• In 2005, the District’s public schools had a dropout rate higher than that of any state’s schools.
• In 2007, D.C. students’ reading scores were lower than the scores achieved by students in any other state.
• The District graduates only 59 percent of students, again one of the lowest marks in the country.
• D.C. ranks first in the nation for percent of budget spend on administration and last in the nation on percent of budget spent on instruction.
• In 2006, 15,000 of
• The percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who “reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the previous 12 months” was 12 percent in 2005. That was the highest rate in the nation and well above the average of 7 percent across the country.
The D.C. public schools achieve such results at a cost of $14,800 per student. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, meanwhile, provides vouchers worth $7,500. According to a survey by
The Wall Street Journal identifies the reason that Norton and other Democrats in Congress are opposed to the program:
If the D.C. program continues for another few years, we will be able to learn more about the impact of vouchers on educational outcomes. The reason unions want to shut the program down immediately isn’t because they’re afraid it will fail. They’re afraid it will succeed, and show that there is a genuine alternative to the national scandal that are most inner-city public schools.