Just down the road from the White House, the "no excuses" hardball of NCLB plays out in schools attended by the Capitol's bumper crop of impoverished children. These are the children who are commanded to perform on tests at the same level as Caitlin and Seth out in the rich suburbs of Alexandria. To expect less simply because of lead-laced drinking water, crumbling school buildings, and lives seared by poverty, would be to engage in the "bigotry of low expectations." A clip from WaPo:
Syreeta Williams, a parent at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Southeast Washington, puts bottled water in her children's backpacks rather than let them drink from the thin trickle that gurgles out of the school fountains.
Her son, Auvoen, 12, a fifth-grader, complains that the restroom near his third-floor classroom smells so bad that he walks to the second floor, a trip that keeps him out of the classroom longer, Williams said.
As a parent who also serves as a school volunteer, Williams said she wants to trust that school officials will treat King "like one of the best schools." . . .