Where Will You Send Your Kids to School?

by Shilpi Paul

Where Will You Send Your Kids to School?: Figure 1

As DC neighborhoods fill up with strollers and the pitter-patter of little feet, many young parents are starting to think about schools. The quality of the local public schools varies greatly throughout the District, and the rise of charter schools is changing the scene every year.

As we’ve reported, several neighborhoods, like Capitol Hill and Logan Circle, have active parent groups that are pushing grassroots reform in local schools using techniques that are familiar to any lobbying or advocacy group. Many of these parents get involved in local public elementary schools even before their children are school age. But when it’s time to send their kids to the local public option, many end up deciding to apply for a spot at a charter school or private school, or to move to a place with better schools.

So, UrbanTurf is wondering what readers have done or would do when it comes to this option. If you are a current parent, prospective parent or future parent facing this decision, let us know your preference in the poll below.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/poll_where_will_you_send_your_kids_to_school/7567


  1. ML said at 6:50 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    My wife is pregnant which means the clock has started ticking on our DC residency. In 4 years we can compete to get into a charter (20 openings for 2000 applicants) or we get to move to VA/MD. Until DC becomes serious about education reform (I miss Rhee), it wont see affluent middle class families outside of the Georgetown/Cleveland/Grover park/Palisades area, or basically 85% of the city.
  1. Logan's Bun said at 7:54 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    Is "pushing grassroots reform in local schools" another way of saying "imposing Caucasian cultural values" on existing residents?
  1. Carrie said at 8:05 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    @Logan's Bun, Nope, not at all. Just trying to make the schools better. I am one of those prospective parents who doesn't have a kid yet, but is active in improving schools like Garrison and Seaton. I hope others join in and follow suit instead of leaving for other neighborhoods.
  1. Jessica said at 8:09 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    Other: Public charter school in my neighborhood
  1. wylie coyote said at 8:20 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    @ML I think you need to research the public school options in DC a bit more closely. I have no idea what school you're referencing with that "20 openings for 2000 applicants" bit, but that sounds wildly exagerrated. I'm assuming you're looking for pre-K, which *is* quite competitive in terms of the ratio between applicants to quality programs, but there are loads of affluent families outside of Georgetown/Cleveland Park/Grover Park and Palisades staying in the city and successfully getting their kids in great pre-K programs. I did and I'm sure you can as well. If not, there's always private pre-K, then switch to the less competitive K-5 public schools. Special salute to Carrie and others like her working to help improve their neighborhood schools
  1. EnserNG said at 8:39 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    Folks, For those interested in making DC the premier destination for families, in addition to singles, BAT, http://BadAssTeacher.Org , is a group of over twenty-five thousand educators (and supporters) pushing for actual reforms to public education. Too many reforms, such as the way CCSS has been implemented, are just a way of pushing DCPS children into for-profit charters or private schools and for companies to profit from mandates for expensive, developmentally-useless tests. This, all, at the expense of neighborhood schools. Rhee was amazing, she talked of many great things happening. The only problem is that 'the plan' she designed, that has been followed to the letter by the current chancellor, Rhee's then-lieutenant, has been a disaster. Educators are, rightfully, terrified of being fired for non-reasons, buildings are understaffed, and students continue to drop-out and perform at levels below their peers. By working together, parents, students, the educational experts at BAT, and the administration, can help Mayor Gray design a system of student-centric changes that will allow the students to perform at, or above, the level of their peers, return some dignity to the educators, in whose hands are the minds of the coming generations, and help ensure that Administrators can fairly remove anyone under-performing. Please, give it a look! Nikk
  1. anon_1 said at 9:25 pm on Tuesday September 17, 2013:
    @ML -- your comments amuse me because they are so generic that they suggest you'd make this life altering move without an ounce of due dilligence. If you said "I want a Gifted and Talented elementary option," I'd at least respect that Fairfax and Montgomery Counties may be good destinations (your child will score above 130 on WISC for G&T/AAP, right? oh of course - right) The areas you mention aren't even the best DC public school areas despite their affluence (if affluence was the only criteria Chevy Chase would be rightly included, but it suffers a bit from private/parochial preference of its affluent residents) Think Janney (Tenleytown), Murch (Van Ness) and Mann (Spring Valley). And these are just the well established ones. There are a ton of other schools developing similarly strong reputations. And you have 12 years to see how middle school shakes out (or just settle on the very good Deal for MS)
  1. dchomeschool said at 3:21 am on Wednesday September 18, 2013:
    Homeschooling has been a very relaxing choice for us. Our family attended the day-time Nationals game today and did schoolwork this evening. We can live in the neighborhood of our choice without having to sell out and move to the suburbs. Our children are learning Latin, math, reading, biology, etc. several years in advance of their private and public school counterparts. Their teachers have graduate degrees and are experts in their fields! Contact us at dchomeschool@gmail.com if you are interested in this option for your family.

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