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School Choice Complicates Promise Neighborhood’s Efforts To Help Kids

An impoverished pocket of Northeast Washington has been receiving $25 million in federal grants to fund tutors, literacy programs and early-childhood education, largely to improve the neighborhood’s three struggling schools. Officials say school attendance is up, and the local charter high school has seen a boost in math scores.

But the children of Kenilworth-Parkside aren’t all benefiting from the “Promise Neighborhood” program. Less than a third of the 1,600 students who live there attend neighborhood schools; the rest are enrolled in 184 others, scattered across a city that has embraced school choice more than almost any other.