The community conversations taking place across the city concerning the IFF study released in January of school locations and performance is continuing to raise major concerns among parents and residents in neighborhoods where a high number of Tier 3 and Tier 4 low-performing schools are located.
The report, commissioned by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, suggests that in order to raise the performance and success of D.C. public and public charter school students, many students may need to be moved to higher performing schools which mean leaving their neighborhood school.
The report also recommends turning around or in the worst case, closing more than 30 schools that have historically proven to be Tier 4 or failing schools. Closing schools never sits well with D.C. residents who have traditionally supported neighborhood schools.
Many parents who are attending the community conversations are leery of the report and unconvinced that moving students or closing schools is the best solution for improving classroom performance, especially when the report is based upon standardized test results, for example, the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS). This report may not lead to the result it recommends, but parents must stay actively engaged in these discussions to help direct the future of D.C. public and charter schools.