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So D.C. Public Schools is planning to close 20 of its schools. Below is a roundup of facts, figures, and graphics related to the news.
- First, here’s a map of the schools slated for closure:
- The closures have something to do with the city’s allocation of resources, as Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander says, but demographics also play a role:
- Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie says that DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson has assured him that the Spingarn High School, the only high school on the list and the first slated for closure in many years, will be renovated, not shut down. “A newly renovated Spingran High School is a win for Ward 5,” McDuffie says in a statement. “The Chancellor has assured me that Spingarn High School will not be closed, but that it will be completely modernized. DCPS’ goal is to turn Spingarn into a state-of-the art career and technical educational center, and for Marshall Elementary to remain in DCPS’ inventory for future use.”
- All but two of the schools will be closing after this school year, according to the plans. The special-needs schools Sharpe Health and Mamie D. Lee will move into the newly renovated River Terrace Elementary School in 2014.
- Underenrollment in the closing schools probably has something to do with charter school enrollment in the areas. Take a look at this chart:
The city’s charter-school population is much more black and less white than the public school population, and the city population overall. This implies that in the wealthier, whiter parts of the city, many parents are satisfied with the higher-performing public schools or send their kids to private schools, while in the poorer, blacker parts of the city, parents dissatisfied with the worse-performing public schools opt for charter schools—-hence the underenrollment in those public schools.