Dunbar and Coolidge community members came to New York to recruit them and won a fight with Anacostia High supporters for their services.
At their insistence, Rhee installed classroom walls at Dunbar, whose open-space design was considered insane by everyone. Both schools were cleaned. They junked the block schedule that had students in different classes on different days, an invitation to more chaos. The 882 students at Dunbar and the 604 at Coolidge now have seven 45-minute periods a day.
They also picked new principals, Stephen Jackson (whom they brought from New York) at Dunbar and Thelma Jarrett (a D.C. veteran) at Coolidge. With order improving, they are focusing on teaching — setting standards for assessment (they want every class to have a short quiz every day) and helping teachers realize how much good they can do (the Bedford team likes the personal touch, a combination of toughness and fun).