Jay Mathews, the Post’s czar of educational rankings, put the spotlight on the District’s highest achieving public schools in his column published yesterday.
His ranking method uses the sum of the percentages of a school’s students scoring “advanced” on the reading and math portions of the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System tests. The first number listed is the percentage of test-taking students who are eligible for subsidized school meals, an indicator of poverty. The second number is the ranking.
1. School Without Walls (magnet high school): 15, 107
2. Janney Elementary: 0, 86
3. Deal Junior High: 23, 81
4. Murch Elementary: 16, 79
5. Key Elementary: 0, 78
6. Banneker High (magnet): 54, 77
7. Mann Elementary: 0, 74
8. Lafayette Elementary: 7, 68
9. Oyster-Adams Bilingual (4th-8th): 33, 66
10. Washington Latin Charter Middle: 6, 64
For the rest of the top 25 list, click through to Jay’s column.
Unsurprisingly, there are some geographic iniquities at work here. None of the top 10 schools are in the city’s least affluent wards. Banneker is in Ward 1; Walls is in Ward 2; Lafayette and Washington Latin are in Ward 4, and the rest are in Ward 3.
As in the suburbs, family income in the District has a strong effect on advanced scores. Thirteen of the schools on the list, and nine of the top 10, have a student poverty rate below the national average of 40 percent.
The only school above that average in the top 10 is Banneker, a magnet that picks students based on academic success.
Also of note: The city’s traditional public schools can still do an outstanding job educating the city’s children — in some parts of the the city. Nine of the top 10, and 16 of the top 25, are DCPS schools. But none of them are in wards 5, 7 or 8. Three charter schools are providing excellent results in those wards: D.C. Prep’s middle school in Ward 5; KIPP’s KEY Academy in Ward 7, and KIPP’s College Prep high school in Ward 8.