Sen. DeMint: ‘Chances are’ D.C. public school students will ‘end up in a gang.’

demintweb4.jpgYesterday, at a news conference promoting a Republican amendment to continue D.C.’s school voucher program, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) — a longtime cheerleader for vouchers — suggested that students in D.C. public schools are more likely to join gangs than graduate. “If you send a kid to [public] school in D.C., chances are that they will end up in a gang rather than graduating,” he said. City officials were quick to respond, noting that “gross misjudgments like that one” bolster the argument for giving D.C. full voting rights in the House. In fact, nearly 70 percent of D.C. students graduated last year, putting the District “in line with the national average,” while Sen. DeMint’s home state of South Carolina had a graduation rate of “almost 56 percent,” the fourth worst in the nation.

Matt Finkelstein