At Large Council Member Robert White joined us in studio for our Thursday March 12th edition of Education Town Hall.
Elected to the council in 2016, White is running for re-election this year. On the show, White talked about many of his education focuses in the council during that time, including his attempts to change how we think about education, including moving from talking points on what’s going well to focusing on the experiences of students and parents. For White, before talking about what’s working, or what’s not, DC needs a broad assessment of where we are, given that the city has made little, if any, progress in the last decade in closing achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color.
Referencing schools left behind by inequity, White criticized DC’s STAR rating system for schools, largely based on test scores, and noted that among other things, it has hurt schools with few stars and alternative schools like Washington Met. In talking about his attempt to get the council to override that school’s closure, White noted that DC must have another school to replace it, as it provided an educational home for students who have no other educational home. He noted that a constant problem has been under-resourcing of schools like Washington Met. A better funding system, he noted, would provide more teachers and social workers, with greater equity for all.