Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)
|Dunbar High School|
|Dunbar Senior High School|
|1301 New Jersey Ave Northwest
District of Columbia, DC, 20001
|School type||Public high school|
|School district||District of Columbia Public Schools Ward 5|
|Faculty||66.0 (on FTE basis)|
|Grades||9 to 12|
|Enrollment||837 (as of 2009-10)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.68|
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States. The school is located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington, two blocks from the intersection of New Jersey and New York Avenues. Dunbar, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Originally named Preparatory High School for Colored Youth and later known as M Street High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar. Founded as an educational mission at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, Dunbar was America's first public high school for black students. It was later the academic high school, with other schools related to vocational or technical training goals. It was known for its excellent academics, enough so that some black parents moved to Washington specifically so their children could attend it. Its faculty was paid well by the standards of the time, earning parity pay to Washington's white school teachers because they were federal employees. It also boasted a remarkably high number of graduates who went on to higher education, and a generally successful student body.
It is similar to Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland and Fort Worth, Texas, as all three schools have a majority African American student body and are of a major importance to the local African American community. All three schools are also highly regarded for their athletic programs within their respective school district in the sports of Football, Basketball, and Track. There is also a Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky.
Since its inception, the school has graduated many well-known figures of the 20th century, including Sterling Brown, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Charles R. Drew, William H. Hastie, Charles Hamilton Houston, Robert H. Terrell, Benjamin O. Davis, Benjamin O. Davis JR., Paul Capel, III, Robert C. Weaver, and James E. Bowman. Its illustrious faculty included Anna Julia Cooper, Kelly Miller, Mary Church Terrell, and Carter G. Woodson. Among its principals were Anna J. Cooper, Richard Greener, Mary Jane Patterson, and Robert H. Terrell. An unusual number of teachers and principals held Ph.D. degrees, including Carter G. Woodson, father of Black history Month and the second African American to earn a Phd. from Harvard (after W. E. B. Du Bois). This was the result of the entrenched white supremacy that pervaded the nation's professions and served to exclude the majority of African-American women and men from faculty positions at predominantly white institutions of higher learning. As a consequence, however, Dunbar High School was considered the nation's best high school for African Americans during the first half of the 20th century. It helped make Washington, DC, an educational and cultural capital.
Following desegregation and demolition of the original facility, the school's prestige dropped notably. As of 1976, the campus is situated in a newer, but, to some, far less architecturally appealing, facility in Northwest Washington. Through the years, Dunbar High School continued to perform below the standards and was among a list of failing schools identified for turnaround or closure. In 2008, then schools chancellor Michelle Rhee transferred management of Dunbar to Friends of Bedford, an educational consultancy company known for its ability to transform failing schools in successful ones. Under its management, Dunbar High School achieved the second highest gains on state examinations - second only to another Friends of Bedford managed school. The culture of the school began to transition to one of student success and academic achievement. However, in 2010 and with the election of a new mayor-elect, the direction of education reform within the District took a new direction. Dunbar High School was lost its status as a management school.
Dunbar competes in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association, and its football team historically has been strong. Some of Dunbar's recent graduates have gone on to play in NCAA football and the NFL. Joshua Cribbs, who graduated in 2001, was the starting quarterback for four years at Kent State University. He is a member of the New York Jets. Vernon Davis, who graduated in 2003, was the number six pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He is now a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers.
Recently, some Dunbar graduates play football at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Dunbar graduates wide receiver Arrelious Benn of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive back and Vernon Davis' brother Vontae Davis of the Miami Dolphins and defensive back Nate Bussey have all played for Ron Zook. The other outstanding wide receiver that played alongside Benn, Isiah Thomas attends Hampton University.
During the 2004-2005 school year, Dunbar had 1500 students.
- 98% were African American
- 1% was Hispanic American
- Less than 1% were Asian American
- Less than 1% were Native American
- Less than 1% were European American
Approximately 46% of students qualified for free or reduced lunch.
Feeder elementary schools include:
- J. F. Cook
Feeder middle schools include:
Feeder K-8 schools include:
- Walker-Jones Education Center
Notable graduates include:
Scholars and artists
- James E. Bowman, scientist, physician, pathologist, studied G6PD and Sickle cell disease
- Sterling Allen Brown, African-American professor
- Mary P. Burrill, educator and playwright
- Nannie Helen Burroughs, African American educator, orator, religious leader and businesswoman
- Elizabeth Catlett, a prominent African-American sculptor and artist.
- Frank Coleman, professor of physics, founder of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
- Anna J. Cooper, one of the most prominent African American scholars in United States history
- Allison Davis, Anthropologist, educator, scholar-first African American to hold full faculty position at a major white institution-University of Chicago
- John Aubrey Davis, Sr. Civil rights activist, head academic researcher on Brown v. The Board of Education, New Negro Alliance co-founder and political science professor
- James Reese Europe, first African American officer to lead troops in battle in WWI, founder and first president of the Clef Club, leader of the 369th Hellfighters Infantry Regiment Band
- Kelly Miller, an African American mathematician, sociologist, essayist, newspaper columnist
- May Miller, playwright
- Willis Richardson, playwright
- Billy Taylor, jazz pianist
- Mary Church Terrell, suffragist and civil rights activist, as well as one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree
- Jean Toomer, poet and novelist associated with the Harlem Renaissance
- Vantile Whitfield, influential arts administrator
- Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
- Arrelious Benn, NFL wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles
- Joshua Cribbs, NFL player for the New York Jets
- Vernon Davis, NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers
- Vontae Davis, NFL player for the Indianapolis Colts
- John Duren, NBA player and 19th overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz
- Tre Kelley, former basketball player for the University of South Carolina
- Michael Smith, NBA Smith was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft. He would play for the Kings, Vancouver Grizzlies, and Washington Wizards.
- Lawrence Chambers First African American graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to reach the rank of admiral.
- Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. First African American General in the Armed Forces.
- Edward Brooke, first African American to be elected by popular vote to the United States Senate
- Vincent C. Gray, chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia and mayor of Washington D.C.
- Charles Hamilton Houston, Howard Law School Dean and NAACP Litigation Director
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate to Congress
- Clarence M. Pendleton, Jr., chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1981 until his death in 1988
- Robert C. Weaver, served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Business, religion and professionals
- Charles R. Drew, discovered of blood plasma and first black surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery
- H. Naylor Fitzhugh, credited with creating the concept of target marketing
- Colbert King, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist
- GNIS entry for Dunbar Senior High School; USGS; December 31, 1981.
- National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 6, 2011.
- Dunbar High School
- Jones, Robert B. "Jean Toomer's Life and Career". Modern American Poetry. Urbana-Champaign, Illinois: Department of English, University of Illinois. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Shinhoster Lamb, Yvonne (2005-01-23). "Arts Administrator, Playwright Vantile Whitfield Dies". Washington Post (Washington, DC). "Vantile Whitfield, known as "Motojicho," an influential playwright, director of stage and screen and founding director of the Expansion Arts program at the National Endowment of the Arts, died Jan. 9 at the Washington Home of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 74 and was considered a dean of black theater."
- Risen, Clay. "The Lightning Rod", The Atlantic, November 2008. 2.
- "Clarence M. Pendleton, Jr.". aapra.org. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Colbert I. King - Dunbar High School's sad descent into hard times