Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
June 16, 2015
1. Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERRA) Roundtable (June 22)
We discussed the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools. This evaluation was on the Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) of 2007 that gave control of the public schools to the mayor, established the office of Chancellor of DCPS, and established the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the State Board of Education (SBOE).
The report found significant areas of concern regarding 1) the lack of an entity that can support interagency coordinations, i.e., information sharing, collaboration and support, 2) the lack of data infrastructure that could support interagency coordination; and 3) lack of coordination between OSSE, SBOE and the DME. The report found coordination among DCPS and the charter schools “is also limited.”
Individual CHPSPO members are planning to submit written comments or testify regarding concerns with lack of accountability for the public charter schools, the need for open data, the need for a cross-sector task force that has “real teeth behind it,” and that public charter schools should be subject to FOIA requirements.
2. Ward 6 Education Town Hall meeting (June 24)
The State Board of Education was not asked to co-sponsor the Town Hall meeting that was scheduled by Councilmember Grosso.
Individuals are asked to RSVP and post topics they’d like to discuss online.
There is expected to be a discussion about the “tool” the Education Committee developed that set out criteria to determine the prioritization for school modernization funds. Concerns with the criteria dealing with enrollment were discussed. This criteria leads to investments in large, established schools, and delays investments in schools that are small, but trying to build their populations. There are significant concerns with the data that were used to populate the tool. The tool does not look at basic education specs, e.g., does the school have adequate lighting, are there science labs, are the acoustics adequate for learning, etc. Concern was expressed that there was not adequate public input into a tool that has such far reaching implications.
Topics also suggested for discussion were expansion of language immersion programs, and siting of new public charter schools.
3. Ward 6 Speaks
We discussed the Ward 6 Forum on Language Immersion that was held June 11. About 40 people attended the forum, and attendees felt the information provided by the panel on the positive impacts on student achievement was very informative. At the forum, there was discussion about the possibility
of expanding the Tyler Spanish Immersion program within the school, and prospective parent efforts to start a Mandarin Immersion program at Miner.
It was decided CHPSPO would establish a Language Immersion Committee to 1) share information among schools seeking to expand/establish language immersion programs, 2) to develop recommendations across Ward 6 regarding language immersion programs, and 3) to inform and support city-wide language immersion efforts.
The following volunteered to be members of the committee: Gimbiya Lin, Tammy Alexander, Erin Roth, and Suzanne Wells. We will seek additional members.
Next CHPSPO Meeting: July 21, 2015
June 22 – Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERRA), Roundtable Part II – 11am
This is the continuation of a public roundtable on the summative evaluation of public schools in the District of Columbia as required by the Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007. Copies of the National Academy of Sciences report can be found here. Contact Ade Adenariwo at firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business Thursday, June 18 to testify.
June 24 – Education Committee Chairman David Grosso’s Ward 6 Education Town Hall together with Councilmember Charles Allen, 6:30-8:30pm, SW Library, 900 Wesley Place SW.
July 3 – 4th of July Parade, Barracks Row. The Barracks Row 4th of July Parade falls on a Friday this year. Contact Phil Guire (email@example.com) for more information on the parade.
July 8 – DC Council Roundtable: DGS Contracting and Procurement Practices for Constructing and Modernizing District of Columbia Public Schools, 11am, Room 500. Contact Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present their testimony. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony.