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The D.C. Lottery Is Intended to Give All Kids a Fair Shot at a Top School. But Does It?

Sabrina Gordon knows that any lottery is a fluky game of odds. But she needs to believe that the school lottery is different.

The single mother lives in a poor area of Southeast Washington and refuses to enroll her 10-year-old son, Trevonte, in their neighborhood school, Johnson Middle, where he has a guaranteed slot.

So Gordon joins the thousands of families across the city anxiously awaiting results of the city’s competitive school lottery this week — a system that highlights the bleak reality that the demand for high-performing schools in the District far exceeds the supply.