Duke Ellington School of the Arts may be moved out of Ward 2

Having already replaced the principal of Hardy Middle School in a much-criticized attempt to make the school more appealing to local families, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is eyeing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts—that’s the one on 35th Street with the big green chair—for possible conversion from an illustrious performing arts-centric high school into a public high school that would serve Ward 2 families.

Rhee and school construction czar Allen Lew say that they have no concrete plans to convert the school yet, but the Washington Post‘s Bill Turque reports that Lew’s office has developed a cost estimate for moving the Duke Ellington school into the vacant Logan Elementary School in Northeast D.C., near Union Station.

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans (D) is also strongly in favor of the conversion, as Ward 2 is the only ward in the District that does not have a neigborhood high school.

Parents of children at Ellington, a unique school run by D.C. in partnership with George Washington University and the Kennedy Center whose students have to audition to get accepted there, told Turque that they find these rumors “disturbing.”

But where Hardy parents accused Rhee of trying to force black students out of the neighborhood by ousting their principal, parents of students at the historically black Ellington, who, like students at Hardy, come from all over the District, not just Ward 2, feel that the potential plans may be economically driven.

“Times being what they are, parents in that community want their kids to be able to go to a school that they don’t have to pay for,” one parents said.

10 Comments on “Duke Ellington School of the Arts may be moved out of Ward 2

  1. this is emblematic of post brown v board integration: an opportunity lost, the dream deferred. integration? thats “they’re” problem… wow, nothing surprises me anymore

  2. Assuming the building is of equivalent quality (big assumption) a location by Union Station might be better for Ellington..it’s certainly much more central and Metro accessible.

  3. Ward 2 is one of eight wards in the city and includes a bunch of neighborhoods (mostly in NW DC) like Dupont, Burleith, Georgetown, and Foggy Bottom. And it gets to elect one of the thirteen councilmembers to the D.C. City Council (made up of reps from each ward four At-Larges and a Chair).

  4. I currently go to Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the possible move to the Logan building would be a great demotion from the current school building. The Logan building does not have a recording studio, dance studio, a massive theater, and many other facilities crucial to what Duke Ellington is about. Please also visit http://studentsforellington.blogspot.com/ which is a student blog which I am the founder/editor of for more information, updates, and different perspectives on the situation.

  5. Pingback: Vox Populi » Rhee says that for now, Duke Ellington will stay on Reservoir Road

  6. To Layla Sharif:

    This is intriguing. I was trying to access your blog site but only invited users can do so. I am a graduate student in Georgetown, researching on different kinds of conflict. Is there a way I can get in contact with you regarding the Ellington conflict? Thank you.


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