Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
One victim of the D.C. Public Schools’ overcounting is Delabian Rice-Thurston, head of Parents United. Last summer, she received fliers from Roosevelt Senior High School about the upcoming school year. She ignored them because, even though she lives in the Coolidge SHS district, she had enrolled her son David in the honors program at Wilson SHS. During the fall, Rice-Thurston received a letter from Roosevelt stating that “David has been truant 16 days and present 20 days.” She called the school and was told the matter would be corrected quickly. It wasn’t. She received a second letter, this one noting that her son had been absent several more days and “tardy once.” Rice-Thurston’s son was being counted twice by the system—once by Roosevelt SHS, who didn’t know David from Adam, and again by Wilson SHS. “I was really upset,” she recalls. She sent a certified letter to Roosevelt, fearing that once erroneous truancy reports showed up on David’s record they would never be removed, which they weren’t until she alerted Superintendent Franklin Smith. “So I’ve got proof weird things go on in the schools,” Rice-Thurston concludes.