The Washington Post's editorial board published an op-ed on D.C.'s Ballou High School and its remarkable improvements over the last several years. The high school once failing, succeeded in getting its entire graduating class to apply for college. See the op-ed below.
IN THE decade since the start of school reform in the District, a variety of metrics have been used to gauge progress. Test scores, graduation rates and student enrollment have all pointed to steady improvement in the public school system. But perhaps nothing has been as encouraging — or inspiring — as the news that the entire graduating class at Ballou High School has applied to college this year. Ballou was long seen as the epitome of D.C. school dysfunction, a place that dead-ended its students by not giving them challenges. So the fact that all 190 seniors want to go on to higher education is an important achievement that should be applauded.
“There are some schools and communities where college is an automatic next step. There is no celebration. Our kids don’t get that same message,” said Ballou Principal Yetunde Reeves of the struggling Ward 8 school, where all students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Changing that message, The Post’s Alejandra Matos reported, by raising expectations for students has been the aim of Ms. Reeves and her team. That it was the Class of 2017 that last spring set the goal that all seniors would apply to college speaks to the principal’s success in starting to reshape the school culture.
Read the full op-ed here.