Woodrow Wilson High School is Washington DC’s largest public high school. Situated in one of the city’s wealthiest and whitest neighborhoods, Wilson houses one of the highest white populations in DC Public Schools at 25%. Wilson’s boundaries extend far across the city, serving a student population far more diverse (racially and economically) than can be found in its own and surrounding Wards, sometimes nicknamed “Upper Caucasia”.

In recent years, Wilson has undergone a $115 million renovation, making it the only DC high school with amenities including an olympic size pool, a glass-covered atrium, and two new gymnasiums.

There has been an ongoing push to limit Wilson’s boundaries, which in effect would exclude the city’s poorer students and further segregate DC’s schools and Wards by race and class.

The focus on modernization in schools like Wilson, in contrast to those DC Public Schools lacking in sufficient facilities such as plumbing, heat, water, books, and teachers, is only one of many examples of DC’s financial prioritization leaning towards white affluent interests.

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Teacher Layoffs: D.C. public schools fired more than 200 teachers today for poor performance on the IMPACT evaluation system, and reactions on Twitter have ranged from outrage to full support of the news. The Examiner’s Lisa Gartner notes that for the second year in a row, a disproportionate number of top-performing teachers were in affluent Ward 3 schools, while only a small percentage taught in the city’s poorest Ward 8. Such stats have unionized teachers criticizing the controversial evaluation program as unfair and not taking socioeconomic factors into consideration.

- CT

[Lisa Gartner]

Watch on servedc.tumblr.com

More from DCPS Beautification Day! Check out Washington Capitals fans hard at work at Marshall Elementary School!


                  In Celebration of Growing Healthy Schools

The DC Public Schools is celebrating Growing Healthy Schools Week in recognition of advances in the city’s school garden program and the focus on incorporating healthy eating in school meals.   The city now has 92 school gardens and 46 famers’ markets.   Schools that have been modernized for sustainability have developed gardens and have integrated a curriculum related to gardening and healthy eating.   Much attention has been given to students from Bancroft and Harriet Tubman joining First Lady Michelle Obama to plant and harvest the White House garden.   

This year Growing Healthy Schools Week again combines the focus of DC School Garden Week and DC Farm to School Week with a list of planned events October 20-26, 2013.

D.C. Council members are sending their kids to pricey private schools instead of putting them in the city’s troubled public system that they urge other parents to invest in.

That’s Washington Examiner’s Lisa Gartner on D.C. Councilmen foregoing the neighborhood school experience for their children. Only one councilman sends his child to a neighborhood public school, and that school happens to be in upper-middle-class Cleveland Park. Two-thirds of the council members send their children to private schools.

- CT

[Washington Examiner]

Bush is not like Hitler

Bush is not like Hitler

I know that Bush was a bad president, but you should not make a homework assignment comparing him to Hitler. Hitler is almost universally hated by everyone, but Bush, not only is he still alive, but he is also very respected by many people. Republicans like to compare Hitler with Obama, but believe me, Hitler was much worse than either of them. They both abused their powers, but Hitler and Bush…

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Hearst Elementary School - Upcoming Deliveries on Idaho Ave

Hearst Elementary School Neighbors,

We (DGS) would like to let you know that we have some upcoming deliveries and construction activities that will impact Idaho Ave at Hearst ES. The deliveries are on-going in preparation for a concrete pour that is currently scheduled for this Tuesday, February 10th. On this Tuesday, there will be a number of concrete trucks entering/exiting the site for most of the day.

Stay up-to-date on breaking project news and updates by following us on Twitter at @DCDGS (http://twitter.com/dcdgs) and/or our Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/dcdgs)

Thank you and please be sure to help spread the word!

Awesome Alert: Serve DC's City Year Team, the "Johnson Family"

For eleven individuals whose lives never intersected prior to this past August, City Year Washington DC’s Serve DC team at Johnson Middle School quickly took to calling itself the Johnson “family” – the name a testament to the close-knit relationships shared by this particular team serving off the Suitland Parkway.


                 DC Advances School Modernization Projects into 2015 

On Friday, December 19, 2014, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, District officials and the Duke Ellington school community celebrated the groundbreaking for the modernization of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  The architect for design development is LBA/CGS, J.V. joined by GCS-Sigal, LLC as project contractor.  Similar to the emphasis on sustainability, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts is being planned as LEED Silver or better.

See also:

Muriel Watkins ‪@murielwatkins - Dec 26

 .“‪@DCDGS: MT ‪#DC ‪@dcpublicschools Celebrates plans for the NEW ‪@DukeEllingtonDC - in one word AMAZING!!! ”

DC General Services @DCDGS

  • Peggy Cooper-Cafritz speaks about the long journey in service that ‪@DukeEllingtonDC has had & will continue to have. Dec 19
  • ANC Ed Solomon speaks about the collaborative effort of government & community to build a NEW ‪@DukeEllingtonDC.  Dec 19
Education Reform? Not So Much...

So our favorite Education Reform Boo, former DC Public Schools Supt. Michelle Rhee, left her job recently to take her fight fix “our broke educations” to Republican states across the nation.

Hailed as the savior of a school system that had failed its students in preparing them for a college education, Rhee made teacher effectiveness the centerpiece of her reform measures, linking teacher failure as the key source of problems with education in the nation’s capitol.  Some of DC Public School saw test score bumps during here leadership.  

Apparently, they may have been FAKE… sigh

via USA Today:

She is headlining education rallies with parents and chatting about teacher evaluations with governors. Yet as she pushes efforts to assess teachers based partly on their students’ test scores, parents and teachers in the nation’s capital are calling for a federal investigation of high scores during Rhee’s tenure.

More than 3,700 teachers and parents are petitioning the U.S. Department of Education and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate.
The petition follows a USA TODAY investigation that found 103 schools — more than half of D.C.’s public schools — with unusually high rates of wrong answers erased and changed to right ones on student tests from 2008 through 2010, while Rhee was schools chief.

The petitioners, led by a group of teachers and parents who opposed Rhee during her time in D.C., want an in-depth data analysis of the test scores. …Rhee, who has not spoken with USA TODAY about D.C.’s test scores, agreed to an in-person interview this week. However, spokeswoman Mafara Hobson raised concerns that the questions would emphasize the test erasures, not her current efforts. Rhee decided to answer only by e-mail.——

Perhaps Ms. Rhee should consider whether her premise is faulty and whether her efforts have led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, a school system that teaches to the test above all else.  That isn’t reformed education, its education in a straight jacket.  

It’s too bad that people drink the kool-aid so quickly.  There are points to be taken from Rhee, but the premise that Teachers are the single most problematic participant in the education system is the fault.  For me the problem is the lack of support for education, teachers and staff on the local and the national level. When the Federal Government provides only 9% of all funding, you know what the problem is.

Quoting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…