt, if many of us moved, other residents would replace us, as DC is desirable place to live, but I don't think that other families with kids at DCPS would replace us, it would be other types of families.

by Urbanette on Apr 7, 2014 3:06 pm • linkreport

@ Natalie Wexler,

No, I meant in-bounds waitlist. I used the Excel spreadsheet at http://www.opendatadc.org/lv/dataset/dcps-waitlist-analysis/resource/943d1663-af1b-478e-8117-d98fc6a8d238

PK3 and PK4 are not guaranteed in-bound seats. 12 kids living in bounds for Powell in those grades were waitlisted in 2013. There were no kids living in the Payne boundary who wanted to go there and could not.

There were 58 out of boundary kids waitlisted for Payne in 2013 and 133 out of boundary kids waitlisted for Powell. That's a big difference. Both schools are in neighborhoods with similar housing stock, home prices, and metro proximity (Payne is actually closer to Stadium-Armory than Powell is to Petworth. Neither feeds into a highly-desired high school. Both have 99% free/reduced meal rates (though the actual numbers could be slightly different; above a certain level DCPS just counts it as 99% and gives everyone free breakfast and lunch). They are in many ways comparable schools, and their test scores aren't terribly different. But one has a reading proficiency rate 11 percentage points above the other, the difference between "rising" and "focus." It doesn't take many families moving to a different school to erase that.

The elementary school in my neighborhood (not Payne or Powell) has about 350 kids. about 88 are in DC cas testing grades. Taking our "priority" school up to Powell's level on reading requires getting 4 more kids in each grade to score proficient on the CAS. That's it. It could be done by attracting a dozen families whose kids are going to score proficient basically no matter what they're taught in school--AND keeping them in the school through the testing grades. It could be done by taking a dozen kids who are currently scoring basic and working with them really hard. It should be done through both of these. But it doesn't take too many kids to make it happen, and it also wouldn't take too many kids leaving Powell to make it just as low-scoring as the elementary school in my neighborhood.

by sbc on Apr 7, 2014 4:13 pm • linkreport

Shocked by this divisive excercise in social engineering.

The proposal seeks to build bridges but in fact will be extremely divisive and will lead to people voting with their feet.

Parents, teachers and administrators working hard togehter build great schools. Upset that balance and all you get is a return to downward spiral we have not seen since Marion Barry was in office.

Goodbye Mayor Grey. Muriel I hope you have a better idea...

by TenleytownDad on Apr 7, 2014 5:03 pm • linkreport

To criticize this report just a bit, I can't interpret "democracy" at any form to be at work here -- so far. It's pleasing to read that there was civil conversation among people who showed up for the forum, but that is not democracy.

It is disheartening to see that the government has already decided what the options are (these options go much broader than simply re-drawing some boundaries, as most who have not been intimately involved expected). That is disappointing, and certainly not democratic decision-making.

I think it is realistic to project that many high-income families will leave the District if the DME plan continues and is ratified. The source of that problem is: our region houses the most educated parents in the USA, as a percentage of residents. These people understand how important education is in the national marketplace; they are mobile, and will move to where the best education is, if they don't have confidence in the quality of their neighborhood schools. DCPS has much more to benefit by encouraging these parents to stay, than by chipping away at their expectation of a neighborhood school.

Charters seem to be accomplishing many if not all of the policy goals set out by the DME "options." It is curious that DME is not seeking to strengthen that development, but instead is alienating parents from a process of slow improvement, which has been working in tandem with the Charters.

by Dave on Apr 7, 2014 5:41 pm • linkreport

Great discussion here. I happen to agree that on macro level there will continue to be a similar percentage of "engaged" parents. But it may be the case many wealthy folks would decide to move their kids to private schools or the semi-wealthy would move out of town. That cannot assuage folks like Rob, who I understand has a lot invested in the decisions being considered.

I have a kid who just started pre-K at one of the more desirable charter schools, but could have sent him to Murch, so I feel for the folks like Rob who are now confronted with continued uncertainty. While I am a life-long Democrat and want the DCPS to succeed, I'm now a huge supporter of the charters and hope they will continue to expand.

If DCPS does not succeed in this endeavor, the Rob's of the world will be confronted with choice of having the burden of being the engaged parent at one of the DCPS schools where controlled choice makes him and his child the test case for whether it works. I would predict instead, he will be driven to a charter school and place his efforts where he is more likely to get better results for his kids.

Glad to hear nothing in these proposals about forcing charter schools to bear the burden of taking more and more DCPS kids, although I predict this will be proposed by at least one mayoral candidate. I will fight that.

by fongfong on Apr 7, 2014 8:50 pm • linkreport

This is a tough nut to crack and I do think the DME is sincere in her efforts. But the thrust of this seems premised on the idea of failure. Basically these plans say we don't believe school reform can work so we are going to lock in a school assigment policy for 40 years that does not force neighborhood schools to get better.

The problem with that, in the DC context, is that in many of our poorest neighborhoods, areas of concentrated multigenerational poverty absolutely need to have good schools in their neighborhood. They should be anchor institutions, providing a counter-narrative that says education pays, it is the ticket up and out. And these schools, in these neighborhoods need to be full service, full day and conduct massive outreach to neighborhood parents (often children themselves). That is the 40-year plan for success. This means at the elementary school level these schools are not the same as west of the park schools because the student body has different needs.

The whole notion that it is acceptable to have kids crossing all over the city to get a decent education is absurd. Boundary, feeder pattern and reform should all go hand in glove with a goal of good schools in every neighborhood and no more crosstown shuffle. People do the shuffle because they have to, not because they want to.

All that being said, the one idea I do like is having an out of boundary set-aside at high performing schools with explicit preference for low SES kids in low-performing schools. They should also come in at PS/PK so they get the full benefit of the school. It is a limited, short term band aid but it's better than the current oob lottery which favors the information rich.

The other side of this is the middle and upper middle class reaction. People who value education generally aren't going to gamble with their kids education. They can and will leave. That is the historic pattern in DC.

One thing that may be true is that as parents move out, DINKs move in and the city can maintain it's tax base without having to provide education to middle class families. I don't think it is a recipe for turning around education.

by Almost maryland on Apr 7, 2014 9:50 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by tegwar on Apr 7, 2014 11:03 pm • linkreport

"Thank you for your application to your Upper Northwest neighborhood school, we will now scrutinize your child's race and proximity and our algorithm will determine if you can attend here." = Goodbye DC

by algorithimallergy on Apr 8, 2014 8:18 am • linkreport

This, BTW, is the "controlled choice" model that hollowed out other school systems such as San Francisco, referenced earlier in this blog.

The elimination of boundaries forces the educracy to provide facilities where the demand is. Many school systems are moving this way by super-sizing schools, expanding them to meet demand rather than creating an additional boundary.

by algorithimallergy on Apr 8, 2014 11:49 am • linkreport

This, BTW, is the "controlled choice" model that hollowed out other school systems such as San Francisco, referenced earlier in this blog.

It never ceases to amaze me how people apparently can't even read the headline of what they are commenting on.

There is no "this." There is no single plan. There are several possibilities and this is still in the planning process.

by MLD on Apr 8, 2014 12:02 pm • linkreport

@MLD: Perhaps algorithmallergy didn't read the headline or details. Or, much more likely, when he/she said "This", he/she meant the option that includes controlled choice. There's no need to automatically assume the worst about other posters.

by Rob on Apr 8, 2014 1:01 pm • linkreport

Payne is a special case because the children at the homeless shelter at DC General are in-boundary for the school. Around 20% of the school's students, 55 of the 260 students according to last weeks reporting in the Washington Post, come from the homeless shelter. I presume that they arrive throughout the year with special needs far beyond the Free and Reduced Meal indicator.

by Data on Apr 9, 2014 8:08 pm • linkreport

Joe - I hope you don't mind paying extra taxes. We will leave and take our tax dollars with us. Those staying behind will be hard pressed to make up the difference. Breaking what works to fix what doesn't won't solve this problem.

by Pete Moss on Apr 13, 2014 8:46 am • linkreport

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