Hitting Left with guest Brandon Johnson

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's the real deal at this D.C. high school?

They restructured Anacostia H.S. into small academies, good. But they fired 85% of the teachers, Michelle Rhee style. They even got Michelle Obama to come and give the commencement speech to the school's few grads. So where's the heralded "rebirth," asks visiting teacher/writer Dan Brown. 
I visited the Sojourner Truth Academy for ninth-graders on Friday, June 18. What I saw and heard didn't match the hype. When I asked a student who gave me a tour of the building what the best part of school was for him, he told me: "the teachers... but they're all leaving." ... Possibly worst of all, my student guide led me to the cafeteria, which required passing through a stairwell so dilapidated and encrusted with grime and filth that it seemed to belong in a horror movie.
 Can you imagine these conditions in a predominantly white, middle-class school? Would WaPo still be cheering?

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