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« Can Project Blogging Smooth Out Design Rumors in your School Community?

In today’s Washington Post:

“Our ability to attract people to come and stay in the District depends on our ability to have good schools,” Ellen M. McCarthy, director of the D.C. Office of Planning, told about 200 education and community advocates at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

What’s at stake?

Demographic experts yesterday projected that new housing construction in the District could result in as many as 5,000 additional school-age children in the city by 2010, a potential boom in a system that has lost about 20,000 students over a decade.

Here’s what really captured our attention:

Because only 20 percent of D.C. households have children in the public schools, the system must reinvent schools as neighborhood hubs with evening and weekend programs geared to neighbors, said Juanita B. Wade, executive director of the D.C. Education Compact, a school reform organization.

“We’ve got to build interest in the other 80 percent” of the D.C. population, Wade said. “We should see schools as a place to take aerobics and nutrition classes. They can be a place where the elderly can come use the library.”

Schools not only as centers of community, but as the welcoming agent for re-invented urban corridors as well. Powerful potential for a city that has long ignored the public school population.

Your thoughts?

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