It’s Time to Examine the District’s Education Governance

Councilmember Robert White:

Our country and city are in a unique moment where we are taking a fresh look at things, from police brutality to inequities in our criminal justice system. But one thing that’s not getting coverage, because we don’t see photographs or viral clips, is that the District’s schools are not working for students of color, English Language Learner students, or students with disabilities.

Consider the facts:

  • Math

  • Only 21% of Black students meet or exceed expectations, compared to 79% of White students.

  • 16% of at-risk students, 23% of English learners, and 7% of students with disabilities met or exceeded expectations.

  • English Language Arts

  • Only 28% of Black students meet or exceed expectations, compared to 85% of White students.

  • 21% of at-risk students, 20% of English learners, and 8% of students with disabilities meet or exceeded expectations

  • Teacher Turnover

  • The District has the highest teacher turnover rate in the country. A quarter of our teachers leave our school system every year. Over half of our DCPS teachers leave within three years, and 70% leave within five years.

The only way we could consider this system successful is by just considering white students, who make up 16% of DC’s public schools.