Posts Tagged “DC Schools”
Hardy Middle School
Michelle Rhee, the gung-ho, tenure-terminating, union-hated D.C. school chancellor, has more or less left schools in the Georgetown neighborhood alone.
In October, however, a Northwest Current article reported that she planned to make a “major announcement” regarding the local Hardy Middle School.
Parents of children there quickly grew nervous, not least of all because they understood one of her comments, that she wanted to “turn” the school, which is 70 percent black and draws from around the District, to mean that she wanted to make the school more attractive to local white children and their families.
After much uncertainty, Rhee plans to meet with those parents tonight at 6:30 in Hardy’s auditorium. From the Washington Post:
Rhee has yet to describe her plan for Hardy, which parents strongly suspect will include the exit of long-time principal Patrick Pope and a change in the school’s visual arts and instrumental music program. Speculation about his successor is centering on Elizabeth Whisnant, currently principal of nearby Mann Elementary, one of the schools Rhee would like to see Hardy draw from.
“Your voices must be heard before Hardy’s curriculum is changed without your input!” said the flier announcing the “urgent” meeting, scheduled for 6:30 pm in the school auditorium at 1819 35th St. NW.
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While our friends in Foggy Bottom may be outdoing us in terms of programming boards and on-campus comedians, there’s one thing they’re still envious of us about: GERMS.
The GW equivalent of GERMS is a “the Emergency Medical Response Group,” or EMeRG. Apparently EMeRG doesn’t have the same warm relations with the student body it serves that GERMS has.
Because of GW’s medical amnesty policies, EMeRG is required to transport anyone who is assessed for alcohol consumption to the GW Hospital. According to the GW Hatchet, which is doing a three part series on their school’s medical amnesty policies, the rule discourages people from calling EMeRG and creates hostility towards the program because of the medical bills that accompany the mandatory hospital visit.
The Hatchet highlights GERMS as an example of what EMeRG could be with a few policy tweaks:
The Georgetown student’s relationship with the volunteer GERMS group is worlds apart from the GW student’s relationship with EMeRG. Most importantly, GERMS is not required to transport all students that are assessed to the hospital. The amnesty policy of Georgetown is such that students don’t fear calling GERMS.
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Last week, George Washington University saw some sexual assaults that were reminiscent of the “Cuddler” incidents that have occurred in Georgetown over the past year and a half. Unlike Georgetown, though, GW was able to catch the alleged perpetrator.
According to a Public Safety Advisory message sent out to the GW community last Friday:
On October 9, 2009, between 4:30 am – 5:00 am, GWPD received information that a non-GW affiliated male, who was the guest of a GW student, entered several residence hall rooms in Thurston Hall and tried to touch several females while they were sleeping. The male student who signed the subject into the building was seen on camera leaving the building alone soon after signing in his guest, and therefore left him unaccompanied.
Several residents from one of the rooms brought the male to the security desk at Thurston Hall and GWPD was notified about what had occurred. GWPD and MPD initiated an investigation. The subject is in police custody, so he poses no further threat to the GW community at this time.
The GW Hatchet has more information about the incident, including an account from one victim who said the attacker “woke her up by trying to kiss her, and ‘attempted twice to place his hands down the front of her shorts.’” The student also said the assailant told her he attended the University of Maryland.
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Greenopia USA recently released green rankings for universities, and Georgetown didn’t come out looking so great. The rankings are given out on a scale of four leaves, and Georgetown received just one lone leaf.
That means we met less than 50 percent of their criteria for environmental reporting, green building design, waste programs, renewable energy, green food options, alternative fuel vehicles and water conservation.
Greenopia did give us points for requiring LEED Silver designation for all new construction, exceeding the average for waste diversion, and using a large amount of solar energy.
Out big black mark? Environmental reporting and transparency:
Georgetown could certainly benefit from some additional reporting. Simply put, Georgetown had some of the worst reporting we came across and this is unacceptable …
Georgetown has some environmental reporting (although not much), but has yet to take part in the ACUPPCC’s challenge for reporting/transparency.
As unsettling as our evaluation is, other local schools didn’t do much better. American also came away with one leaf, getting knocked for poor reporting, as well. Howard didn’t get any stars, just a scathing indictment of their lack of environmental action. George Washington, Catholic and Gallaudet weren’t included in the rankings.
Via Renewable Energy Turns Me On.
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Over the weekend, the Washington Post highlighted one of the eternal scourges of attending college in the District: the exorbitant cost of parking. According to a recent survey from AAA, the Post reports, D.C. college students pay between $225 and $1300 a year to park.
Of all the local universities profiled, though, it looks like Georgetown drivers are the most fleeced. Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Andy Pino tells the Post that students living on-campus aren’t eligible for on-campus parking, and the AAA survey finds that Georgetown students pay $656 a semester to park at lots in Rosslyn.
The next most expensive school for auto owners is at GW, where students pay $550 per semester for a parking decal. American takes third place in the most ridiculous parking prices competition, charging $964 per year to park in a lot on Nebraska Ave., the AAA study shows.
DCist caught wind of the story and, instead of just letting us wallow in our vehicular-induced bankruptcy, they decided to cheer on the shakedown, justifying it with this jibe:
If anything, it seems that students — who, I’m sure we can all agree, don’t really do anything with those cars but cause trouble — aren’t paying enough to park their jalopies in the District.
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The eternal conflict: curmudgeonly neighbors v. rowdy co-eds
With new neighbors’ groups popping up left and right, it looks like we’re in for another year of fights between residents and the University. But Georgetown’s not the only school dealing with a seemingly perpetual town-gown rift—as an article in yesterday’s Washington Post makes clear, other local colleges are also plagued by conflicts over students living off-campus.
So what exactly are our nearby peers dealing with?
At Catholic, neighbors are pressuring the Metropolitan Police Department to enact a zero tolerance policy for disorderly conduct. For UMD-College Park, a recent debate about whether to maintain rent control for single-family houses turned into a fight over whether or not students should be living off-campus.
Permanent residents can make trouble for administrators as well as students, the article points out, by leveraging their power over zoning and construction issues to pressure schools. For example, in 2001, GWU was not allowed to increase enrollment or begin new construction projects until it started housing at least 70% of its students on-campus.
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As we wrote last week, Georgetown has agreed to participate in the Ribbon program, a voluntary part of the new GI Bill—which goes into effect in August—that provides tuition assistance to veterans. Veterans who come to Georgetown as undergraduate students, for example, will receive $1,000 from the University, a matching $1,000 from the Department of Veterans Affair’s and their basic GI Bill benefits.
The problem for veterans who want to go to school in the District, though, is the way the basic benefits are calculated under the new GI Bill. Instead of using a uniform rate, the basic benefit is now set equal to the highest tuition for a public university in the state.
For states with public universities that are approximately equal to private schools in terms of cost, this works great. For D.C., though, whose only public university is the extremely inexpensive UDC, the new GI Bill is problematic.
As the Washington Post reports, since UDC’s tuition is only $8,000, a veteran who wants to attend Georgetown will only be receiving $10,000 towards our more than $38,0o0 tuition (unless they qualify for need-based financial aid):
The city’s only public institution, the University of the District of Columbia, is one of the least-expensive colleges in the country for local students, and its tuition is the basis for the VA reimbursement rate for private colleges in the District.
Meanwhile, some of the city’s private universities, including Georgetown and George Washington, are among the priciest in the country, with total costs of more than $50,000 a year. That makes for a bigger gap to fill …
“If you’re enrolled at Georgetown, or whatever, it’s not really going to help,” [Ryan Gallucci of AMVETS, a veterans advocacy group] said.
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Lau, you filthy, filthy library, you!
Over at one of City Paper‘s blogs, the Sexist, Amanda Hess has been doing a series on glory holes and public sex in D.C. in honor of “Glory Hole Month.” Today, she set her sights on the offerings of local colleges. She used postings from Gay Universe, a now-deserted website from the internet’s infancy (circa 1999/2000), to highlight the top spots for anonymous gay sex.
What was Georgetown’s glory hole destination? Lauinger Library! Unfortunately, while you can still see Lau listed on the page of D.C. Cruise Spots (NSFW), the actually thread about it has been lost in the sands of internet time. Tragically, it looks like we’ll never know exactly what Lau’s turn-of-the-millennium sex scene was like…
Libraries were the most frequently cited collegiate cruise spots, with AU and Gallaudet’s making the list as well. Particularly entertaining is the section about GW, which cites both Bell and Corcoran Hall as sex spots gone sour. In 2000, Corcoran recommended thusly: “Loud door makes time for recovery. Lots of hot GW studs await at both the urinal, and the stalls!” But two years later someone warned, “WATCH FOR UNDERCOVER COPS!!!!! ESPECIALLY ON THE WEEKENDS. I DON’T GO THERE ANY MORE, I’VE SEEN TO MANY MEN GET ARRESTED. IT’S NOT WORTH IT.”
Photo from Flickr user decaf, used under a Creative Commons license.
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The American Enterprise Institute just released a study of graduation rates of four-year colleges, “Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (And Which Don’t).” The results, which are based on the percentage of students who graduate within six years, show Georgetown in good standing, but some other D.C. schools struggling.
With a 93 percent graduation rate, Georgetown is in the upper echelon of universities, tied for 16th best overall. As you can see from the graph above, we’ve also got the highest graduation rate of schools in the District by a good 15 percentage points.
Although George Washington University has the second-highest showing in D.C., when the study’s authors subdivided the schools by selectivity, GW wasn’t looking so hot. Among “Most Competitive” schools (colleges that typically admit fewer than one third of applicants and whose students have median SAT scores between 655 and 800), GW’s 78 percent graduation rate was the second worst.
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In last week’s issue, I came to terms with Barack and Michelle Obama’s decision to enroll their daughters at Tenleytown’s Sidwell Friends school and acknowledged that maybe private school isn’t the hellish bastion of academic and socioeconomic entitlement that I had once thought it to be.
But maybe I spoke too soon. Dave McKenna over at City Desk reports, courtesy of an anonymous Maret School (a Woodley Park private school that, along with Georgetown Day, lost the competition for the Obama girls’ enrollment) parent, that the Sidwell kids taunted the Maret side with “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma” chants during a recent basketball game.
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