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The Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School, established in 1998 to provide students with a rigorous education of integrating mathematics and science instruction with technology, is not your average D.C. public school.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Mrs. Obama will present diplomas to an astonishing 99 percent of the student body, with every one of the graduates accepted to two- or four-year institutions.

Comparably, according to Education Week, the nation’s capital in 2008 ranked 47th (out of 51) nationally for its public high school graduation rate. But that rate is improving dramatically. D.C. public schools graduated 70 percent of high schoolers in 2008, compared with only 57 percent in 2005.


Should our judges be judged by their gender,

Or the justness of verdicts they render?

Should we reckon their race,

Or their ken in a case

As a strict Constitution defender?

-F.R. Duplantier

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or