Dear PoP – Million Dollar Question Edition

IMG_7356, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“The reason I’m searching your site is that I am desperate to find a neighborhood in DC that I can afford and one in which I’m not afraid to raise my kids. (2 1/2 and 4 1/2) I am an unabashed urbanite and well used to live in urban areas, but having children has made me a bit more concerned about where I live. My husband and I have both lived in DC (in neighborhoods that are no longer affordable) when we were single, and we recently bought a house near Baltimore. But the commute is killing us, and I am just so unhappy having the girls in pre-school so far away from where I work.

Can you offer me any advice on where in DC we could buy a house/rowhouse for under $400 that is in decent shape and safe enough to raise a family? Is Petworth a good choice for such a move?

I am hoping you will tell me it is as I’ve been looking through the listings and found a number of places that don’t look too run-down in Petworth for the price we need. But can you tell me about the community vibe? Any good playgrounds locally?”

Well, this is a super tough question for two reasons. First I am biased as I am a huge fan of Petworth and will instantly rave about it. Although, second, I don’t have any children.

But I’ll take a crack at it. As we’ve discussed many times DC Public Schools are for the most part a bit problematic. For sure there are some good ones particularly for younger children but I’ve heard choosing a high school can be a very difficult choice. But recently there have been some very good public charter school options. But since you didn’t ask specifically about schools I’ll focus on community a bit.

Let me say that in the almost six years (admittedly not a long time) I’ve lived in Petworth I’ve noticed tons of children. There are children from long term residents and children from new comers as well. Petworth has a very good playground on Taylor Street near 7th.

I honestly do think Petworth is a great choice because there is a strong community here. But it will still take an effort to become part of the community. Often you have to make the first move and introduce yourself around the neighborhood. But having said that, in my 11 years in DC I have never been more welcomed than when I moved to Petworth. Like all of DC’s neighborhoods crime does exist in Petworth but like any good urbanite if you use common sense and good judgment it most likely will not affect you. Again, over the nearly six years that I’ve lived here none of my neighbors have encountered any problems (and I talk with tons of neighbors).

Another positive attribute about Petworth is that it is very convenient to get downtown by metro or bus. Plus you are fairly close to Rock Creek Park as well.

As is no secret I’m a huge fan of many of DC’s neighborhoods. Of course the under $400k limit for a home will limit your search. I’m not sure how much the homes cost but if you are able to put in some sweat equity I’ve also become a big fan of the Bloomingdale neighborhood. At the moment there isn’t as much development (restaurants/bars/etc) in Bloomingdale, though they have one of the best coffee shops in the city. But the homes and streets in Bloomingdale are among the most beautiful I’ve seen. Of course crime exists there as well but again crime, sadly, exists all over the city.

So let’s also make this the Friday Question of the Day – if you were looking to buy a house in DC for under $400k – what neighborhood would you choose to raise children?

125 Comment

  • thanks for giving bloomingdale the vote of confidence there, sir!

    now, we just need to work on getting that development to move into the neighborhood…

  • I don’t think there is a choice other than Petworth. At least if it’s an actual house you want to live in.

    I’m a single female living in Petworth. But if I had kids, I would love raising them in Petworth. I’d just have to hope and pray they were accepted to a charter school.

  • There’s plenty of middle class neighborhoods in Ward 4 and 5 where a house goes for under 400k. What is [email protected]:28A talking about? Does she ever leave her mid-20s hipster neighborhood?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I can very confidently say that Petworth is not a “mid 20s hipster neighborhood”. Maybe it’ll become one, one day but I assure you it is not one today. Just for the record. But let’s not ruin this thread with another tedious hipster debate. Please for the love of God. I’m begging you…

  • IMGoph, I choose to raise my child in Bloomingdale, but the inventory under and around $400k is pretty slim for houses. We have a lot of families with very young children and I hope that many will choose to stay as their kids grow older. When my daughter was younger (she’s 11 now), we would drive over to Garfield Park on the Hill.

    I think Petworth is a great choice. I also like Takoma (DC) and Brightwood, as well as Brookland as options.

  • I think Petworth is a good choice but honestly I would consider renting right now. It’ll give you a chance to learn your way around DC and where you’re comfortable and there’s a 90% chance that in a year housing prices will be lower and you’ll be able to get more for $400k.

  • If you’re looking for deals, try Hampshire Gardens near Rock Creek Cemetery, these co=ops have been around for 80 years, if looking at Charter schools Center City Charter School Petworth campus has opened in the former St Gabriel School on Webster street, of couse there are many other options, stay tuned.

  • I’ve lived in Petworth for over twenty years and I’m not a 20 year old hipster, but a married public school teacher with college-age children. They did not attend the neighborhood schools, as Barnard, Clark (now closed), Raymond or Powell were not options as elementary schools. The middle school closest, MacFarland was horrific and Roosevelt, Cardozo and Coolidge were inner city rats nests of non-functioning bathrooms, students openly smoking marijuana, reading way below grade level and not college-bound. I won’t even speak of many of the teachers and I am one. None of these schools were an option. Our children went to public schools out of boundary, as we didn’t have money for private schools and ten years ago, there were few stable charter schools. In Petworth, we were able to buy a relatively large rowhouse with a backyard and raise a family. Our children still live with us. So yes, Petworth is really an option. But it’s the city. Our kids didn’t ride bikes up and down the street, as I did growing up in a nearby close in suburb. But we have a great life here.

  • What hipchick said- Brookland, Upper Brightwood, Takoma DC, are all what you could be looking for.

  • Don’t forget Anacostia. It’s a great option when you have kids. Didn’t Banita Jacks live in Anacostia? What, too soon?

  • We’re working on kids of our own and will be raising them in Brightwood (Jefferson, between 4th and 5th). Good neighborhood with good, older neighbors, close walk to farmer’s market, pool and playgrounds at Takoma rec center, and lots of green parks nearby. There are a few houses available on our street in the $300-400 range. Good luck!

  • We’ll be staying in Petworth if we have children, but Lamond Riggs/Riggs Park is another possibility and you might be able to swing a SFH with a yard there…

  • Brookland sounds like exactly what you are looking for. We moved there recently from Adams Morgan/Dupont and love it!

  • ParkView is exactly what you are looking for. You can visit their website at

  • Some of these responses are really ignoring the elephant in the room. Yes, there are a lot of great DC neighborhoods with nice coffee shops, playgrounds, etc., but let’s just go ahead and say it: DC schools are among the worst in the country. For someone with young children, that HAS to be a top concern. Yes there are good charter schools out there, and more are cropping up, but waiting lists are long and getting into them is a crap shoot. I would not want to gamble with my kids’ education. My advice for this person would be to stay in the ‘burbs. At their price point, they can move closer in — no reason to live all the way out in Baltimore– but for the love of God, stay outside the DC line.

  • Agree with Petworth Diva – it’s not a place where you’re going to be able to let your kids outside to play unsupervised – the sidewalks and the alleys are really the only options and traffic generally is pretty aggressive and high-speed. There are playgrounds at most of the schools (in various states of disrepair) but there are parks with nice equipment (but often no shade.) Rock Creek park is walkable though.

    We’re raising a toddler and another on the way in Petworth. It’s fine. I don’t imagine we’d stick around much past third grade though, the schools are really daunting. There are a couple of neighborhood schools that I would consider (eg., West, LAMB) but would definitely bail before fifth grade.

  • I will never raise kids in this city.

    Horrible schools and parents who don’t/won’t give a damn – stay in the ‘burbs. Your kids will thank you for it one day. At least out in the ‘burbs – your kids won’t get robbed like the 13 year-old boy who got robbed a few weeks ago on his way home from school in my neighborhood.

  • If I knew now what I knew then about the schools I would not have bought in DC, it’s simply NOT AN OPTION for families. I’m being 100% serious. Every other county has better schools, more for the kids to do and is still on the metro.

    The urban neighborhood you’re thinking of is “Silver Spring.”

    I remember the first time a 5 year old thug alone on the playground beat up my son and his friend. Those neighbors may not be commonplace. I remember the first time my son told off the drug dealers on the block for “not speaking right.” I remember the first time I heard these kids at the Mt Pleasant farmer’s market make a litany of racist complaints against black people that were horrible, yet basically true for the other neighborhood kids- though nothing like the African-American kids we know from Bethesda and Takoma Park.

    In all seriousness, stop trying to search for something that doesn’t exist. You will drive yourselves crazy. There is nothing in DC for you.

  • And here I thought I’d have to inject the cynicism …

    I agree with the sentiment for the ‘burbs. My wife and I faced the same tradeoff and ultimately decided that the eventual education of children far outweighed any desire we had to stay urban. Sure, we miss walking everywhere and being able to pop out for beers or brunch at the drop of a hat, but I can tell you that I have infinitely more faith in Montogmery County government than I do in anything the District does. 5 years of living in town led me to conclude that the government bureaucracy is some horrible combination of corrupt, incompetent, or downright disinterested, and my tax dollars would just be pissed away, and I haven’t seen that on the other side of the District line. Look at southern Silver Spring or Takoma Park — you’ll still have great parks, public transportation, and interesting bars/restaurants, and you’ll be able to find a home in your price range, but you also will feel good about dropping the kid off for his first day of school.

  • We looked a lot in Petworth for a house under $400,000 (with the intention of starting a family soon) but ultimately ended up in Brookland and we couldn’t be happier with the neighborhood! Brookland is very family friendly and has a nice neighborhood feeling… Plus, walking distance to a red line train has been a huge benefit since we both work in Dupont (easy 15 minute train ride) and we would have had to transfer everyday from Petworth.

  • Either I’m guilty of being a bad parent or a lot of comments on this thread are out of line, but I’ve raised my 9 and 7 year old here in petworth/columbia heights since birth, they go to a charter school, and ride there bikes around the block, and even go to the rec center together sometimes, we have kids from the neighborhood over on weekends. If you think there aren’t drugs, crime, wierdos in the xurbs you really need to get out of the city more.

  • Guilty, I’ll stand with you. We moved from Montgomery County years ago and have never looked back. I will admit that my daughter goes to private school, but I have seriously considered Charters.

  • parents raising kids in the city should not feel bad at all. when was the last time you heard of anything bad happening to a child with good parents in any neighborhood in dc? more likely to have some perv kidnap your kid from the front yard in the burbs anyways. Dont let the lame asses who flee for the burbs when they spawn sway you. those people were always suburbans at heart. they were only ever here on a visitors visa. their kids will be lame suburbans just like them.

  • For the price you’re looking for, Petworth is certainly one of the best options if you’re determined to be in the city (as you should ;). I agree with most of PoP’s points and don’t side with the cynics/pessimists.

    There is no crime-free neighborhood in DC that is affordable, so you can forget that. Petworth actually seems to have somewhat less of certain kinds of crime (muggings, car/home break-in) that would affect you directly in areas like Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, or Columbia Heights. It’s quiet here, the main curse is the knucklehead drug boys who infrequently like to shoot at each other. But if it’s any consolation they’re not generally interested in mugging you ;).

    There is a stronger than average sense of community in Petworth, though of course it’s on you to make the effort. And development is on the upswing, with much more percolating here than, say, in Bloomingdale (sorry guys, I do love Big Bear). The way the economy and energy prices are going long-term, I think you’d be smart to stay as close in as possible and have transit choices.

    We’ve been in Petworth since 2003 and now have a toddler. We really like it (full disclosure, I run the Petworth News site, so obviously I’m a booster). Yes, schools will be a challenge but we’ll see. We know many neighbors with kids now, sort of a mini baby boom. Some parents have been able to find solutions in terms of charter schools or out of boundary public schools. Others have babies and aren’t up against the schools issue yet.

    Yes, Takoma Park and Silver Spring are non-DC options. But there are crime and school problems there too, don’t kid yourself. This is the world we live in, you just have to find a way to make it work. Unless you’re wealthy of course.

    I consider myself a committed urbanite. But bottom line, for the price, Petworth is probably the only place I’d live in DC.

  • well this debate always gets me for a couple reasons. 1. the close in burbs look a lot like dc in a lot of ways. gangs and corner boys are all over silver spring and nova. and 2. the burbs are just as expensive really. now if you are talking about the XBURBS. the picture may be different. but I would rather gouge my own eyes out than live in an xburb. and your kid will most definatly be worse for the ware for growing up in a place like that. just watch intervention.

  • My husband and I just had a baby and live in Petworth.

    I think it’s too simplistic to state that the schools are good in the suburbs and bad in DC. We looked at certain neighborhoods that we could afford in MD and VA and were surprised by the poor quality of some of the schools there. While I would not consider sending my son to the public schools for which we are in boundary, we do have the option of trying for a spot via the lottery and/or sending him to a charter school. There are options in DC even if you can’t afford private schools, but it takes a fair amount of research and time. But I know parents in Petworth who are making it work for their kids.

    Petworth also has a lot to offer families. The Petworth library dedicated the entire 2d floor to children’s literature and has regular story times. There’s the spray park on Taylor and the Upshur pool. We’re close to Rock Creek. I can walk to a variety of markets/grocery stores, and we’ll soon have an organic market (Yes!). El Limeno has a “happy hour” for parents and their kids on Tuesdays. Yoga House has post natal classes where babies are welcome, too. And CommonWealth in Columbia Heights — a nice walk on a pleasant day — has a great mid-day special for parents with kids (kids eat free & free half pint for mom/dad).

  • Check out Woodridge.

  • You get on the merry-go-round; you get off the merry-go-round. It keeps on turning either way. Move where you feel most comfortable at this stage in your life. When your situation changes, or when the place changes, you can always pull up stakes and move on. In every place, the realtor’s not going to tell you the whole story, and you can post on any local blog all you want and get everyone’s idea about how you can and should make your life just like theirs, or at least adopt their particular sensitivities/toughnesses and see the world through their lens. Then they’ll fight with each other. Until you hit the lottery and can move any damn place you like, you’re going to make tradeoffs anywhere in the greater-DC area, so pick your poison and drink it proudly.

  • I’m going to second what other posters have said about Brookland. I moved to Brookland from Mt Pleasant and have children, including one school aged in a charter. There are multiple houses in Brookland for under 400k (get a yard too!). Despite all the hype of not being able to deal with schools in DC, I’ve found the process fairly painless with lots of options in the charters.
    In Brookland alone you have Stokes and Yu Ying, or a 10 minute drive to Haynes, LAMB, Cap City, or Two Rivers….

    I haven’t found crime to be more of an issue than any other neighborhood east of the park in DC, and the pluses include tons of families with young kids, two metro stops, and active playgroups, etc.

    The same could be said of Petworth for many of the above statements (another great neighborhood)

  • Yeah, a nice thing about Petworth is that we’re sort of the bedroom community to Columbia Heights’ new urban center. CH used to be the hole in the donut, but now it’s very useful with the Target, restaurants, banks, etc.

  • No, there are no hipsters in Petworth….lol.

  • When we lived at 13th & T we sent our kids to Annunciation Catholic school over on Mass Avenue near the Cathedral. If you can deal with the religious aspect (the great majority of the kids at Annunciation were not Catholic) you might consider a parochial school. Tuition is considerably lower than schools like Sidewell, GDS, Maret and the like. The kids graduated a couple years ago but I think tuition is running about 6/k per year. Not nothing but I think it’s worth it to educate my kid in a moral, loving and orderly enviroment with other childern whose parents care enough to make the monetary sacrifice.
    The bigger plus – I didn’t have to move to the burbs.

  • people who rag on raising kids in the city and talk shit on it are really just bitter that they are too poor to live in a decent neighborhood or afford decent schools. sorry you couldnt hack it. adios. That said I grew up in dc. am white. went to public schools. turned out fine. have a salary high enough that i shouldnt be sitting here reading this blog frankly. and I thank god every damn day I didnt grow up in gaithersburg. thank you very much.

  • This might be more appropriate as a stand alone topic, but as a Petworth (OK, North Country) resident who will eventually have kids, I’d love to hear more about folks experiences with charter schools. Some have asserted here that there are long waiting lists, but more than a couple of people seem to have kids in charter schools. My wife and I are committed to our neighborhood, love our home, etc., but I think many would appreciate/benefit from hearing about specific charter school experiences. How difficult was it to get into one? Which schools did you chose and why?

  • As someone who has chosen to raise my kids in Petworth I take great offense to dcdude has to say. To somehow equate raising my kids in DC with gambling with them demonstrates quite clearly that he’s has no idea what he is talking about. Both my wife and I were raised in the suburbs. I was raised in Arlington Va, she was raised in a close in suburb of Boston. We both experienced drugs, bullies and gang violence, uncaring teachers, all in our wonderful suburban school system ; this myth that the suburbs offers will offer your children some kind of idyllic soil in which all you have to do is to plant them then sit back and watch them grow is pure bunk. When you as a parent are your child’s ultimate teacher, instead of expecting the institutions of society to raise you children for you, then where you raise them has much less of an effect on them. How you raise them that is what matters the most.
    Now, all that being said, we love Petworth! On our street. We know and are friendly with our neighbors and their children. Older kids play games in the street while younger ones ride bikes up and down the sidewalk or play in the yard, while adults socialize on front porches. Recently when my 4 year old was sick and I needed to run to the store my neighbor came over and watched her without hesitation. The biggest difference between this neighborhood and the one I grew up in, is that on my block here in Petworth we live among blacks, whites, hispanics, and gay folks. I grew up in a segregated neighborhood in Arlington. Petworth in our experience is a great place to raise our kids, and it is only getting better.

  • Anon @ 5:08 Thank you for shouting out Hampshire Gardens the best kept secret in Petworth (coincidently the place I reside). I should point out though that it isnt the best choice for a family as the 2 and three bedrooms are rarely on the market.

    I agree with a lot of the criticism in prior posts but here is my argument for Petworth:

    #1 Crime: Even though statistically we have plenty of crime in the neighborhood, I tend to think of it as much easier to deal with than other parts of the city. I never worry about getting mugged at night, I never worry about my car being stolen/broken into, I never worry about someone breaking into my home. Thats a big difference from the much more expensive unit I had when I lived downtown. You can pretty much be assured that the crime stats are going to be much lower in the burbs, but if you HAVE to live in the city, this is about safest you are gonna get in dc for the $.

    #2 location: First of all, there is nothing here. NADA. I dont even go to the corner store 1 block from my house. That being said, all the hottest locations in the city are just a few minutes away. USA mall and the rest of columbia heights can be driven to in less than 8 minutes from Petworth. Worried about taking you kids to the park? Carter Baron in 10 minutes. Need to go downtown for work? New Hampshire to Sherman Ave, and you can be anywhere downtown in less than 30 mins. Need to take the Metro? You have Petworth and Fort Totten, If you have the neighborhood parking permit you can park on the street for free. Nighlife? U street in 12. Upscale shopping? Friendship Heights in 20. Need to go to Georgetown? Take Arkansaw ave to RC Parkway and you are there in 20.

    Just take a look at the map. I guarantee you any place that you regularly hang out in DC can be reached in less than 25 minutes during non-rush hour traffic. When you factor in that you willl not find a 3 bedroom house with a yard any cheaper in the city (except east of the river), you then realize its a great deal.

  • “have a salary high enough that i shouldnt be sitting here reading this blog frankly. ”


  • I could never in good conscience recommend anyone move to DC unless they are rich or poor. For middle class, we take it on the chin here, the city doesn’t seem to give a rats ass about us.

    So, my first recommendation is Maryland, somewhere in Montgomery County. If you insist on DC, I truly love my area of Manor Park, which is lumped in with Brightwood often, around Sheridan Street and Rittenhouse Street, east of Georgia. Crime is very low for the most part and most people are delightful, though on my blocks yards are very small which might be a factor. Also, there’s little in the way of good eateries and no coffee to be found anywhere. Unfortunately I can’t stay home all the time and must move about the rest of the city, which is where problems seem to occur. Also, there are several good deals right now on houses in my area, we had several foreclosures and a localized mortgage scam of some sort.

    Good luck!

  • “your kid will most definatly be worse for the ware for growing up in a place like that. just watch intervention.”

    this is so true…

  • Wow, anon 11:14. We are all very happy that you make more money than the rest of us. Kudos to you. We would love to hear specifically which public schools you attended so we can see if this couple, at their $400K price point, can afford to live there. And to those who are indignant toward those of us who are wary of raising kids in DC, it’s notable that many of you were either lucky enough to get into good charter schools, or went private. Just proves my point.

  • JAMIII, I don’t see why what I said offends you so. Anecdotal evidence aside, look at any objective study comparing the quality of the schools in DC and the surrounding suburbs and DC comes in last every time. I’m not denying that problems such as drugs and crime exist in the suburbs, and I don’t discount the importance of being a loving and involved parent. But if I had to choose between being a loving parent district that had solid schools that were free and accessible to everyone who lives there, why would I take my chances in DC, where good schools are only accessible to the wealthy and the lucky.

  • What I meant to say is “if I had the chance to be a loving parent in a district that had solid schools that were free and accessible to everyone who lives there, why would I take my chances in DC, where good schools are only accessible to the wealthy and the lucky.”

  • Dcdude makes a fair point … Michelle Rhee didn’t get the cover of Time magazine for nothing — the public schools here in DC are a unique sort of disaster, and there are a lot of “my kids got into charter school” or “send my kid to private school” commenters.

  • dc dude the more you talk the more you you point out that you have no idea what you are talking about. you call yourself dc dude but you are clearly not invested in dc and you probably don’t have kids. You probably are not even from the metro area. You’re here on a visitors visa too. Stop perpetrating a fraud.

  • Wow. Nice job of ignoring my arguments and resorting to personal attacks. Have a nice day.

  • I lived in Brookland and had my place broken into twice in the same MONTH. I could stand it there for only an additional two months. I have sinced moved to Petworth – a neighborhood that is quieter, feels safer, and will only keep getting better as options continue to expand. Indeed, the lengthening of both the 64 and the 62, 63 bus down to Federal Triangle has greatly expanded available options…

  • I find it interesting that anyone would brush aside personal experience in favor of “objective studies”, what ever that is. People live thru personal experiences not in studies and statistics. I will say this though. Raising kids in the city, any city, isn’t for everyone. For those you who feel protected by being amongst people places and things that all look and act and reflect you then wrap yourself in that security blanket, put on your rose colored glasses, and continue on with your life. Those of us who are will not steep our children in fear will continue to enjoy the beauty in life that comes from all types of diversity, and will be secure in the knowledge that our children can and will be at home anywhere in the world, and not simply among those people and things that are merely a reflection of themselves.

  • wow dude, you made no argument.

  • I’m admittedly a stubborn bastard but I find it appalling to think that I would let the thugs and assholes determine where I live and raise my children. Given the grimmer aspects of city life I occasionally ask the kids — now 16 and 20 — if they’d rather we moved into the suburbs, and get only horrified “Oh my God NOs” in response. We did the Catholic school thing but other friends have been happy with charter schools, Banneker High (one of Newsweek’s Top 50 Public Schools in America a few years ago) and even Wilson.

    Our kids are sophisticated, capable of dealing with almost any situation, independent and (way too) fearless. And, for what it’s worth, a few years ago the New York Times looked at mortality statistics and found out that suburban driving killed a lot more kids than urban living.

    Take a chance — you can always move.

  • We intend to raise our children in DC – we live where Petworth, Manor Park and Brightwood all seem to intersect (depends on the map). My rural Virginia high school had to assign a police officer to break up all the drug fights, and the school had one working microscope for the 30 of us in my honors biology class. I figure wherever you live, you and your family have to make the choice about how hard you will work to get somewhere with your life.

    We have wealthy friends to send their kids to schools that cost $30k a year per child. Not an option for us, but they always point out that these schools have scholarship programs too. Granted the scholarships only get it down to $8k a year, but that at least starts to make it more of an option.

    Our neighbors send their kids to charter school – they love the schools and the kids are getting a great bilingual education. The Charter School system apparently does a fair each year where you can go check out all the different options – I only have info on last year’s, so if anyone knows when it is this year, let us know.

  • Lot of people making comments who are on the outside looking in. all the studies and statics you look at don’t mean a thing. Statistically speaking I should be or have been in jail by now, my brother, my cousins. By your argument dc dude we are the lucky ones. Thank God we weren’t raised with studies and statistics guiding our lives.

  • It should also be noted that all those hours not spent commuting can be spent with the kids, a significant benefit for the children that those families who moved to the suburbs “for the kids” often don’t get to enjoy. The ability of my wife and I to juggle sick kids, teacher’s conferences, day care and getting dinner on the table was pretty spectacular — and with only one car.

  • We have a 2-year-old, who has lived in Petworth his entire life. (In fact, he was very nearly born in Petworth, though that had never been our plan.) I’m actually somewhat hopeful about Barnard Elementary, a neighborhood public school at 4th & Crittenden–last year it got some major awards, and the principal seems to run a very tight ship. I don’t think that any part of Petworth is in-bounds for West Elementary on Farragut (and 14th/15th/I don’t remember), but that school has good test scores and I know several Petworth parents whose kids got in out-of-bounds and are now thriving. We’ll also apply to charter schools, but while I expect some sleepless nights before lottery time, I’m pretty confident that our child will wind up in a free elementary school where he will thrive. (Jr. High and High schools in the District are much more troubled than elementary schools, but that’s a while off yet.)

    I strongly recommend taking your kids to the toddler playground at 8th & Taylor in Petworth some weekend day (or Friday afternoon, which for some reason is crazy-popular). There you’ll meet other Petworth parents and their children, and you can ask them directly how they feel about raising their kids there. (Plus, it’s a great playground and your kids will have a wonderful time!)

  • I live right next to Petworth and I like it- the vibe is great and most people in the community are great. But I’ve been burglarized, chased and threatened, told to duck from bullets, and my car has been stolen. I have told my fiance that when we have kids we are moving out of the city for these reasons plus the horrible school system. May I suggest Takoma MD?

  • JAMIII, who is arguing against diversity? I know you’re not one for statistics and other bothersome facts, but try these on: Arlingon public high schools are 42% white, 32%Hispanic, 16% black. Montgomery? 40% white, 23% black, 22% Hispanic. Alexandria? 40% black, 25% Hispanic, 25% white. Not exactly the lilly-white suburbs, and all of these schools outperform DC public schools.

  • “And, for what it’s worth, a few years ago the New York Times looked at mortality statistics and found out that suburban driving killed a lot more kids than urban living. ”

    that’s another really good point…

  • I did the math once re: commuting. When I worked it out that I would spend 10 years of my adult life in a car. the decision made itself

  • I did the math once re: commuting. When I worked it out that I would spend 10 years of my adult life in a car. the decision made itself

    I say that I get two hours a day of my life back.

  • i love columbia heights etc. as much as the next guy, but lets not delude ourselves… there is a lot of crime here, more than in most parts of this city. I would never consider raising kids in this city, and especially not in this neighborhood.

  • Yes, a big chunk of DCPS is a mess, but there is a great school located nearby Petworth at 12th & L NW.

    Check out Strong John Thomson Elementary at:

    there are links on the website to the Post’s coverage on the school. Jay Mathews the education writer even suggested Obama might want to consider Thomson for his girls.

    The school is newly renovated, has a fantastic princple, involved parents and really terrific kids.

    It saved us from the ‘burbs!

  • Yes, a big chunk of DCPS is a mess, but there is a great school located nearby Petworth at 12th & L NW.

    Check out Strong John Thomson Elementary at:

    there are links on the website to the Post’s coverage on the school. Jay Mathews the education writer even suggested Obama might want to consider Thomson for his girls.

    The school is newly renovated, has a fantastic princple, involved parents and really terrific kids.

    It saved us from the ‘burbs!

  • NateG – Petworth and Columbia Heights are very different. Petworth is almost purely residential, quiet, low density, mostly local foot traffic, almost a village feel. People in Petworth, esp. the long-timers, will often make eye contact and greet passersby with at least a wave and ‘how ya doin’? The newer residents pick up on that and start doing it too. I don’t see that very much in CH. The crime in Petworth is statistically much lower than CH and of a different nature.

    CH is mixed-use, much more stark gap between the the haves and have-nots, far more Section 8 housing (often whole blocks), and attracts people from all over, for better and worse.

  • Thanks for the tip about Thomson ES, but 12th and L near Petworth??? 😉

  • dc dude maybe you didn’t read my earlier post where I stated that I grew up in Arlington county. Abingdon elementary, Thomas Jefferson Intermediate and Wakefield High. I’ll bet on my actual firsthand experience of growing up here in the washington dc metro area over what you think you are gleaning from from whatever numbers you rattle off any day of the week. Where are you from? Stop the fear-mongering.

  • Um, sorry for the double post and typos. Yeah, not near, but not not on the other side of the park. I drag my kids 2 miles every day on public transportation to get to Thomson. It beats going to G’town though.

  • Your a pickle and I am 2:

    Benita Jacks didn’t live in Anacostia, I believe she lived in Fairlawn.

  • Great. You went to Wakefield. A great school that is predominantly Hispanic and African American, and which, by the way, ranks well above every DC public high school in the Washington Post’s Challenge Index for 2008. If I had my choice of where to send my kid, I would send them there over Cardozo any day.

  • we should all be glad that suburbanites live in the suburbs. think about how much less cool the city would be if they all upped and decided to move in… Which fankly is the trend and is why citys are becoming a bit more bland in my opinion. re: target in columbia heights and Chipotle on saint marks in nyc… stuff like that. but oh well

  • I highly recommend going to look at this house!

    While the listing price is slightly over $400, it has been on the market for some time. This neighborhood is GREAT! Tons of kids, 5 playgrounds I can think of within a 5 minute walk, and a 10 min walk to the Takoma Park Metro. I really could go on and on about what a wonderful community I think Takoma, DC is.

  • after reading an article about white teeny bopper suburbanites performing sexual favors for money and goods in suburban malls. I decided the suburbs had officially fallen from grace enough to go ahead and raise my kids in the city. then I went to a subruban mall and flashed a lot of cash…

  • anyone who is here trying to compare gangs, bullies and drugs but most of all, MURDERS, inside DC with outside DC really doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    I have many friends inside and outside the city, volunteer with children’s groups and am a sports coach. I have been inside a dozen DC schools and another dozen MoCo elementary schools. I can talk about Oyster, Murch, Eaton, Key, Bancroft, Shepherd, Bruce-Monroe, Marie Reed, Yu Ying, Cap City as well as Takoma Park, Piney Branch, Rosemary Hills, Bethesda, Bradley Hills, Rock Creek and other MCPS schools. I have friends who teach in Fairfax, Arlington, DC, MoCo, PGPS and private schools throughout the area.

    Fairfax has one of the most impressive school systems I’ve seen- look at TJ the #1 public high school in the entire USA- but they still have a minority of heroin users. However having a small drug problem is expected- in DCPS a principal I spoke to defended NOT CALLING THE POLICE ON UNCHAPERONED ADULT MALE DRUG DEALERS ON AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAMPUS! That is a complete violation of DCPS policies and of course, drug laws. It took approximately 11 months of constant complaining for those guys to get arrested.

    The best schools in DCPS that I’ve seen- think Eaton, Oyster and Murch appear to have the same basic facilities or a little worse than middling elementary schools like Piney Branch.

    I visited private schools like Coeus that were inferior to DCPS schools and schools like Beauvoir who have horrible staff who are now wanted by the police.

    Also DCPS is not a very diverse school system when compared to MoCo. In Piney Branch I met African-American, White, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Salvadoran, Ethiopian, Jewish, Carribean, West African, French African, Puerto Rican and Cuban kids in like 2 years. In DCPS I usually meet African-American, Salvadoran and white protestant kids and have never met anyone who spoke french, was from south asia or Jewish yet. MoCo is considerably more ethnically diverse than DCPS.

    There are basically more and better Asian restaurants in the suburbs than in DC itself.

    I challenge that the police, fire and schools are universally better in the suburbs. you can get better housing cheaper within walking distance of the metro.

    In general, what I would suggest to parents of children currently living in DC is to:
    1. BELIEVE NCLB. If the school did badly then you know they are incompetent.
    2. Research where to send your child as early as age 3. Get involved in the school. See if you want your child speaking English using the grammar that the teachers use, because your kid will come home and say, “He axe them for they bad-looking coat.” Happened to me.
    3. Get your kids in suburban sports programs and extracurriculars so you can compare their development to the kids in DCPS- I promise you when an ESL kid shows you MUCH MORE advanced work than your kid is doing and you know that kid has far more disadvantages than your child? oh yes, you’ll become the online crank immediately.

  • For those you who feel protected by being amongst people places and things that all look and act and reflect you then wrap yourself in that security blanket, put on your rose colored glasses, and continue on with your life.


    Your argument is a total joke. DC is the monoculture, not the Korean enclave in Anandale or the Mexican enclave in Riverdale.

    Have you ever actually seen the DC suburbs? Because DC Dude is not far wrong- you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • I dont see what the fuss about schools is. I went to one of the worst damn schools in the nation. Unless you are planning on being an absentee parent you really have nothing to worry about. If you are involved and tutor your child you have nothing to worry about. and lets not forget that Warren Buffet is a graduate of DC public schools. GO TIGERS

  • You are doing your kids a lifetime disservice by moving to DC. The school system sucks. The charter system is not on par with No VA schools. I don’t care how nice the building on GA Ave looks – show me the test results. In that respect, it’s not even close. NoVA>>>>>DC.

    In terms of urban feel, places like Bloomingdale are desolate wastelands. Just because two fru-fru coffee/wine places open doesn’t mean it’s awesome. You have a better urban feel near Columbia Pike strip where you can actually walk to lots of restaurants, etc. I have lived in Blomingdales just over 1 year and there have been 2 different homicides, the store/cafe place on 1st place has been robbed at gunpoint like 4 (!!!) times in the last year, and too many assaults and robberies to list here. When my roommate’s locked-up bicycle was stolen from the back yard, the cops never showed up to take a report despite repeated phone calls. In contrast, when my friend’s bicycle was stolen in Alexandria, they actually had the storage unit dusted for fingerprints (!!!) and they eventually recovered the bike. Also, it looks like drug dealing activity is picking back up on [email protected]

    I used to live in Gtown/Gloverpark – that actually had the city vibe you are looking for and it was nice. But moving to Petworth/Bloomingdale’s thinking you will have the city vibe? Forget it. You will only get the bad and none of the good. Move to Columbia Pike area which is quite affordable and you will find much of the city feel than you ever will in the hood. Also, take a closer look at Glover Park. It is not as pricey as you would expect. You might get lucky with a nice cheap place the way I did when I lived there.

    Out of the places I lived, Foggy Bottom, Courthouse, Glover Park, Gtown, and currently Bloomingdales – Bloomingdales feels more like a suburb than any of the NoVA locations. It looks like a city, but works like the suburb. I don’t mind it, but I would never have kids here.

    Lot of people making comments who are on the outside looking in.

    I’m not.

    I read your posts and I believe that you don’t know what quality educations taxpayers get in FCPS and MCPS for lest cost than DCPS. Have you really compared the two like I have?

    My high school sent more kids to Ivy League schools in my graduating year than any other public school in the DC Area- something like 53 kids. that was a big deal at the time. We had, I believe, 417 kids going to colleges or universities in my class. Are 53 Cardozoans going to Ivy League schools?

  • I think moving to the subs is a lot like being nuetered. hence why people like neener get so defensive.

  • I think if I could sum up things in one sentence: I would never have believed what my experience was going to be like here. When I cared about catching a cab to the black cat and not driving then my life was funky and neat, but when it came to repairing my house or sending my kids to school I probably would not have bought in DC.

    I can saw with certainty that the problems in DC that are not easily seen are far far worse than you can imagine. Think about Harriet Walters stealing $40 million. None of us knew about it at the time that this was going on. Well, you don’t really know what’s going on in the DMV or DCPS yet. It’s really outweighs the good pretty significantly.

  • moving to the suburbs is the worst thing ever to do to a kid. for the rest of his or her life they will have to have THIS conversation:

    “where are you from”
    “really what neighborhood I lived there for awhile”
    “well actually Im from gaithersburg…. I just say dc because gaithersburg sucked balls and nobody knows where it is. ”
    “oh. well nice talkin”

  • my father likes to tell me the story about his friends at work who settled in bowie poking fun at him for buying in cleveland park. here we are 35 years later. my dads house worth well over a million in one of the best neighborhoods going. my fathers friends houses… well. they didnt appreciate as much. and we all know pg county isnt making any top ten lists. but hey it sure did suck growing up in the city. the museums. the zoo. the parks. wont catch me envying a bowie upbringing.

  • I think moving to the subs is a lot like being nuetered. hence why people like neener get so defensive.

    I don’t live in the suburbs!

  • If you can afford to live in Cleveland Park and send your kids to school there, go for it. But I’m guessing Cleveland Park is just a little bit outside of this couple’s 400K price range. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  • yeah neener. but yr thiiiiiiiiinkin abooooooooouuut it!

  • im talkin about 35 years ago here dcdude. it was anecdote. but i WAS suggesting that your house in manasshole or gaithersburg or where ever will be a much worse investment than petworth. and that your kids will be just fine. and that they will in fact thank you for raising them in the city. (as i do mine) not the otherway around.

  • Neener if you want to quote me then at least do us all a favor and read my threads. For the last time. I GREW UP IN ARLINGTON CO. I ATTENDED ARLINGTON CO SCHOOLS. In Arlington you will find blacks, whites, asians, hispanics, attending school in the same building,but that doesn’t that they know each other. As I stated earlier I GREW UP IN A SEGREGATED NEIGHBORHOOD. In Arlington the whites live in one neighborhood, the blacks another, the asians another. That is true of Alexandria, Annandale, Montgomery, Prince George’s. That was true when I was a kid and it is still true today. As I stated earlier in my neighborhood in Petworth my daughter is growing up with blacks, whites, hispanics, gays, jews. As I stated earlier my wife and I will not be dependent on any institution for the education of our children. That’s our responsibility! So we’re not concerned about how many kids are going to Ivy League schools from the high school down the street. We will raise our kids and the quality of their education is on our shoulders not some teachers.

  • yes Bill C. your point is well taken… but I am talking about the whole neighborhood in general… the neighborhood that this blog focuses on (Petworth, CH, U St., Adams Morgan etc). Part of why it is so great is because each area is unique.

    However, there is one thing they all have in common. crime. be it violent or not, its not a place i would want to raise children. thats all i’m saying.

  • oh & dc dude. i notice you have avoided telling us where you are from.
    You people want to dismiss the true life experiences of people who have grown up here in the area in favor of numbers. WHERE DO YOU COME FROM????

  • Not that it’s in any way relevant, but I have lived in DC (within the actual city limits, not the ghastly suburbs) for nearly twenty years. Not a lifetime, but long enough to know that dollar for dollar, you are more likely to get a better education in the suburbs than in DC itself.

  • Well if nothing else I am sure we have shown the original questioner what a petty, pugnacious, nasty lot we are.

  • And anon, it’s still not an apt comparison. Cleveland Park, even in the 70’s and 80’s had a higher standard of living than does Petworth today. And before I get grilled about how I know that, I have extended family that has lived in Glover Park for decades, so I know the area pretty well.

  • LOL Pennywise – I was thinking the same thing! At least we are open minded and rational in DC, eh?

  • We can sum this up very easily. Those of us who actually grew up here in dc and the surrounding suburbs have one perspective. Those who didn’t have another. Those of us who actually grew up here have personal experience as our reference point. Those who didn’t grow up here refer to studies, statistics, and speak in generalities because they have no personal reference point. For those who are looking to possibly move to Petworth and raise a family, you have to decide which voice you wish to listen to. The voice of those of us who were born and raised here. Or those who were not.

  • Or to put it another way, you can look at the subjective experience of one individual and assume that it applies to everyone (even though I could just as easily find someone who had a wonderful experience growing up in the suburbs), or you can look at objective data in countless studies that have systematically measured school performance in the region as a whole.

  • again dc dude. you lived in dc? where do you live now? were you raised in the area? these questions are absolutely relevant. it goes directly to your perspective on the subject. Which happens to be the neighborhood that I currently live in. Let me also say that your having family in Glover Park doesn’t give you any more insight into a neighborhood than any other visitor to DC. PLEASE STOP YOUR FEAR-MONGERING! You really don’t know what you are talking about.

  • JAMIII if you’re home-schooling your kids, how are your comments relevent to the reader’s question at all? They asked about people who have considered the schools in Petworth while looking for a house. Stop getting carried away with your DC/not-DC inferiority complex and stick to the person’s question. And ease up on DC Dude. He’s trying to help. You’re just attacking him.

  • I still live in DC. Parkview if you must know. Do you want my name and SS# too?

  • yeah right……pull the other one why don’t you

  • JAMIII — why do you classify it as fear-mongering? Why do you think your first-hand experience is more valuable than anyone else’s? I’d hardly think it’s fear-mongering for one person to repeat the well-reported fact that DC has some of the most craptastic public schools in the nation, at least as these things are objectively measured. Fine — you did OK, and your kids are doing OK. You’ve made a choice based on a particular set of values, and there’s a whole lot that you’ll all get from being in town, and for every kid that’s a statistic, there is an outlier. Thanks for the perspective. But to dismiss anyone who has spent time living in the District and found it wanting as being only afraid of diversity or interested in fear-mongering … well, that’s just stupid and horribly arrogant of you.

  • and you grew up here as well huh?

  • It doesn’t matter if anyone who’s commenting grew up here. Petworth today is different than it was when/where they grew up. So statistics are the best indicator. Plus, you yourself admitted Jamii that you didn’t grow up in DC itself. Stop being adversarial, stop being mean, and stop being a hypocrat. Most of the commenters on this post are trying to HELP SOMEONE find a home. You’re trying to call people names.

  • “and you grew up here as well huh?”

    Alright, this conversation has officially gone off the deep end. Peace.

  • Geez JAMIII, I have to jump in here with Anon 4:34 and wonder why you feel like you have to harass dcdude. I do think I get what you’re saying that parenting matters, and if I were a kid choosing my lot in life and given the choice between neglectful parents and attending the #1 ranked school in the country vs. loving and attentive parents and attending crappy schools, I’d take the latter. But from the perspective of an individual parent thinking about where to send their kids to school, I don’t see why it’s bad to ask things like “What are the class sizes?” “How are the music/art programs?” “Are there AP classes?” etc.

  • Schools, Schools, Schools.

    Let’s just DC schools still have a way to go. My local one in CH has failed no child left behind since it’s inception: With a soon to be Kindergartner, we have to figure out if we move or what….

    Just remember, it’s not just cool for you – you have to figure out if your kids will fit in the schools.

  • I’d also broaden the search in include neighborhoods that border Petworth. There are some nice spots just south of Petworth in Park View, or a cross Georgia Ave. in 16th Street Heights. You’re still essentially within walking distance to some of the same stuff.

  • wow 103 comments and still going.

    My wife and I live in Bloomingdale. I’d say the answer to the question “is it a good place to raise a family” depends on all sorts of things, and I don’t know what the right answer is for the family who wrote PoP. It just depends on striking the right balance for their particular situation.

    But I do know that I see a whole lot of couples who bought in the last 5 years pushing around strollers these days. I anticipate that the environment for those children will be very different in a few years when they come of age than it is for neighborhood kids now. Young, relatively affluent parents will demand more in the way of services, and will be in a much better position to pay for them than the parents of today’s school aged kids. Improved services will likely follow.

    I guess a similar thing happened in brownstone Brooklyn in 90s when I lived there. I never stuck around to see what happened as the kids got older. Anybody out there have any idea what’s happening up there?

  • Replace “house/rowhouse” with “2-br apt”, and with 400k you could own in Glover Park where they have Stoddart public elementary school and virtually zero violent crime.

  • I anticipate that the environment for those children will be very different in a few years when they come of age than it is for neighborhood kids now. Young, relatively affluent parents will demand more in the way of services, and will be in a much better position to pay for them than the parents of today’s school aged kids. Improved services will likely follow.

    Look at Mt Pleasant today- the public elementary schools sucks and has been doing worse and worse in NCLB each year because no amount of parent involvement will get lazy, undereducated, Mayor Barry “Teachers for life” to generate any results with kids. White students are the majority in Pre-K and K and then they dissappear. It’s literally scary and disturbing. DCPS will not be influenced by yuppie parents- think about it- if a teacher tells you that “you don’t understand” because you’re “from the suburbs” then

    Ditto with Brownstone Brooklyn- friends are paying $7500 per month and their school is so crappy they pulled their daughter and are homeschooling. PS 123 is great, but beyond that Brooklyn elementary schools completely suck.

    Trust me, you’re talking to a guy who has asked EVERYONE about their schools.

  • when individuals say “for the love of God stay outside of DC” or insinuate that people are gambling with the future of their children by raising them in Petworth or DC for that matter. When they say that raising a family in DC is “simply not an option”. I don’t know what else to call it but fear-mongering. I don’t have anything against people who want to look at numbers in order to help them determine how they are gonna live. As long as they are honest with the fact that these numbers can never give a complete picture. To stand on top of them as if they are the complete truth is no different than if I were to say my experience were the only truth. Which by the way I never did. They both contain the truth, if not the complete picture. I also would point out at this time that I am not the only one who’s personal experience with growing up here in the dc/metro area is portrayed in this thread. So again I state. There are some folks who have actually grown up here, in the dc/metro area, and there are others who are only imagining what it would be like to grow up here. I can imagine what it would be like to grow up on a farm in Iowa, I can look at test scores, or statistics or studies that attempt to tell me what my life would be like if I grew up on a farm in Iowa, but none of that matters because life is an individual experience. Unless you live it. You don’t know. If you allow fear to determine you actions, you’ll never know.

  • Look at Mt Pleasant today- the public elementary schools sucks and has been doing worse and worse in NCLB each year because no amount of parent involvement will get lazy, undereducated, Mayor Barry “Teachers for life” to generate any results with kids. White students are the majority in Pre-K and K and then they disappear. It’s literally scary and disturbing.
    Oh so this isn’t fear-mongering. Marion Barry hasn’t been the mayor of DC since he has set up by the feds forever ago.

    Self determination isn’t possible in the story that Neener tells. The obstacles are too great. Those of us who tell a different story are simply rich or lucky.

    Give me a break.

  • “Marion Barry hasn’t been the mayor of DC since he has set up by the feds forever ago.”


  • oh my gosh — 109 comments?

    I wonder if the OP is going to wade through all of them? What an unexpectedly fabulous response. I second the vote for Park View!! (and private schools)

  • for the record the reason the schoools arent great in the city. and there is no parent involvement. is because everyone leaves. thats the irony isnt it. if you all stayed and got involved the schools would be just as good as the burbs you idiots all flee to. and just think. you wouldnt have to live in the shitty burbs!

  • anon @ 7:08 if you don’t know Marion Barry’s story then you don’t know DC. which I guess you don’t since a typo threw you off. correct word is was not has, hope that helps you out.

  • if you all stayed and got involved the schools would be just as good as the burbs you idiots all flee to.

    First off, I’m likely the only PTA officer on this board. We are involved, but no amount of involvement will change someone who is convinced that your way of doing things is “too high pressure on the kids” and their way is the right way. Even though they’re failing NCLB.

    As one teacher told me at the PTA “After party”

    “NCLB is a racist test.” which is to say that they don’t take it seriously enough to teach the kids to pass it.

    Anyone who thinks that volunteering at a school where some of the teachers think you’re a stuck up snob they totally disrespect is somehow going to change the school is fooling themselves.

    It’s definitely not the parents that are holding up teacher success in Ward 1. I can believe that in Ward 7 and 8 but NOT IN WARD 1! You’d literally be a fool to think that was true- LOOK AROUND YOU!

    Oh so this isn’t fear-mongering. Marion Barry hasn’t been the mayor of DC since he has set up by the feds forever ago.

    Self determination isn’t possible in the story that Neener tells. The obstacles are too great. Those of us who tell a different story are simply rich or lucky.

    Give me a break.

    Um, what?

    My kid had a teacher’s aide who was hired in 1977 under Mayor Washington. Her family had some connection to Mayor Washington.

    My son’s current teacher has 29 years of experience but taught outside DC before joining DCPS under Barry.

    My son’s first principal, I believed but might be wrong, was a teacher in DCPS and grad student at Howard during the riots- who was running DC then? Tobriner?

    If you knew DCPS teachers you’d know how many teachers with 30-40 years are still there. How many had no problem speaking highly of Cafritz, Pratt-Kelly, Washington, Ray, Clarke, Wilson, etc.

    Honestly, I am in one elementary school or another about 7 days a week. This is something I know well.

  • JAMII, it appears that YOU are the one who doesn’t know DC’s history. You state that Marion Barry wasn’t mayor since he was “set up” by the feds. Said “set up” was in 1990, yet he was re-elected for a 4th term in 1995. That’s the most amazing thing about Marion Barry’s “story”. Idiot.

  • What, no comments for an hour? Its probably a good thing, since the original poster in Baltimore is probably hightailing it in the opposite direction from DC after witnessing the petty squabbles of this lot…
    “YOU dont know DC!”
    “No, YOU dont know DC!”
    “Oh yeah, well, I look at statistics!”
    “Oh yeah, well statistics are stupid!”
    “No, you’re stupid!”

    Very helpful…

  • Hey Matt G, you know what’s stupid?…..oh, nevermind…..

  • Hey folks, I grew up in a Latin American public school and I am here, still standing, I don’t think DC schools are that bad. And when my contract is due that is where am going to return, hogar dulce hogar.


  • if schools are the issue, rent an apartment in a neighborhood with a DCPS school acceptable to you. once you start the school, you are “locked in” & allowed to move (e.g. to a great neighborhood like petworth) & continue going to that school. i’ve met people who have done this, no problem.

    alternatively, for $400K, do live in an apartment or condo. the joys of city life aren’t about your yard (jane jacobs).

  • Anyone who thinks that volunteering at a school where some of the teachers think you’re a stuck up snob they totally disrespect…


    If the shoe fits…

  • Its probably a good thing, since the original poster in Baltimore is probably hightailing it in the opposite direction from DC


    And there’s something wrong with that? The last thing we need here in DC is another psudogentrifier moving in, making themselves house poor; complaining about how much debt they have to take on on top of the mortgage in order to keep up with the Jones. Walking around behind their big dogs with the look of utter fear and terror on their faces, unable to even say hello to the people who have been living in the neighborhood as they walk by. Locking themselves up in their homes and complaining to the cops because a neighbor has his car stereo on too loud on saturday afternoon while he is washing his car, instead of just going over and speaking to that person themselves.
    No we don’t need any more of that.
    Perfectly OK with me.

  • JAMIII, you are totally not convincing. How many mistakes have you made about DC history so far in this threat? Do you really expect us to believe that you:
    1. have been in DC for any amount of time but don’t understand/ remember Mayor Barry
    2. Have children but don’t seem to be able to talk about DCPS

    “He who doth protest to much.”

    Segregated Arlington? Uhh… sure. Did you know that Mt Pleasant was also segregated, LeDroit Park was and so were most NW and SE Neighborhoods prior to 1941. Mt Pleasant was segregated until around 1952.

    No one is complaining about car stereos, so the first thing you need to do is quit lying to yourself, then next thing is to quit lying to us. There’s nothing about your posts that suggests you’re from the area or know the area. You write about the schools as if you’re 100% ignorant of the schools. That’s a clue to stop typing.

  • Jamii is so incessant that frankly, I’d move to the burbs just to AVOID folks like that.

    And yup. Grew up here. Born in Washington.

  • “As I stated earlier my wife and I will not be dependent on any institution for the education of our children. That’s our responsibility! So we’re not concerned about how many kids are going to Ivy League schools from the high school down the street. We will raise our kids and the quality of their education is on our shoulders not some teachers.”

    JAMIII, I want to agree with you on so many levels. I used to think just like you. I thought I would send my kids to DCPS no matter what. I thought his home life would outweigh the potential negativity of the schools. But until you send your kids into some of these DC Schools, you never know. You may tutor and nurture your child to the best of your ability. But bad people rub off on your kids much more so than the good. When your child is behind in a subject because the teacher can not teach for disciplining, your opinion may change. Basically, if it all comes down to getting your child in the best school, you stand a much better shot in MoCo. If you can get in Duke Ellington or some of the better schools, DC can work for you. Otherwise, move to the suburbs.

  • What really upset me was:
    1. Friends of ours in top of the line private schools are paying about $32k per student per year for tuition, books and enforced donations. When I bought my house the cost was a lot closer to $16k and affordable.
    2. Wilson, once the #2 DPCS high school is a total disaster with rampant violence from out of boundary students who bring their deathstyles with them. This was not true when I used to visit Wilson in the 1980s.
    3. It’s not always that the teacher is too busy to teach, some teachers aren’t educated enough to teach. I would NEVER HAVE BELIEVED THAT if I didn’t witness it myself. I’m talking about science teachers who didn’t read the newspaper to keep up with new scientific theories such as the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. How do you not know that Pluto is now called a dwarf planet if it’s your job to teach that to kids?

Comments are closed.