August 18, 2015
My daughter attended MacArthur for K-5 until transitioning to GWMS. I found the teachers were generally good (although some were hit or miss) and administrators are supportive. However, the school is extremely racially stratified. My very friendly, sociable daughter was never invited to birthday parties, sleepovers, or social events held by the White girls in her class, despite being good friends with them in the classroom, starting in kindergarten. All the parents of color I spoke with recounted similar experiences. I'm a Georgetown professor and my husband is a lawyer, so I have to assume the exclusion was based on race, not class. By fifth grade, most of the White students in the class were placed in TAG, which meant they were on a separate track and not a single student of color in the fifth grade was in TAG (MacArthur had 50 students in TAG, 49 of whom are non-Hispanic White and 1 of whom is Black, in her fifth grade year), which means that each block was either entirely White or entirely students of color. My daughter was never recommended for TAG at MacArthur despite testing in the 96th percentile on her standardized tests in all subject areas, but in middle school maintained a 4.0 in all honors classes for the duration (and is now preparing for TC Williams). The curriculum at MacArthur was not very challenging and the teachers would consistently yell at the blocks with all Black and Latino students and praise the blocks with all White students. My daughter and her friends were constantly complaining that they thought the fifth grade teachers were racist. However, other than the fifth grade teachers, my daughter experienced a succession of excellent teachers.
- submitted by a parent