Friday, 30 November 2012

My Neighborhood

Across the river, into DC....folks woke up yesterday with new statistical news.  DC has the lowest high school graduation rate of any state/district...in America.  They stand at 59 percent of the kids graduating.

The defense of this?  Well....we had a city council guy who stood up and spoke on this fact that DC is a very unique urban school district....as compared against rural school districts across America.  I stood there for a minute....trying to figure out the meaning of that.  He can only mean that you'd be better off in some poor county district in Alabama....than in DC, because of the rural situation.  That logic only holds water, if you've smoked a bit of weed or had a couple of double-shots of Jacky D's.

After living around the region for three years, I can offer two observations on this topic.

First, DC spends a ton of money on teachers within the school district.  But if you look at past reports....probably a quarter of teachers are either unqualified for their jobs or poor leaders in the classroom.  It's like paying a bunch of folks to produce light-bulbs but customers complain that forty percent of the bulbs never work after buying them.  Usually, you'd fire your folks at the light-bulb factory, but in DC's case...you just give your folks pay-raises 

Second, to be kind of honest....if you have any significant means of capital and live in DC.....then your kid doesn't attend a public school there.  They go to a private school.  If you did move into the region and want your kid to attend public school....then you tend to move into Virginia....not DC.  So to be truthful....the DC crowd is stuck with lower-income kids only in their school system.  If you suddenly put 4k upper-class kids into the DC system....the statistics would ramp up within one year.  But that's never going to happen.

So when your discover your local school has a graduation rate of 92-percent....you ought to be patting those guys on the back and being glad you don't live in DC.

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