Posted by Elissa Silverman on January 17, 2018 at 6:07 PM
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first update of 2018!
It’s been a busy two weeks so far, with several important issues needing immediate attention. I am very disturbed about the troubling findings from an investigation into DC school attendance and high school graduation rates. This critical assessment was triggered by outstanding accountability reporting from WAMU/NPR on the 2017 graduating class of Ballou, a DCPS high school that received a lot of press and praise from city officials for having every member of the senior class get into college.
As the initial findings make clear, the problem is not just at Ballou but at high schools across our city: Many students are truant or coming to school late regularly but still graduate, sometimes using “credit recovery” classes. As I learned in a December hearing on the matter, there are no regulations or rules around credit recovery. This needs to be addressed swifty. I see the impact in my position as chair of the Labor Committee: Our young people are not prepared to enter the world of work. Some still need help in reading and writing. Many more lack so-called “soft skills,” the essential skills that are important not only on the job but in life: showing up on time, being able to write and speak effectively, and knowing how to resolve conflict and be resilient. These basic habits are the obstacles to employment for many jobseekers in our city. These habits start in school.Read more