Better homes, lousy schools

On Constrained Vision, Katie links to a story on urban renewal in Washington, D.C. which points out a critical problem: Middle-class families won’t move to a neighborhood if they can’t send their kids to decent schools. Marc Fisher writes in the Washington Post:

The city is moving to replace the violence-plagued Sursum Corda project near North Capitol Street, but the school system seems unable to revive adjacent Walker-Jones Elementary, where only 27 percent of the students read at grade level.

The housing end of Mayor Tony Williams’s goal of building homes for 100,000 new residents seems realistic. But the city cannot build a thriving middle class without good schools.

If newcomers can send their children to schools of choice outside the neighborhood, they’re more likely to give gentrifying neighborhoods a try, Katie points out.

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  1. Ivan Chonkin says:

    Yes, I suspect Mayor Williams will have more than a bit of trouble with this on both an economic and political level.

    It now appears that no small amount of time, money, and district resources will be spent on our new baseball team.

    On a political level, nothing is easy in D.C. for all kinds of reasons. The normal range of political issues re. school choice of course and, also, the possibility that a policy of building a “middle class base” could quite possibly play out on racial lines with ‘middle class’ perhaps being portrayed (inaccurately i suspect) as a buzz word for ‘white’. Mayor Williams may not have the political coin to pull something like that off.


  1. elimite says: