Just how rotten are the D.C. public schools? In a recent survey by Education Week, the D.C. public schools ranked fourth from the bottom in terms of graduation rates. Test scores for basics like math and reading are also near the bottom. It's not for lack of money: A recent U.S. Census Bureau report says the district school spending clocks in at more than $13,400 per child -- third highest in the nation. It takes a lot of money to run a school system as lousy as D.C.'s.
This dismal performance helps explain why so many have been willing to cross the usual political and ideological lines to try to give the district's kids a better shot at a decent education.