Why did the city shut down failing middle schools in mostly black neighborhoods in Ward 5, while parents in gentrifying Ward 6 successfully negotiated plans to improve and keep their schools open? Was it that working and middle class black parents gave up on these neighborhood schools and didn’t fight to improve them or keep them open?
Maria Jones, a black Ward 5 parent, says no; she argued during a City Council roundtable on Wednesday that wealthier Ward 6 residents wielded their influence and power them in getting approval on a plan to improve and keep their schools open, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, Ward 5 still has no middle schools.
City Councilman Tommy Wells (Ward 6) said that Ward 5 deserves good schools, but the ones it had were failing students. “I don’t think it’s helpful when we demagogue by demographics each other’s wards” he told Jones, adding that Ward 6 has large segments of public housing and homeless families: