So the schools question- We lucked out no reason to move, now

Yeah, Babyman is less than a year old and I’ve got the next 17 years planned. But you know what they say about plans.

We will be playing the DC School Lottery in 2 years. I’ve got my first choice in mind, even though Babyman has a better chance of getting into Harvard than Mundo Verde.  So what if he doesn’t get into Mundo Verde, it would not be the end of the world because we happen to be in the boundary for Seaton Elementary, which isn’t that bad.

Actually, it is a bit better than the first elementary school I attended. I looked up my old elementary schools (yes, schools) using Great Schools. GS may have its faults but it allows me to compare my nieces and nephews schools with DC schools. Being in DC can warp ones view of things. My other elementary schools have transformed in the (mumble) forty some odd years since I’ve attended. One is a magnet school the other is some sort of community center. My old elementary school scored 4 out of 10, only because it rated highly on race (34% black, 34% white) everything else was 2 out of 10. The former all black elementary school I attended, which is now a magnet school, scored 10 of 10. Racially it is now 15% black, 62% white, 12% Hispanic, and that’s also rated 10 of 10. Students scored 97%-100% proficiency in math and english tests.

Seaton compared to Munde Verde, if you were just going by test scores (Seaton -math 47%, ELA 31%, Mundo Verde math 42%, ELA 44%) are close enough. I’m attracted to Mundo Verde’s bilingual programming and yes, its proximity to my house. Looking at the 2018-2019 waitlist data, the 1,702 long waitlist is, something to keep in mind. The only problem with Seaton, for my needs as a parent, is the lack of a before school program. Munde Verde has before and after care programs.

We really won’t know what his educational needs are until he gets older. Right now his interaction with books involves trying to eat them. He’s giving off a mechanical engineer vibe, in that he seems like he wants to know how things work…. and then he tries to eat whatever it is.

So our in boundary school is acceptable enough that it doesn’t warrant moving out if we don’t get our desired lottery choices. If the boundary changes, then yes, we’d have to consider other options if we don’t get our preferred school. You know what’s cheaper than daycare for a baby? Pre-K Catholic school, and that’s an option.

Don’t drink outta the tap! Water Advisory for Friday the 13th

Okay I thought Babyman’s Exorcist-esque event had something to do with a new food I let him try… lemons are cool, that quick pickle, not so much. Now I think it might have something to do with the water advisory. The DC Water site is down, but the local NBC affiliate has an interactive map.

Truxton Circle is in the area of concern.

RIP – Milk Bottle Change Jar

This morning I heard the distinct sound of glass breaking. Not wanting to wake the Babyman, I waited till coming downstairs to ask the Help (my spouse) what was it. Apparently he had grabbed a book that shared space with the change jar and the other books shifted, sending the antique milk bottle to its shattered end on the floor.

Milk bottleThis milk was special, Truxton Circle special. Once upon a time in the early and mid 20th century, there was a the Fairfax Farms Dairy at 1620 First Street NW, where the Northwest Co-Op currently sits. That was a light industrial block with warehouses and of course the “dairy”. There were no cows to my knowledge ever on the property. Eventually fresh milk delivered to your door in these lovely glass bottles was no longer a thing, and so businesses like the dairy went away.

It was a nice reminder of the changes the neighborhood went through, that once there was an industrial section in the neighborhood. Dismiss those fantasies that residential areas were always residential areas.

We probably won’t get another antique 1620 1st St NW bottle. The Babyman would probably destroy it as he gets more mobile. We’ll just replace it with a cheap mason jar.

I Question Surveys- DC Schools

So I just got off the phone with some survey company about DC schools.  It was on our land line, the number we give to people & companies we don’t want to bother with. Most of the time we don’t answer the land line and let the answering machine take it. However, there are times when we do pick up the phone (when I have a feeling it’s IT or B) and just now it was an operator who wanted to do a survey.100_0724.JPGFirst, these phone surveys, the results you may see in the Washington Post or other publications, are too damned long. There was a moment where I thought, ‘okay, I have to eat dinner and I want to hang up.’ I know 10-14 minutes doesn’t seem that long, but I’m not getting too much out of it and a majority of the survey operators struggle with clear English (which means I have to struggle to understand them). So for me it is long and painful.

Second, I sensed bias in the questions asked. Thank you library school and whatever reference class regarding user questions! Whoever made up the survey wanted to remind me about the Antwon Williams scandal (bypassed the school lottery) and seemed to have a slight bias against charter schools.

And lastly, “I honestly don’t care” and “I really don’t have a clue” are never an option. There was a name, I think it was Scott Bridges, but with the thick accent I couldn’t be sure. I was asked how I felt about the person. I knew a Scott Bridges, he moved out of the area, I doubt he would appear in a survey, “don’t know” would have been my real answer, but that was not available. However, if I had those options, I’d make for a boring survey data point because it would almost be completely neutral and that does not sell newspapers or generate clicks. The survey operator did ask if I was a voter and my likelihood of voting in the November elections (highly likely) so it could have been a poll for a pol. Considering how few DC voters bothered to drag their butts out to vote, maybe this will count for something.

An Appreciation of the Now: Fewer gunshots, fewer killings

If this was a decade ago in Shaw you’d be asking yourself. Fireworks? or Gunfire? It could have been either, or both. One of the nice things about gentrification, fewer gun shots ringing through the night. Sometimes through someone’s window.

R St blockedI’ve been thinking about a website that is still up but no longer updated, DC Homicide Watch (2010?-2014) run by a husband and wife team Chris and Laura Amico. Their documentation of every death, not just the gun victims, but also the stabbing and domestic/ child abuse victims, made them special. As far as I was concerned they were doing the Lord’s work. They not only acknowledged the life that was lost, but provided a place for that person’s friends, associates and loved ones express their grief and loss. There were several Truxton Circle victims, I don’t miss the makeshift street memorials that were a common site around the neighborhood.

There is a site that has picked up the torch of documenting every death in the District of Columbia, DC Witness. I have trouble with the layout and it doesn’t seem to want to work properly on old testy computers. I have to go back to the Google search page to find a version of the site that doesn’t seem to crash my browser. There is a beauty in simplicity.

Do You Miss DC in the 90s?

Gentrify & DestroyJokingly in my head I’m writing a book called “Gentrification: A Love Story”. Because as someone who bought a home right after the 90s in the Williams Administration, gentrification has been very, very, good for me. The equity in my home has allowed me to make investments and assist family members to improve their situation. The neighborhood that was so rough, my then best friend wondered if I was too desperate for home ownership, ten plus years later became my husband who actually wanted to live in the now hip happening neighborhood.

My spouse and I arrived in the DC area in the 90s in our 20s. DC kinda sucked in the 1990s. The Help (my spouse) has memories of walking from his roach infested Dupont apartment down to the Mall on weekend mornings and getting propositioned constantly by hookers. I lived in NoVa because I put a high premium on my safety and comfort, and all the DC roommate situations I looked at were blazing red flags. Tip- If you go to look at an apartment with a guy and there is a half dressed woman passed out in the living room, pass. Consider backing away and running for your life.

We do wonder if the younger residents have an appreciation of how far DC has come.

Yes, gentrification hurts. It’s a sort of change that separates out the weak. There are long time families in my neighborhood that aren’t going anywhere. These people are resilient. Grandma owns the home free and clear or the head was a government worker and has managed to keep the house in the family. They already know about the senior citizen property tax program and how to get an assigned handicapped parking spot in front of their house. They managed to survive the crack dealers and killings in the 80s and the 90s. They’ve proven thus far to survive the gentrification of the 00s and 10s. They are stronger than the newer residents think.

Miss L Ainy: Friday 6/22/2018

View inside commerical spacePot Pop Up Po-po-ed

So 1712 3rd Street NW got busted by the MPD for hosting a “Marijuana Pop Party” yesterday. It was a problem, mainly because pot stinks. But it wasn’t the real stuff. When I was last sitting out on the ANXO patio with the Babyman, I could smell the fake pot which smells way worse than real pot. There were 11 arrests, fewer arrests than the other pot pop ups (you kids and your pop up whatevers) the DC Police busted around town.

Daycare Lawsuit Continues Forward

I don’t have anything to add to this in that I’m just keeping an eye on it. I have already expressed my concerns in an earlier post. The city is trying to throw the case out.

and yes I do see the humor that DC is requiring a college degree when

25% of DC Teachers Don’t Have Certifications

meh.

So the Washington Post reported as well on DC teacher certifications. My honest response is *shrug*.

Many moons ago when I had nearly finished up my economically useless History graduate degree, I interviewed for a teaching position at a traditional private New England girl’s boarding school. The expectation was that the new teacher would learn that school’s style of ‘teaching’ on the job. You don’t need teaching certifications to teach at expensive private schools. You do need to know your topic.

Because of the Babyman, we’ve been exploring education options. So we’ve been talking to co-workers and friends who have been to private schools. Apparently the key to a high quality education is scary nuns. I don’t think scary nuns have to be certified.

So Asbury Dwellings used to be a school

Three white guys posing in front of Shaw Jr High. Circa 1967-68.

 

Okay, if you are familiar with the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and 7th Street NW you are aware of Asbury Dwellings, senior citizens’ apartments.

Well before it was housing, it was a school. It was THE school the neighborhood was named after. Just like Adams Morgan was named after two schools there, with its own urban renewal project, Shaw was named after the Shaw Junior High School. Which was named after Col. Robert Gould Shaw. So the neighborhood being named after the Col. Shaw is sorta kinda true if you’re totally ignoring the urban renewal part of the neighborhood’s history.

So behind the three white guys with rolled up posters, is the school and you may be able to make out the word “High School”. It now reads “Asbury Dwellings”. If you don’t feel like bringing up a Google street view of the place here’s a link to a Library of Congress photo of the current building. When you really look at it, it is a beautiful building.

1960s MICCO Parade Pix

1967 parade in Shaw. MICCO float.

This was probably the 1967 parade featuring Dr. Martin Luther King.

I do not know who these ladies are, beyond that they are probably on the MICCO board. What is MICCO? It is the Model Inner City Community Organization an organization that was around during the period of Shaw’s urban renewal. It helped get federal funds to black middle class professionals such as architects and builders.

What I do know is that the float passed R Street NW. I suspect Rhode Island Ave is just a bit behind it. They might be heading north on 9th Street. I have the parade route somewhere, but I do not know where.

BACA on Langston School

100_0404.JPGThe Langston School on the unit block of P St NW has been vacant, and crumbling for years, possibly decades. The building is in such bad condition, charters who get 1st dibs on DC school buildings have given it a hard pass.

So after decades of nothing from the city, the Bates Area Civic Association (BACA) has decided to attempt to tackle the problem.  Take a look at the BACA Resolution in Support of Development Proposal for Langston School. To sum it up, BACA says it has been vacant for too long and is hurting the surrounding area, and maybe the National Peace Corps Association seems interested in it, please let them buy it.