The True Scope of the DC School Scandal

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By Mark Naison

The DC School scandal, as Jeff Canady told us for years, involves multiple levels of tragedy that go beyond manipulation of test scores. Hundreds of the city’s most dedicated veteran teachers—the majority of them Black—lost their jobs . . . with devastating consequences for the DC Black community as well as the students in DC schools.

Second, it accelerated and promoted the gentrification of DC neighborhoods, leading to the forced migration of tens of thousands of Black DC residents into nearby suburbs such as Prince George County, a process that some call “demographic inversion” and others call “ethnic cleansing.”

Third, it promoted a false narrative of educational transformation that led to the spreading of the DC model of teacher firings and the opening of charter schools to other cities, with similar consequences.

Characterize what happened in DC as you chose—Jeff Canady uses the term “eugenics”—it provides a devastating indictment of the test-driven, teacher-bashing model of education policy that swept across the nation in the last 15 years.

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