- Washington spends $16,698 per student, the second highest in the country after Boston, yet:
- In 2007, 61% of D.C.'s fourth graders scored below basic level in reading, and 51% below basic in math.
- Of America's 100 largest school districts, D.C. Public Schools spent the most on administration (56% of budget) and the least on instruction (41%), in 2004 — 2005.
- Twenty-nine percent of D.C. high-school grads enroll in college within 18 months versus 48% nationwide, and only 9% of them graduate within five years.
- D.C. seniors in the class of 2007 had the second-lowest SAT reading scores in the country (after Maine) and the worst math scores.
- Thirty-six percent of Washingtonians are functionally illiterate. The national average is 21%.
Sources: Department of Education, The College Board,
A version of this article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.