Wash Met Closing on Jan 9 Education Town Hall

On our January 9 show, the first of 2020, Education Town Hall will be talking with four current students at DCPS’s Washington Metropolitan high school about their journey, and that of their fellow Washington Met students, since learning right before Thanksgiving that DCPS proposed closing their school.

UPDATE: for recording and more info, see Jan 9 post

Listen at 11 a.m. EASTERN on Thursday, January 9, via TuneIn or by visiting We Act Radio and clicking on arrow at upper left (NOTE: Not all “listen” buttons are working at present).

Guests:

  • Lyric Johnson: 16 years old and on the DCPS chancellor’s cabinet; came to Wash Met in middle school
  • Na’Asia Hawkins, 18 years old, arrived at Wash Met after 2 years out of school; has 2-year-old son
  • Travius Butler, 17 years old, arrived at Wash Met after leaving Woodson HS; hopes to enter the military
  • Angel, 19 years old, has been at Wash Met for 3 years; has 5-month-old baby

Washington Met is one of four opportunity academies within DCPS, ensuring that students who have not found academic success at other schools will have a pathway to graduation. But citing poor attendance, low enrollment, and poor test scores, the DCPS chancellor has proposed closing Washington Met. effective next school year.

For these students, and a host before them, however, the school has provided a safe and welcoming haven away from difficulties of their lives, including serious trauma. For many, the school’s small classes and personal attention have been critical in their educations, something that other schools could not provide them.

Yet, years without a gym, library, day care for students’ children, and substantive career training, Washington Met. appears to have been poorly provisioned by the city—a reality not lost on its students.

As a result, these students have begun a difficult, but brave, journey in advocating for their school in the face of incredible odds against both them and their school.

The Education Town Hall with Thomas Byrd
broadcasts from Historic Anacostia
in Washington, DC, on We Act Radio,
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern
New programming 2nd and 4th Thursdays, alternating with classic shows.
Listen live via TuneIn.
Shows are archived for convenient listening shortly after broadcast.

After years of weekly broadcasts, the program now focuses one show each month on local issues and one on “the BUS,” organized by BadAss Teachers, United Opt Out, and SOS March.

Related resources:

WTU petition against the closure of Washington Met

2013 PBS documentary on Wash. Met

Channel 9 story

December 17, 2019 WPFW radio show featuring a discussion of the school

City Paper Students Value Their School

City Paper Rapper No Savage Visits

former library
former school library
The former library at Washington Met high school and is now used as a resource room, with piles of books left on the floor. Students have long complained that there is no library nor any books, along with no electives, no gym, no child care for students’ children, and almost no career training, despite the school having a student population with deep needs, including a high percentage of special education students.

footsteps
areas intended for elementary students were never renovated
Footprints on a hall floor at Washington Met HS, a building once an elementary school, then long-closed; many areas have not been modernized or renovated for use by high school students since Washington Met was located there in 2010.

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