Monday, January 21, 2008

DC Schools Poll

The Washington Post conducted a poll regarding the state of public schools in Washington, DC. The results are surprising in some respects:
  • 68% think that the takeover of the schools by Mayor Adrian Fenty will lead to long-term improvement
  • 78% of respondents say that the condition of the facilities is a big problem
  • 76% believe that parental apathy is a big problem for the schools
Undiscipline students and violence at the schools were also big problems cited by 3 out of 4 respondents.

Farther down the list was the city's central school office and the quality of teachers. However, these results maybe affected by the moves that Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Fenty have made regarding improving the teaching corps and bringing the central office to heel. But the problems that most plague the schools, parental apathy, violence and undisciplined students may the issues the Rhee and Fenty are least capable of altering. Surely, the schools can and are on track, to fix the facilities, but beyond that there is little that the schools system can do.

What remains an odd contrast is the pubic reaction about Rhee's plan to close 23 district schools due to poor enrollment and the general apathy about the schools themselves among most parents.

The question then for the DC schools is how to motivate parents to give attention to their kids' education? Query also whether the DC results are mirrored in other urban school districts.

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