How Far We Have NOT Come

Before the rise of charter schools in Washington, DC, the claim was that there were too many school buildings. A common complaint was that DC Public School system was too thinly spread and chaotic.

By my count as of 2012, we have at least 189 different schools, a good number of them charter schools, of course. Unless I’m completely mistaken, this is MORE separate schools than we had at any time before-hand. (A few more schools are not counted at all…)

Of all of these schools, only a tiny fraction of them have any white kids at all. I count a total of twenthy-seven of them  that have a tested population consisting of more than FIVE percent non-hispanic whites, in a city whose population is about 35% white and about 51% black, according to the 2000 census.

Here is the list of all of those schools with at least a handful of white kids, in alphabetical order, with their stated percentage of non-hispanic white students. To make the distinction clearer for those not highly familiar with DC schools, I wrote the abbreviation “(ch)” after the names of the charter schools.

1              Brent ES               34%

2              Capital City – Lower (ch)        24%

3              D.C. Bilingual (ch)      23%

4              Deal MS               42%

5              E.L. Haynes – Georgia Ave  (ch)          9%

6              Eaton ES               31%

7              Ellington School of the Arts          9%

8              Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom (ch)          7%

9              Hardy MS            9%

10           Hearst ES             19%

11           Hyde-Addison ES             39%

12           Janney ES            68%

13           Key ES   69%

14           Lafayette ES       69%

15           Montessori School @ Logan        40%

16           Murch ES             58%

17           Oyster-Adams Bilingual EC           22%

18           School Without Walls HS               35%

19           Stoddert ES        45%

20           Stuart-Hobson Middle School     13%

21           Tuition Grant-DCPS Non Public  15%

22           Two Rivers – Elementary (ch)                40%

23           Two Rivers – Middle (ch)       14%

24           Washington Latin – Middle (ch)           36%

25           Washington Yu Ying (ch)       21%

26           Watkins ES (Capitol Hill Cluster)       19%

27           Wilson, Woodrow HS     19%

I was going to list all the highly-segregated schools, but I realized even if I defined “segregated” as having more than 85% of the school population as being of one single ethnic/racial group or being poor, that that would be an exceedingly long list! In fact, I count exactly 200 instances where a school is highly segregated by ethnicity or poverty or both! (A school like Drew, which is 98% black and 92% poor, gets counted twice.)

We have 28 public and charter schools where 90% of the students are poor, as measured by being on the Free and Reduced Meals list. Here they are:

1              Aiton ES

2              Amidon-Bowen ES

3              Center City – Brightwood (ch)

4              Center City – Congress Heights (ch)

5              Cesar Chavez – Bruce Prep (ch)

6              Community Academy – Amos III (ch)

7              Community Academy – Butler (ch)

8              Community Academy – Rand (ch)

9              Drew ES

10           Excel Academy (ch)

11           Ferebee-Hope ES

12           Friendship – Blow-Pierce (ch)

13           Friendship – Southeast Academy (ch)

14           Hendley ES

15           Howard Road Academy – Main (ch)

16           Imagine Southeast (ch)

17           Kenilworth ES

18           King, M.L ES

19           Kramer MS

20           Malcolm X ES

21           Mary McLeod Bethune – Slowe_Brookland (ch)

22           Maya Angelou – Middle (ch)

23           Moten ES at Wilkinson

24           Patterson ES

25           Savoy ES

26           Stanton ES

27           Tree of Life Community (ch)

28           Tubman ES


As my title laments, how far we have NOT come in reaching the dream of which Dr. King spoke.

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