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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