Serious Schools Scandal Brewing Over Lottery Fixing

schools lottery
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

Thanks to all who sent links to the Washignton Post story Second mayoral appointee identified in school-lottery scandal:

“Two appointed officials working for D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) received preferential treatment from the former schools chancellor, who directly placed their children in schools and allowed them to bypass the notoriously stressful and competitive lottery system, according to an investigation by the District’s inspector general.”

The IG’s investigation has not been released to the public, yet, but if it is I’ll be sure to post.

Read the full Post story here.

18 Comment

  • “School reform” is almost never about the students and almost always results in failure. Testing, “back to basics”, watered down versions of progressive education, vouchers for schools tied to political constituencies—none of it based on what actually works/is needed, despite ample research evidence.But all have beneficiaries….and they’re not teachers or students.

    • What the . . . ? This is not a story about school reform, or school quality, but about public corruption and abuse of authority. (Recurring themes these days, at all levels of government.) What on earth are you talking about.

    • Rich, it’s still too early to start drinking.

  • To be fair, teachers are just glorified babysitters anyway and good education is only for the wealthy.

    • That sounds like you haven’t met my kids DCPS teachers.
      I know they aren’t learning everything at home.

      • Psst, she’s a teacher and this was tongue in cheek

        • Oh, sorry. No knowledge of spite cupcakes + poor read of tongue in cheek + sensitive to judgmental a-holes.
          Thank you for being a teacher.

        • I give the benefit of the doubt but having read many of her posts about her job, I’m not sure if it was tongue in cheek or not.

          • It’s tongue in cheek, but with a bit of teeth – the way she and her colleagues are treated by parents, administrators, and society at large has gone a long way towards making this statement partially true. If parents/administrators think of teachers as glorified babysitters and treat them as such, then it makes it exponentially harder for her to do her job actually teaching kids and helping them make progress that is undone at home or out in the wider world.

  • I am totally not surprised by any of this. What will surprise me will be if there are any consequences.

    • I was utterly outraged when Fenty did this, but I thought that the Mayoral/Chancellor response was yes, we can do this whenever we want. So why are we the slightest bit surprised?

  • Sigh. Did these people even work on education? I’m actually not TOTALLY opposed to this if it’s people that work in the education system (like teachers at private schools get admittance for their kids, I think working in public education should offer the same perks, and I would extend this to anyone working in the system). But if they’re just random, politically-connected people, then screw this.

    Or maybe people working for the school district already get preferential treatment in which case, forgive my ignorance.

  • PoP headline a bit misleading. This is not lottery fixing, this is operating outside the lottery and the question is whether it was “improper discretion” – nice and subjective so probably will pass. Not surprising that Bowser was briefed and did nothing, she only has a slightly better understanding of optics than our President. I’m not sure if this is a big deal, but it doesn’t look very good. It is not lottery fixing though – that would be I agree a more serious scandal.

  • It is shady, but probably not illegal. My #1 takeaway after reading the Post article is that the wait lists are crazy..

    “Allen said the parents who had contacted his office were particularly unhappy to learn that Snowden’s son had been placed at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, one of the District’s most in-demand public schools. **The school received 1,101 applications for 73 open slots in the upcoming school year and has a waiting list of 1,028 families.” **

  • This makes me so upset, especially as a DCPS teacher who DOES NOT get student placement preference in the lottery. I work my butt off day in and day out to provide the best education I can to my students, but I don’t even get the benefit of placing my child at my own school. And these people think it’s okay to bypass that system? Unacceptable.

    • You’re in a tough position because there are also all the parents who live locally around your school (assuming you are in a high demand public school with long wait lists) who would also love to send their child to that school as well.

      Logan, being the only public Montessori school in the city, draws from every ward and I can see many parents being upset that their kid (who are on the waitlist like one of mine is) didn’t get in because someone took a seat out of good favor from someone with power.

      We’ll have three kids in DCPS this fall and I am very VERY grateful for the hard work you teachers to do make our kids’ lives better. Thank you. 🙂

  • This sucks. The lottery is frustrating enough without knowing that Bowser cronies can bypass it and take spots from the people who pay their salaries. Tar and feathers for all involved.