As D.C. looks to improve its middle schools, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson revealed some startling statistics during her meeting with city council members Tuesday.
One in 10 eighth graders say they have attempted suicide, Henderson told the council.
Nearly one in six middle-schoolers say they were members of a gang in the past year, and nearly one in five say they missed classes because they felt unsafe traveling to school. Nearly 14 percent have been afraid of being beaten up at school. The statistics are based on a student survey conducted last year.
The schools chancellor talked about the challenges in the classroom as well. From 2008 to 2009, more than 40 percent of 9th graders were held back, and of those students, nearly half failed Algebra 1, the core math course. Almost 35 percent of all 9th graders taking Algebra I for the first time fail it; for English I, 24 percent of students fail their first time taking the course, according to the statistics.