Perhaps this blog should have a counter of all the petitions, appeals, lobbying efforts, and testimony by parents and students to get people in our city government to act in ways that benefit our public schools. There are many such efforts–witness the 2022 campaign, to fund all DCPS modernizations by 2022 using funds from our city surplus, or individual school testimonials before the council for modernization and staffing help.
All are but a seasonal preamble to next month’s council budget hearings (for the record, April 12, 13, 14, and 18). In this annual political feeding frenzy, city leaders often caution that there is only so much money to go around. Thus, if one school gets a modernization or needed programming or staff, another goes a bit longer without X (where X = renovation, windows, lights, staff, books, etc.).
(Makes you kinda wish for someone to have a large view of the whole DC public education landscape, ensuring that resources aren’t wasted by duplicative programming or unregulated growth and closures of schools, such that every school gets what it needs and that the public is involved in such decisionmaking–oh, wait a sec.)
Of course, in this Hunger Games version of public education, there are winners and losers. So what is one to do if one’s school draws the short (educational) straw?
The good people of Eliot-Hine Middle School have an answer: just host your own renovation!
Of course, it’s just bathrooms and a bunch of volunteers over a spring weekend, but hey–sure beats the alternative!
As at all DCPS schools, these go-getters at Eliot-Hine also pay for and host all open houses to market their school as well as form and execute all of the political advocacy for their school.
Talk about taking charge of their market share!
So, if their school is underenrolled or doesn’t have as high test scores as others or lacks a modernized facility into the foreseeable future, well, whose fault is that, anyway, except their own–oh, and that of the teachers and students therein?
After all, public education is all about marketshare or lobbying or–something.