DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

February 2012 Newsletter

District & Charter News

School choice season is here!
The window for parents to apply to the out-of-boundary lottery officially opened on Monday, January 30th and will remain open until Monday, February 27th. The out-of-boundary lottery provides parents with the opportunity to apply for seats outside of their child’s assigned school. The application must be completed online, where parents may apply for seats at up to six schools. Click here for more information.

The window for many charter school applications is also currently open. Each charter school has its own rules and regulations for how to apply and gain admission to their school. The DC Public Charter School Board has put together a comprehensive spreadsheet, which lists the application deadline, lottery dates and open houses for each charter school in the city. View the spreadsheet here.

IFF Report
An independent study commissioned by The Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education (DME) and conducted by the non-profit, Illinois Facilities Fund, identified the ten communities across the District with the greatest gap between student demand and supply of high-quality education opportunities in the public system. Together, DCPS and the PCSB will work with the DME, using the study's findings to make decisions that increase the number of high quality seats in DC, particularly in the areas of greatest need. Read more in the Deputy Mayor of Education's press release.

NCLB Waiver
DC, along with many other states, is applying for a waiver from the Department of Education which would release DC from some of the federal government's requirements under the 2001 No Child Left Behind act. The Office of the State Superintendant of Education is soliciting your feedback on their application draft, now through February 14th. Learn more about DC’s ESEA flexibility waiver application and share your feedback here.

Highly Effective Teacher Incentive Act
Chairman Kwame Brown and the DC City Council held a public hearing on the Highly Effective Teacher Incentive Act on Monday, January 23rd. The proposed legislation was written to attract highly effective teachers to teach in the lowest performing schools with such incentives as a financial bonus and tuition and housing assistance. The most controversial piece of the bill was removed, which proposed waiving IMPACT requirements for teachers who become a part of the pilot program.

High Quality Schools Campaign Partner School Spotlight

Meet Wanda S. Perez, Principal of DC Bilingual

Why did you want to partner with DC School Reform Now for the High Quality Schools Campaign?

Charter schools, especially small ones like DC Bilingual, are working tirelessly to meet so many needs. We need great partners with expertise and resources to help us do the important work of empowering parents to make the best decisions for their children.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Meet an Outstanding DC Activist

Meet Shamire Juste

What is the hardest part about the work that you do?

The hardest part of my job is being aware that a student has something major going on in their life, and not being able to do much about it. They deal with situations that some adults haven’t even dealt with

Read the rest of the interview here.

What is New with DC School Reform Now?

DC School Reform Now has been busy working on a variety of projects. We have begun taking groups of interested 5th grade parents on tours of traditional public and charter public middle schools through our High Quality Schools Campaign. Thus far, we have taken parents to tour KIPP KEY Academy, Alice Deal Middle School, EL Haynes, Hardy Middle School, Cesar Chavez Prep and SEED. Our tours will continue through the next few weeks. Next week, we also begin our second series of workshops at each of our 5 partner schools to help guide parents through the out-of-boundary lottery and charter school application processes.

We have developed a suite of materials that are available to download online which help inform parents about the characteristics of a high quality school, principal and teacher as well as what to look for and what questions to ask when visiting a school, watching a lesson in a teacher's classroom and talking to a principal. We use these materials when taking parents on school tours. Download the materials here.

If you are a 5th grade parent interested in exploring your child's transition to middle school and would like more information on how to participate in the High Quality Schools Campaign, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

In Case You Missed It: Must Reads

The 'Levy Report' shows the difference in funding levels between DCPS and charters. Read about it here.

President of Washington Teacher's Union says charter schools are not entitled to extra funds—charter schools advocates say they are.

Lyndsey Layton writes about the need for all school systems to make better use of academic data here.

Bill Turque calls attention to OSSE's draft of the NCLB waiver which is open for public comment, here.

Lisa Gartner and Bill Turque weigh in on the DC City Council's public hearing regarding the Highly Effective Teacher Incentive Act—our Executive Director quoted—here and here. Read David's full testimony here.

Many discuss the Tuesday, January 24th DC City Council meeting here, here, here and here.

Conclusions drawn upon release of the IFF's "Quality Schools: Every Child, Every School, Every Neighborhood" report here, here and here.

Lisa Gartner explores the distribution of teachers across the city—our Executive Director quoted—here and here.

Charter school advocates angry about what they see as a double standard in funding, here and here.

DC's science standards top the nation. Read about it here.

About DC's graduation rates, here.

As awareness of the IFF report grows, so do the emotions of many, here and here.

Get Involved

The DC City Council’s Committee on the Whole will hold a public briefing on the Fiscal Year 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report on Monday, February 6th at 11:30 am at the John A Wilson building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

DC School Reform Now will host an out-of-boundary and charter application support workshop for the 5th grade parents of Arts and Technology Academy on Wednesday, February 8th from 12:00-6:00pm at Arts & Technology Academy at 5300 Blaine Street, NE. If you are a non-Arts & Technology Academy 5th grade parent interested in learning about how to navigate the transition to middle school and are interested in this support, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

The DC City Council's Committee on the Whole will hold a meeting to allow for public testimony only on the Deputy Mayor of Education; District of Columbia Public Charter Schools; Office of the State Superintendent of Education; and the District of Columbia Public Schools Agency Performance, on Wednesday, February 8th at 11:30 am at the John A Wilson building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

DCPS will be hosting an out-of-boundary information and help session on Saturday, February 11th from 1:00-3:00pm at Dorothy I Height/Benning DC Public Library at 3935 Benning Rd, NE.

Mayor Gray's One City Summit will take place on Saturday, February 11th from 9:30am-4:00pm. The meeting will take place at the Washington Convention Center at 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Participate and help drive the District’s priorities for the upcoming years.

DC School Reform Now will host school tours for parents to Paul Public Charter School, Achievement Prep Public Charter School and Two Rivers Pubic Charter School on Tuesday, February 14th from 8:00am-1:00pm. Free transportation and food provided. If you are a 5th grade parent interested in attending, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

DC School Reform now will host school tours for parents to KIPP WILL Academy, SEED Public Charter School and Oyster-Adams Bilingual School on Wednesday, February 15th from 8:00am-1:00pm. Free transportation and food provided. If you are a 5th grade parent interested in attending, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

DCPS will host an out-of-boundary information and help session on Wednesday, February 15th from 6:00-8:00pm at Powell Elementary School, 1350 Upshur St, NW.

The DC City Council's Committee of the Whole will have a public hearing on Thursday, February 16th at 10:00am at the John A Wilson building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW regarding the Early Warning System Act of 2011, the College Preparation Plan Act of 2012, and the Early Childhood Education Act of 2011.

The DC City Council's Committee on the Whole will hold a meeting to allow for government testimony only on the Deputy Mayor of Education; District of Columbia Public Charter Schools; Office of the State Superintendent of Education; and the District of Columbia Public Schools Agency Performance, on Friday, February 17th at 10:00 am at the John A Wilson building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

The DC Public Charter School Board will hold their monthly meeting on Monday, February 20th from 7:30-9:30pm at Board Headquarters at 3333 14th Street, Suite 210, NW.

DC School Reform Now will host an out-of-boundary and charter application support workshop for the 5th grade parents of CW Harris Elementary on Tuesday, February 21st from 3:00-5:00pm at CW Harris Elementary at 301 53rd St, SE. If you are a non-CW Harris Elementary 5th grade parent interested in learning about how to navigate the transition to middle school and are interested in this support, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

DC School Reform Now will host an out-of-boundary and charter application support workshop for the 5th grade parents of Simon Elementary on Wednesday, February 22nd from 5:00-7:00pm at Simon Elementary at 401 Mississippi Avenue, SE. If you are a non-Simon Elementary 5th grade parent interested in learning about how to navigate the transition to middle school and are interested in this support, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

DCPS will be hosting an out-of-boundary information and help session on Wednesday, February 2nd from 6:00-8:00pm at Wheatley Education Campus, 1299 Neal St, NE.

DC School Reform Now will host an out-of-boundary and charter application support workshop for the 5th grade parents of Stanton Elementary on Thursday, February 23rd from 5:00-7:00pm at Stanton Elementary at 301 2701 Naylor Road, SE. If you are a non-Stanton Elementary 5th grade parent interested in learning about how to navigate the transition to middle school and are interested in this support, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

DC School Reform Now will host an out-of-boundary and charter application support workshop for the 5th grade parents of DC Bilingual on Thursday, February 23rd from 5:30-7:00pm at DC Bilingual at 1420 Columbia Road, NW. If you are a non-DC Bilingual 5th grade parent interested in learning about how to navigate the transition to middle school and are interested in this support, please contact Marketta Wiley at mwiley@dcschoolreform.org or 202.674.0768.

The DC State Board of Education will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 29th from 5:30-8:30pm at the Old Council Chambers at 441 4th St, NW.

Get details about these events and more at the Events section of our website!

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DC School Reform Now is a member of the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network. The mission of the PIE Network is to build, support, and promote a network of education reform advocacy organizations working to improve K-12 education in their states to ensure every student graduates world-ready.

 

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