EDITORIAL: Ron Brown High Deserves a Chance to Succeed

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at the grand opening of the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast, the city's first all-male high school, on Aug. 22. Patricia Little
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at the grand opening of the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast, the city's first all-male high school, on Aug. 22. (Patricia Little/The Washington Informer)

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine recently issued a formal statement, reiterating his opinion released last year that supported the legality of the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School and other portions of the D.C. Public Schools [DCPS] Empowering Males of Color Initiative.

Racine, who has openly discussed the initiative which focuses on providing more sustained and supportive academic opportunities for Black and Latino males — boys who have consistently scored lowest in mathematics and English in comparison to other demographics in the DCPS — adds that he has had several conversations with the American Civil Liberties Union on the Nation’s Capital to discuss their respective views of the law.

But despite efforts of transparency, both from Racine’s office and DCPS, the attorney general says the ACLU has inaccurately characterized details of a chat he had with ACLU officials last Friday in his efforts to respond to questions they had about the initiative.

In summary, and according to Racine, DCPS has not made any policy change with regard to admissions to Ron Brown. He added, that contrary to suggestions by the ACLU, his office did not say that the admissions policy had changed nor did it indicate that DCPS has plans to change that policy in the future. That is our understanding as well — no changes have been nor will be made to the admissions policy.

We understand that some believe that this school does not give all students the chance to succeed. However, we believe that this “one” unique high school which focuses on boys of color who far too often find greater success as inmates than as high school graduates and college-bound students should be allowed to achieve its goals for its students.

Further, it should be noted that attorney general says he has not changed his view that Ron Brown and the remaining parts of the Empowering Males of Color Initiative are consistent with the protections of the Constitution and civil rights law.