Something is Wrong


Something is wrong. There is clearly a gap between educational policies and how these are carried out. There is also a gap between what a school is "supposed" to do, and what it even might "want" to do, and what it "actually" does in practice. This survey must jolt us out of our slumber and make us wonder whether or not we are pursuing real reform. The current emphasis on teacher performance and standardized tests falls by the wayside when one looks at this survey: "More than 8 out of 10 counselors report that a top mission of schools should be to ensure that all students complete 12th grade ready to succeed in college and careers." BUT, "Only 30% of school counselors and 19 percent of counselors in high poverty schools see this as their school's mission." This is a huge problem. We love to use the rhetoric of "No excuses!" and "Poverty is not an excuse!" meaning that no matter what the socioeconomic background of a student is, they can succeed at getting an education. Currently, this means that they, and the schools that serve them, can pass standardized tests. This also means that there is more "accountability" on teachers so that they "teach" students by raising standards and therefore close the achievement gap, because, remember, "poverty is not an excuse!" But, this new survey  causes the foundations of the house to shake! An abysmal 19% of school councilors in high poverty schools see that their school has a top mission of making sure that their students (1) graduate, and (2) are ready to succeed in college or careers. The pie-in-the-sky rhetoric has suddenly fallen. The frolicking in the daisies has ended. The talking-point of "equality" will be a little harder to believe now. How can we say that we are truly serving students from low-income backgrounds, when we are not evening giving and connecting them to life-long opportunities? Does equality end after the testing season? Or does it end after high school? How can we as a society accept the proposition that all students regardless of class and color can score high on a test and deserve an education equivalent to that of their white peers, while we casually gloss over the fact that our students are not career ready, not because they are stupid, but because our system (in the name of equality and accountability) is too focused on test shows. Why do schools in poorer areas not focus on graduation, and being college and career ready? The cynic would say that these students are more prone to drop out anyway. So why aren't there programs serving them and training them for jobs? Most would ponder and scratch their heads and wonder why. Do the schools not care? Are they under-resourced? Do they not have connections? Why do those that are more likely to NEED college and career readiness - let alone have the cards of ever graduating stacked against them - not receive the simple nudge in the right direction? Why do those who are ostracized from society, continue not to get a chance, even under the name of "fairness?" Something is wrong.

DC VOICE Advocacy Day Update


This past Thursday, November 10th, members from DC VOICE visited our city council to see what was the latest on our Community Schools Legislation. We visited Harry Thomas Jr.’s office (Ward 5), Muriel Bowser’s office (Ward 4), and Michael Brown’s office (At-Large) and we were fortunate enough to run into Councilman Brown. Aides from all 3 offices articulated their support for the initiative and to push for a hearing on our behalf.  Thank you to everyone who sent emails to their councilmember, and we look forward to hearing back from the City Council soon.

The Washington Teacher: More DCPS School Closings On The Horizon!


The Washington Teacher: More DCPS School Closings On The Horizon!: DC GOVERNMENT IS PLANNING ON CLOSING MORE SCHOOLS! Did you know that the Deputy Mayor for Education (De’Shawn Wright) h...


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