Out of control

Once the elite high school in Washington, D.C., Dunbar High is out of control, reports the Washington Post.

Nearly half the senior class is not on track to graduate, more than 100 students are taking courses they’ve already passed and the campus is growing increasingly unsafe.

A private contractor hired to turn around the school two years ago was fired by Kaya Henderson, the interim schools chancellor.

“In general, the building seems to be in turmoil at all times,” Henderson wrote in a termination letter made public this week. “Well after the school day begins, many students are wandering around the building, strolling to class with absolutely no sense of urgency.”

The district plans to spend $100 million to build a new Dunbar to open in fall 2013.

Dunbar is only slightly worse than the district’s other open-enrollment high schools, reports the Post.  Citywide, 39 percent of open-enrollment high school students aren’t on track to graduate in four years.

Dunbar has had 22 security incidents this fall deemed “serious,” meaning they involved fighting, assault or incidents with weapons. That places the school just slightly above Woodson and Ballou high schools, both with 19. Police arrested six Dunbar students last month and charged them with raping a female student in a stairwell. The charges were later dropped, but the school community was shaken.

School safety stats are unbelievable, writes Jay Mathews. They’re way too easy to manipulate.

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