Let’s Hope

A fascinating profile of the new mayor of DC. The DC schools get $20,000 per student per year, which is 2-4 times what private schools charge. Yet:

In June, he seized control of the schools from the Board of Education and hired a new chancellor. With $1 million in donated goods and services from local contractors, he initiated an uncommon “buff and scrub” blitz, fixing buildings and clearing a decades-old backlog of code violations at 54 of 141 schools. Last week, for the first time in years, all schools opened on time and more than 90 percent had all the books they ordered.

Invited by school officials to see how the system works for processing book orders, Mr. Fenty found a cavernous storeroom with shrink-wrapped books stacked to the ceiling and supplies that had been gathering dust for years as orders were lost. One auditorium had been neglected so long that volunteers renovating it discovered that students had been pledging allegiance to a tattered American flag with just 49 stars, dating to 1959.

He sounds like a good man. Time will tell. Let’s hope he’s smart enough to give school choice a try.

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