The reactions came quickly last month when Mayor Vince Gray announced his plan to revamp the city’s school-assignment policies and neighborhood school boundaries, and most weren’t positive. “Well, that sucks,” was the first response on the DC Urban Moms and Dads online discussion forum, from a Crestwood resident who lost access to highly regarded Alice Deal Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School. Mayoral candidates David Catania and Muriel Bowser voiced their opposition to the plan. The planned overhaul of the city’s school assignments for the first time in more than 40 years may be necessary—-and facilitated by Gray’s lame-duck status, allowing him to dodge voter fallout—-but it didn’t appear to be politically popular.
Except according to an NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll released today, it is.
The poll asked D.C. residents whether they “generally support or oppose” the proposed changes to the city’s school-assignment system. Fifty-five percent expressed support, to 23 percent who opposed the plan and 22 percent who had no opinion. (Among registered voters, the responses were nearly the same: 56 percent support, 24 percent opposition, 20 percent no opinion.)
Because the lottery for the next school year opens in December, before the new mayor takes office, it’s not clear exactly how the candidates would go about derailing Gray’s plan, and they’ve yet to lay out their processes for doing so. Perhaps, with this kind of support, they’ll reconsider whether it’s really the best idea.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery