Excellence in D.C. schools
By Delabian L. Rice-Thurston
What does “free, for your tax dollars,” Woodrow Wilson High School have that pricey St. Albans and Georgetown Day School also have? What do Wilson and Banneker Academic High School have that no public charter school has? They have National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Wilson Senior High School had five National Merit semifinalists — as many as St. Albans and Georgetown Day had. Banneker Academic High School had two National Merit semifinalists. No public charter high school had any in 2010, and neither did a number of private high schools.
Now that the school year is over, and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty have not seen fit to shout such major successes in our public high schools from the rooftops, allow me to do it for them. Yes, one day it will be wonderful when every public high school in our city has highly competitive students. But while we are on that road, trying to create excellence everywhere, we need to salute it where we have it. District residents should understand and support the excellence that does exist in our public schools.
Next year, I hope The Post will list National Merit semifinalists, as it has in years past. I also hope the D.C. Public Schools will revive some of the summer programs it used to foster high academic achievement among the best students in the city. Many years ago, the Superintendent’s Program for Potential National Merit Scholars gave bright students throughout the city a chance to come together and share enriching academic experiences over the summer. And it did produce results.
| June 21, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories: D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Mayor Fenty, education, schools
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