Life in the Capital, Petworth, The District

We Love: DC’s Public Charter Schools

What would an all Public Charter School system look like?

What would an all Public Charter School system look like?

While I’ve heard the moaning about the DC Public School System since my first days in DC, I never really cared about it. I was a swinging single and my whole goal was to keep away from anything kid-related, though many would say I acted child-like.

But now that I’m soon to be a parent, I am thinking more about my child’s future education, and as a District resident, the schooling options. Looking around, I see a lot of promises broken and lives wasted in the DC Public School system, yet hope with Public Charter Schools.

So I propose a radical change: Let’s ditch the failing public schools for a fully Public Charter School System.

Here we have one of the highest-cost, lowest performing public education systems in the United States, and our city government is expending untold millions of dollars and political capital to fix. The problems are myriad, and all of them, from lack of parental involvement to aimless youth, to an entrenched & bloated bureaucracy, seemingly intractable.

Faced with this boondoggle, parents are desperate for options and have already created a parallel system to educate their children. Over 40% of parents send their children to Public Charter Schools, and I would argue that they are the 40% that care about their child’s education. In addition, Public Charter Schools are doing a better job of educating at less cost. And almost all require greater parental involvement, student motivation, and teacher engagement than public schools.

I know that when my child gets to be school age, they’ll be headed off to a cool bilingual charter elementary school – we now have several schools to choose from in Petworth, some more convenient than others.

So why not take all taxpayer & Gates Foundation money that’s currently going down the public school rathole, and put it towards an all-charter school system? We could save the the DC government a few billion a year and give a better education to the city’s children.

Or look at it another way: could a fully Public Charter School system really be worse than what we have now?


A Schooling for The House

The House Strip Club and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

The House Strip Club and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

The E.L. Haynes Public Charter School at 3600 Georgia Avenue NW, currently serves Pre-K to 5th grade students in the Petworth neighborhood. They hope to add a grade each year until they are serving students through grade twelve.

From this angle, you can see their new five-story school soaring over the existing Georgia Avenue businesses. You may also see a slight problem with the school. Its soaring over not-so-school-friendly local businesses like The House strip club and too many liquor stores.

You can also expect to see a dispute or two soon enough with horny teenagers looking to sneak a peek, or at least a sip of the adult-only entertainment that surrounds the school. Who do you think will win? Businesses that have been on the block for decades, or protective parents trying to keep innocence from being lost?

In the battle that everyone knows will soon come despite rumored promises of neutrality by the school, I’ll be betting on the parents, especially now that I have a prospective student on the way.

Kids beat tits every day of the week.

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