D.C. to Sharpen Focus on Adult Learning

Courtesy of D.C. Goodwill Charter School
Courtesy of D.C. Goodwill Charter School

To help lower the city’s high rates of illiteracy, D.C. has begun focusing more on education for adult residents.

According to 2016 census data, more than 72,000 District residents 25 and older lack high school credentials.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson and Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, recently toured some of the city’s dozen-plus adult schools in operation at both charter and traditional public schools. Collectively, the schools serve about 5,100 adult students.

The schools, which include Luke C. Moore High in Northwest and Community College Prep in Southeast, are free and open to residents age 16 or older who want to earn a GED or further their skills in preparation for the work force.

According to the D.C.-based Fiscal Policy Institute, most residents without a high school diploma are Black, reflecting one of the starkest racial inequities in the District.

Beginning next year, adult students who lack transportation to and from classes won’t have to worry, as the city’s fiscal year 2018 budget includes some $2 million to allow them to use public transportation for free.

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