Page images
PDF
EPUB

(6) Eleven senior high schools (Anacostia, Central, Coolidge, Eastern, McKinley, Roosevelt, Western, Wilson, Armstrong, Cardozo, and Dunbar).

(c) Five vocational high schools (Bell, Chamberlain, Burdick, Phelps, and Washington).

(d) Twenty junior high schools (Deal, Eliot, Gordon, Hine, Jefferson, Kramer, Langley, Macfarland, Paul, Powell, Stuart, Taft, Banneker, Browne, Francis, Garnet-Patterson, Merritt (elementary, with junior high classes), Randall, Shaw, and Terrell).

(e) One hundred and thirty-four elementary schools. In addition to the foregoing, two elementary schools (Thomas and Turner) are under construction and not yet in operation.

7.3. As of last October, enrollment was as follows: Teachers' colleges, 693; senior high schools, 14,805; vocational high schools, 1,363; junior high schools, 19,936; elementary schools, 51,705 ; total, 88,502.

7.4. The schools as a whole have two defects. (1) Many are so overcrowded as to require double-shifting. A number of new schools, and additions to old schools, are needed to give reasonable service to the present population. (2) Many are quite old, reflecting the standards of a less-advanced age, and need replacement.

B. THE SUPERINTENDENT'S LONG-TERM PLAN 7.5 The Superintendent has prepared a long-term plan for the school system that will be needed when Washington's population has increased to about 1,250,000 people, which it is estimated is likely to occur within the next 25 years or so. The plan contemplates an ultimate capital expenditure over that period of some $78,000,000, and ultimate annual costs of some $25,000,000. The plan is valuable as a general guide, but like all long-term plans is necessarily very approximate as to details. It will not be dealt with further in this report.

C. THE SUPERINTENDENT'S 6-YEAR PLAN 7.6. As the first and most definite element of the long-term plan, the Superintendent submits a 6-year plan,' intended to meet the needs of the present population on a thoroughly modernized basis, and to take care of any growth that may occur during the 6-year period. The plan includes the following:

Capital expenditures 7.7. Fiscal year 1947 (included in the Commissioners' budget): Continuing construction of Spingarn Senior High School

$500,000 Continuing construction of Sousa Junior High School

400,000 Continuing construction of Miller Junior High School.

400, 000 Completing construction of Bell Vocational High School

740, 000 Beginning construction of Nalle Elementary School

300, 000 Beginning construction of Walker-Jones Elementary School -- 300, 000 Completing construction of Tyler Elementary School

439, 500 Addition to Anacostia Senior High School

93, 320 Addition to Taft Junior High School

311, 020 Addition to Logan Elementary School.

200, 000 Completion of Davis Elementary School

38, 003 Plans for certain new schools or additions

63, 460 Equipment and miscellaneous_

439,500 Sites--

296, 200

Total for fiscal year 1947.

4. 526, 000 7.8 Fiscal year 1948–52.-Capital improvements recommended by the Superintendent for this period fall into four categories: (a) completion and equipment of schools which have already been started, or which are planned to be started in fiscal year 1947: (b) further additions to existing schools or their equipment; (c) new schools where none now exist: (d) complete replacement of obsolescent existing schools. These will be considered in order.

(a) Completion : Certain schools have been commenced, or will be commenced in fiscal year 1947, for the completion of which money must be provided in subsequent years. They include: Spingarn (building and stadium), Coolidge Stadium, Taft (equipment), Sousa, Miller, Walker-Jones, Nalle, Patterson, Rudolph, and Bunker Hill. The estimated cost is $3,853,479.

1 The plan was drawn up initially by the former Superintendent, Dr. Haycock, and has been approved with certain changes by the present Superintendent, Dr. Corning.

(6) Further additions to existing schools: The Superintendent recommends additions and improvements to: Armstrong (for which there is planning money in the 1947 budget), Western, Dunbar, Phelps, Washington, Eliot, Macfarland, Stuart, Shaw, Banneker, Browne Francis, Beers, Crummell, Garfield, Slowe, Payne, Van Ness, Syphax, Garrison, Giddir Slater-Langston, Turner Thomas, Lov joy and Harrison. The estimated cost of the foregoing is $9,300,115 for land and structures and $682,000 for equipment, total $9,982,115.

(c) New schools: The Superintendent recommends entirely new schools (not replacements) as follows: new junior high school in the vicinity of Pomeroy and Stanton Roads SE. ; new junior high school in the vicinity of Idaho and Wisconsin Avenues NW.; new elementary school in the vicinity of River Terrace NE.; new elementary school in the vicinity of Young School; new elementary school in the vicinity of Pomeroy and Stanton Roads SE.; new elementary school in Marshall Heights. These, with sites, are estimated to cost $4,900,000, and their equipment $312,000, a total of $5,212,000.

(d) Replacements: Finally the Superintendent recommends a comprehensive replacement of the older or less adequate school structures, including Wilson and Miner Teachers' Colleges ; Cardozo High School; Powell, Hine, and Terrell Junior High Schools; and 22 elementary schools (Amidon-Fairbrother-Greenleaf, Stanton, Peabody-Hilton, Curtis-Hyde-Addison, Seaton, Edmonds-Maury-Madison, Morse-Twining, Birney, Stevens, Bruce, Ambush-Smallwood, Bell, Merritt). In some of the above cases, as indicated by the hyphens, it is contemplated that one new school will replace two or three existing schools; the total present number of 22 would be reduced to 13. The estimated cost of these, with land, is $17,393,030. With $1,445,000 for equipment, subtotal $18,788,030. In addition the Superintendent recommends a new administration building and warehouse for the Board at a cost of $1,400,000, with equipment; making a total of $20,188,030 in this category.

(e) Summarizing, the Superintendent's recommended capital improvements for fiscal years 1948–52 areCompletion and equipment of certain schools.

$3, 853, 479 Additions to existing schools.

9, 982, 115 New schools.

5, 212, 000 Replacement of existing schools

18, 788, 030 New administration building and warehouse_

1, 400, 000

Total.

39, 235, 624

Annual costs

7.9 Operation and maintenance of the system during fiscal year 1947 is estimated in the Commissioner's budget at $14,960,100. The adoption of pay legislation now pending would add between one and two million dollars to this at once. The adoption of the Superintendent's 6-year plan, involving numerous new or expanded schools, would result in further increases during the period of the plan. There will also be increases due to within-grade promotions and other promotions authorized by law. The Superintendent estimates that the arerage annual cost during the 5-year period, fiscal years 1918–52, will be $18,000,000.

D. RECOMMENDATIONS

7.10. Our public schools are characterized by a remarkable mixture of modern and antiquated buildings and equipment, and by an acute but unbalanced shortage of space.

7.11. The variation among the buildings and equipment arises out of the history of the city's development and expansion. For many decades the bulk of our population lived in the "old city” (the area south of Florida Avenue, plus Georgetown). Many of the schools in that area were built several generations ago, and retlect the standards of those times. When the city began to expand with the advent of the automobile, the first major expansion was in the northwest section. Schools of a more modern type were built to serve these new areas. Recently the city has expanded northeast, and also east and southeast across the Anacostia ; and here also modern schools have been built. Generally speaking, the new areas have been occupied by persons in the high- and middle-income brackets. Meantime a number of areas of the “old city" have been progressively taken over by

persons in the lower-income brackets, who have inherited the old schools. There are exceptions to the foregoing, but it represents the general pattern.

7.12. Since the lower-income. brackets are predominantly colored, the colored population is on the average considerably worse off than the white as regards schools. It seems to be true, and it is a pleasure to report, that there has been no deliberate attempt on the part of Congress or the city government to differentiate against colored citizens in this respect. They have been the victims of circumstances. Where new schools have been built for them excellent standards have been set. For example, the group comprising Browne, Young, and Phelps Schools (to which Spingarn Senor High will soon be added) appears to be as fine an educational center as any in Washington-far superior to many white schools.

7.13. The overcrowding of some schools is, of course, a result of the great population increase during the war and the concurrent inability to obtain priorities for construction. As a result, there are some 7,500 pupils today attending schools on a double-shift basis. This is a very bad condition, disorganizing the children's whole educational life, and calls urgently for correction. Of these double-shift schools, only one (Kimball) is white. Its double shifting affects 250 pupils. There are 20 other schools, all colored, on double shift, affecting about 7,250 pupils.

7.14. The troubles of the Kimball School have been widely advertised and given ample publicity by the understandable complaints of the parents. The much worse and much more extensive troubles of the double-shift Negro schools have received practically no publicity.

7.15. Concurrently with this overcrowding of schools in expanding areas of the city. there are other schools operating at less than capacity. These are, in general, located in stabilized residential areas where the average age of the inhabitants is increasing and there are progressively fewer children per capita.

7.16. A secondary but important point about the Department is the organization of its headquarters and administrative overhead. It is largely conditioned by the inadequate space at the improvised headquarters building. This has necessitated scattering over the city a number of subordinate agencies which should be drawn into a focal point. The result is not calculated to give smooth and streamlined operation. The new Superintendent of Schools is fully cognizant of this condition.

7.17. Considering the Department's 6-year plan in the light of the above, it is believed that all the work recommended by the Department is needed to bring our school system completely up to date. However, I am hesitant to recommend the entire program on account of the great cost (nearly $45,000,000, including the money budgeted for fiscal year 1947). It is my present feeling that, considering the other heavy demands on the city's finances, we cannot afford to spend so much in the next 6 years.

7.18. For this reason the Superintendent was requested to divide his program into a series of priorities and resubmit it. He has done so, establishing three priorities :

(a) First priority: Work needed to complete existing buildings and buildings anthorized by Congress; to eliminate double shifting; and to handle the most critical cases of schools in new areas and schools needing replacement or modernization. The work affects 28 elementary schools (Beers, Bunker Hill, Amidon, Fairbrother, Greenleaf, Patterson, Rudolph, Stanton, Seaton, Ambush, Smallwood, Birney, Bruce, Crummell, Garrison, Lincoln (to be replaced by an addition to Giddings), Morse and Twining (to be replaced by Montgomery), Nalle, Payne, Stowe, Stevens, Syphax, Thomas, Turner, Walker-Jones, and Young, plus a new elementary school in the vicinity of River Terrace) ; 12 junior high schools (Eliot, Hine, Macfarland, Stuart, Sousa, Taft, Browne, Francis, Shaw, Terrell, and Miller, plus a new school in the vicinity of Pomeroy and Stanton Roads SE.); and 4 senior high schools (Western, Armstrong, Dunbar, and Spingarn). Estimated cost, including land and equipment, $19,931,109.

(5) Second priority: To replace additional old buildings and to provide certain assembly halls, gymnasiums, stadiums, and increased play areas. This affects 14 elementary schools (Edmonds, Maury, Madison, Peabody, Hilton, Curtis, Hyde, Addison, Van Ness, Bell, Harrisen, Lovejoy, Slater, and Langston) ; 2 junior high schools (Powell and Banneker) ; 2 vocational high schools (Phelps and Washington), and 5 senior high schools (Coolidge, Spingarn, Armstrong, Dunbar, and Cardozo). It also includes increased play areas for nine schools and a new warehouse. Estimated cost, including land and equipment, $10,097,515.

(c) Third priority: This includes the remaining items which the Superintendent considers at least vital to the program, although he feels that they should, nevertheless, be.undertaken. The work affects two elementary schools (Merritt and Garfield), plus new elementary schools in Marshall Heights and in the vicinity of Pomeroy and Stanton Roads SE.; a new junior high school in the vicinity of Idaho and Wisconsin Avenues NW.; new teachers' colleges to replace Wilson and Miner; and a new administration building for the Board of Education. Estimated cost, including land and equipment, $9,645,000.

Grand total of three priorities, $39,673,624. 7.19. This figure exceeds by $438,000 the total in the Superintendent's previous recommendations. The increase is due to his adding the following work not previously envisaged: an addition to Noyes Elementary School, including equipment, $370,000; an increase of $50,000 in the improvements to Francis Junior High School, to include a cafeteria ; and $18,000 for additional equipment in two new elementary schools, previous estimates for which the Superintendent considers too low.

7.20. For the purposes of this report I am accepting the first two of the Superintendent's priorities for action within the next 6 years (with one exception noted below). This is based on rather limited inspections, covering only a minority of the schools affected, and should be carefully checked before final acceptance. Further study may show, on the one hand, that we cannot afford to push the replacement program as fast as this; or on the other hand, that it should be pushed even faster.

7.21. The point on which I differ from the Superintendent concerns the urgency of a new administration building. His report makes this a third-priority job. In my opinion it is of first-priority urgency to provide space in which the scat. tered and not too well organized overhead of our educational system can be assembled and properly organized.

7.22. This raises an over-all question of headquarters space affecting a number of municipal departments. The situation is as follows:

(a) The Commissioners have a plan, not yet approved by Congress, for a new West Administration Building opposite the present East Administration Building, to house municipal agencies now scattered over the city. For details see part XIV of this report. No decision has yet been made as to what agencies should be housed therein; but it has not thus far been contemplated to house there the Board and Department of Education.

(6) There is also a plan for a public library on an adjacent square. For details sea part X of this report. The plan contemplates four units, one of which is already built. When Congress was asked to approve this first unit, it was represented to the committee that the Board and Department of Education would be housed in the new library; and the appropriation item in the act of July 15, 1939, carried the proviso “including quarters for the administrative offices of the Board of Education.” It is not clear from the act, and the record of hearings, whether this was a commitment to house the Board of Eciucation in the first unit (then being appropriated for) or somewhere in the ultimate four-unit building which was discussed before the committee. It is believed that we would not be contravening the will of Congress by refraining from housing the Board of Education in the first unit already built (which in fact would be physically impossible). But it is clearly the will of Congress that we should house it in some one of the four units, if and when built; and we should not make long-term plans on any other assumption, without first obtaining congressional authority to alter this.

(c) The square footage of the complete library building, exclusive of base. ments, is as follows: first unit (already constructed) 60,180; second unit, 62,432; third unit, 57,161 ; fourth unit, 116,387; ultimate total, 303, 160.

(d) Both agencies (Education and Libraries) are strongly opposed to the joint use of the ultimate building to which we are committed. The Chief Librarian and Trustees claim that they will eventually need all of the above space. The Board of Elucation claim that they need 108,000 square feet of gross office space, plus 36,000 square feet for central files storage (which could be in the basement); and it will be seen that this would require either the entire fourth unit of the new library, or the second and third units together.

7.23. Since I am convinced that the final 6-year plan should include (1) the new West Adininistration Building, (2) an efficient headquarters for the Board and Superintendent of Education, and (3) another unit of the Central Library, it is evident that a firm decision must soon be made affecting all ihe above questions. It is further evident that the decision will involve policy questions affecting a number of city departments; and that, if we accepted the wishes of Education and Libraries, we would be contravening both existing law and commitments to Congress, and must therefore take the matter to Congress,

7.24. For the purposes of this report I am recommending a new headquarters building for the Board and Department of Education, at an estimated cost of $1,000,000, but with no statement as to where it should be. (Also, as will be seen in parts XIV and X, I am recommending the new West Administration Building and one more Central Library unit.) All these recommendations must be considered together in the coming months, to arrive at a coordinated solution of the problem.

7.25. As to annual costs, the elimination of certain capital improvements from the Superintendent's original program will reduce average annual costs in the period fiscal years 1948–52 below this figure of $18,000,000. The reduction will not exceed $500,000 and will probably be less. For the purposes of this report I am using the figure $17,500,000.

7.26. Accordingly I recommend the following for the 6-year plan as regards
Education :
Capital costs:
Fiscal year 1947 (included in Commissioner's budget)

$4, 526, 000 Fiscal years 1948–52 (same as the first 2 priorities of the

Superintendent's most recent report, plus $1,000,000 for a
new headquarters) --

31, 025, 000

Capital improvements for 6-year plan--

35, 551, 000 Annual costs: Fiscal year 1947 (included in Commissioner's budget)

14, 960, 100 NOTE.-Adoption of pending pay legisation would largely increase this.) Fiscal years 1948–52, average for the 5-year period.

17, 500, 000 Fiscal years 1948–52, total for the 5-year period.--

87, 500,000 7.27. Ameliorative measures for double-shift schools.The double-shift situation is very bad indeed. Its full extent has not been recognized by the public, because publicity has been concentrated on the 2.70 white pupils in Kimball School, and nothing has been said about the 7,250 colored pupils in 20 other schools. The situation at Kimball, or at any one school, can be corrected for a limited amount of money. But the condition as a whole will take some $5,000,000, and may take two and a half years, to correct by permanent construction.

7.28. With this in mind the Commissioners asked the Board of Education to consider the following temporary ameliorative measures: (a) the use of temporary buildings for overflow classes; (b) a rearrangement of hours so that the morning shift starts before 9 a. m. and the afternoon shift ends after 3 ). m.; and (c) the use of special busses to move children from an overloaded school to an underloaded school. The Board did not consider any of these advisable, and reiterated its opinion that the problem should be solved by permanent construction,

7.29. There is no question that it should be. But the point is that the permanent buildings prcbably cannot all be completed and functioning before the beginning of calendar year 1919. This is a long time to keep thousands of children on a part-time basis of education. For this reason I am not convinced that it is wise to reject temporary ameliorative measures.

7.30. Relation of Education, Recreation, and Libraries.--These activities are closely interrelated. The fact is recognized by the authorities in charge, and, in general, the cooperation among them appears to be cordial.

7.31. However, there is one field in which I get the impression, perhaps wrongly, that there is a lack of coordinated activity. I refer to what is loosely called "youth welfare." An important element of this is the provision throughout the city of buildings or space for evening and holiday activities of neighborhood youth (and adults) such as dances, indoor games, organizational meetings, and the like. It has been suggested that the District Government finance and operate a network of such installations over the city, to be called community centers. 7.32. The idea is good. But we already have-

(a) A network of schools over the city, which stand empty after school hours, on holidays and through the summer; and

(b) A network of existing or proposed recreation centers over the city, many of which will include “field houses"; and

(c) A smaller but growing network of branch libraries over the city, operated under a policy of increasing integration with neighborhood and community life.

99538-47-19

« PreviousContinue »