After days of frantic blogging on the latest D.C. schools crisis and trading speculation with interested readers, I find it refreshing to visit three educators who are making major changes in two of the city’s lowest-performing high schools. Unlike me and many of the people I exchange comments with, they know what they are talking about.
George Leonard, 57, chief executive officer of the Friends of Bedford group from New York; Chief Financial Officer Bevon Thompson, 35; and Chief Operating Officer Niaka Gaston, 34, sit around a table in the basement of the District’s Dunbar High School. The school was so dark and filthy when they first saw it that they cringe at the memory.
Dunbar and Coolidge high schools, both educational disaster areas, are under the command of their consulting company. D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee handed them the keys to the two schools because of the rigor and high graduation rates they brought to a small public high school, the Bedford Academy, in a low-income neighborhood of Brooklyn.