Last year’s ninth-grade classes at the two top application-only high schools in D.C. Public Schools had distinctly different profiles, according to an analysis provided to D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown.

At least 60 percent of Banneker’s 2010 freshmen came from public charter middle schools--the biggest share from Paul, KIPP and Howard University Math and Science, according to the analysis by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. At least 34 percent came from DCPS schools, including Hardy (6 percent) Stuart-Hobson and Jefferson (5 percent each), and Deal (4 percent). The rest came in smaller proportions from Brightwood, Sousa and other DCPS middle schools (The origin of the remaining six percent could not be ascertained by OSSE).

The ninth-grade picture at School Without Walls is almost the opposite--at least 52 percent from DCPS. Just four middle schools accounted for all of it: Deal (28 percent), Oyster-Adams and Hobson (nine percent each) and Hardy (six percent) . At least 33 percent were from charters, with Paul, KIPP and Washington Latin dominating. Again, 15 percent of the enrollment was not identified by OSSE.

Data from both schools seem to provide more evidence of the poor job most traditional D.C. middle schools do in preparing their kids to excel in high school. But what accounts for Banneker’s charter-centric profile, or Walls’ tilt toward a select few DCPS middle schools is not completely clear. The overall strength of candidate pools may vary. School counselors may traditionally steer kids to certain schools. I’m asking the principals and will pass on their responses, if I get any.