Entire Senior Class at D.C.’s Ballou High School Applies to College
Every one of the 190 seniors at Ballou High applied to college this year, a first for the long-struggling public school in a poor neighborhood of Southeast Washington.
Ballou ranks among the city’s lowest-performing high schools on core measures. Its graduation rate last school year, 57 percent, was second-lowest among regular schools in the D.C. Public Schools system, behind Anacostia High’s rate of 42 percent. (That comparison doesn’t include alternative schools.) Last school year, 3 percent of Ballou students tested met reading standards on citywide standardized exams. Almost none met math standards.
Despite these challenges, administrators said it was the Class of 2017 that decided all seniors would apply to college. The students themselves set the ambitious goal last spring. Administrators say they never doubted the students would meet it.