Mary Levy and Caryn Ernst Resign from Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force

November 10, 2018

To: The Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force
c/o Paul Kihn, Acting Deputy Mayor for Education

From: Mary Levy and Caryn Ernst

We write to submit our resignations from the Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force and to state why we have declined to endorse the report just released.

We do this because the report and recommendations fail to deal with the most important elements of the Task Force’s basic mission: to formulate a clear vision to guide the relationship between the traditional and charter education sectors; to significantly reduce student mobility, particularly mid-year mobility; and to create a meaningful framework for opening, closing and siting schools that reflects a sensible vision for public education in the District of Columbia.

There are big underlying issues: Will the City provide an excellent matter-of-right DCPS path from PK through high school in every community in a system that is accountable to them and their elected officials, providing families with shelter from the “chance” of the lottery and the need to traverse the city? To do so would require making that an explicit goal and implementing policies to achieve it. Will the City close more DCPS schools or have charter schools take them over? Does the City recognize the different obligations and challenges of DCPS matter-of-right schools and charter (and other DCPS schools) and the implications of those differences? The report and recommendations, at best, leave these issues open and yet addressing them lay at the heart of the Task Force mandate.

We and others have raised all these concerns during Task Force meetings, in a November letter we sent to the DME, the co-chairs and members of the Task Force, and in comments on the draft. Parents and community members at the public engagement sessions also spoke to these issues
Our voice is not represented in the tone or the recommendations, nor in a minority report. We believe that charter schools are not a substitute for excellent by-right DCPS schools in every neighborhood. Policymakers’ talking to each other does not constitute a framework for opening, closing and siting schools. We fear that the only steps on student mobility facilitate rather than reduce it.
We understand that this task is difficult and that efforts were made, but at bottom, after two and a half years of effort, the key finding of the Task Force seems to be that no real consensus could be reached on a vision or on ways to meaningfully address the key challenges the Task Force was created to address. The report suggests that we are generally on the right track and therefore conveys a sense that the absence of a vision and a framework for where we want to go is not a serious problem. We do not share either view and as such, the report does not reflect our views in letter or spirit. We cannot therefore endorse it.
CSCTF Report final.pdf


CHPSPO Meets Tuesday, October 16 @ Seaton Elementary

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, October 16, at 6:30 pm at Seaton Elementary (1503 10th St., NW). We will get an update on the technology advocacy efforts, the proposed Research Collaborative, and the issues surrounding Shaw Middle School. Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

101618 CHPSPO Agenda.docx


CHPSPO Meets Tuesday at Payne Elementary

Dear Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, September 18, at 6:30 pm at Payne Elementary (1445 C St SE). We will be joined by representatives from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education who will be discussing the Master Facilities Plan. We will also discuss the Chancellor search committee and process.

Also, on Thursday, September 20, at 7 pm, there will be a Ward 6 State Board of Education candidates forum at the Hill Center. Please share the attached flyer with your school communities. In addition, on September 24, at 6:30 pm, at Watkins Elementary School, Councilmember Charles Allen will host a discussion with Ward 6 residents on the search for the new DCPS Chancellor.

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

p.s. If you would like to have your name removed from CHPSPO e-mail distribution list, please let me know.

091818 CHPSPO Agenda.docx



CHPSPO Meets August 21 @ Amidon-Bowen

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

Hope everyone had a great summer, and that you’re ready for the start of school on Monday morning!

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, August 21, at Amidon-Bowen (401 I St., SW) at 6:30 pm. We will spend the bulk of our meeting developing/discussing the action items to go along with the strategic plan we developed earlier this year. We will also hear an update on the technology advocacy plan Grace Hu is leading, and discuss whether CHPSPO wants to sponsor a candidates forum for the upcoming State Board of Education Ward 6 race.

There are two remaining Our Schools DC Chancellor Search Public Engagement Forums; one on August 28 at Savoy Elementary, and the final one is on September 11 at Brookland Middle School. Also, Councilmember Allen is planning to hold a Ward 6 discussion on the Chancellor search on September 24 (location TBD).

Finally, please mark your calendars for Walk-to-School Day on October 10. CHPSPO will be hosting this annual event at Lincoln Park. If you have parents interested in helping to plan this fun event, please have them contact Sandra Moscoso-Mills ( or me (

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

082118 CHPSPO Agenda.docx


DC Alliance of Youth Advocates Event (DCAYA)

Dear CHPSPO members,

I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the summer.

I’m writing to ask you to join me in supporting a youth advocacy event being hosted by the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) on September 21st. DCAYA is one of my favorite local philanthropic organizations and I think you’ll be really impressed by what they do and their leadership.

I’ve attached two sponsorship packages, on geared toward individuals and one for corporations for you all to consider, as individuals, PTA/PTOs, or through your employers and/or places of business.

Below is a very brief description of the organization.

DCAYA (a small nonprofit) provides much-needed advocacy for more than 130 youth-serving local organization, and the audiences that they serve (including 30,000 children living in poverty). Few non-profits that provide needed daily services to at-risk D.C. youth (e.g. educational supports, out of school time enrichment, filling nutritional needs, providing play spaces) have the capacity to advocate for policy change.

DCAYA ensures the needs of those kids are heard by the elected officials who make critical decisions affecting kids’ daily lives. This is done in two ways – DCAYA advocates in front of policymakers, which has proved time and time again to have an impact on their legislative decision making, and provides youth the tools and training they need to become their own advocates in the policymaking process.

I’ve also attached a brochure that explains their mission, how they do it, and some of the great outcomes they are achieving for disadvantaged and at risk youth in our city.

I hope you’ll consider offering your support and hope to see you at the Community Reunion!


Ben Feldman

About DCAYA.pdf

DCAYA Reunion Corp Sponsor.pdf

DCAYA Reunion individual sponsor.pdf


CHPSPO Meets Thursday, July 19

Also to clarify seems like you can still go to your school in new school year to sign up but they are trying to get a head start this summer. Also just a heads up that it’s all changing.

From: []
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 1:06 PM
To: ‘Suzanne Wells’ <>; ‘Mitchell Brunson’ <>; ‘Dave Stevenson’ <>; ‘Lynch Kathleene (DCPS)’ <>; ‘Amy Weedon’ <>; ‘Lauren Amendolara’ <>; ‘Alison Harvey’ <>; ‘Lolitta Ball’ <>; ‘David Treat’ <>; ‘Kat Wilson’ <>; ‘Annie Mair’ <>; ‘Kevin Moore’ <>; ‘Julie Muir’ <>; ‘Stephanie Byrd’ <>; ‘Joe Weedon’ <>; ‘Vincent Morris’ <>; ‘Caryn Ernst’ <>; ‘Lucy Rojansky’ <>; ‘Max Kieba’ <>; ‘George Blackmon’ <>; ‘Bruce Jackson’ <>; ‘Ivan Frishberg’ <>; ‘Erin Roth’ <>; ‘Beth Hayden’ <>; ‘Smith Andrew (DCPS)’ <>; ‘Mandla Deskins’ <>; ‘Ben Champa’ <>; ‘Elena Bell’ <>; ‘Barbara Riehle’ <>; ‘Samantha Caruth’ <>; ‘Ben Feldman’ <>; ‘erika hoppes’ <>; ‘Denise Forte’ <>; ‘Scott Abbott’ <>; ‘Anne Fitzpatrick’ <>; ‘Norah Lycknell’ <>; ‘Grace Hu’ <>; ‘Erin Johnston’ <>; ‘Thu Pham’ <>; ‘Alexis Bataillon’ <>; ‘Martin Welles’ <>; ‘William Horne’ <>; ‘Ms. Thompson’ <>; ‘Beth Bacon’ <>; ‘Valentine Breitbarth’ <>; ‘Rebekah Benson-Flannery’ <>; ‘Derek Herr’ <>; ‘Betsy Wolf’ <>; ‘Areola Brodie’ <>; ‘Janice Brown’ <>; ‘Amy Bryan’ <>; ‘Liz Weeden’ <>; ‘Ivy Ken’ <>; ‘Marlene Magrino’ <>; ‘Shahna Gooneratne’ <>; ‘Shannon Von Felden’ <>; ‘Susan Oakley’ <>; ‘Carrie Elliot’ <>; ‘Gail Sullivan’ <>; ‘Heather Schoell’ <>; ‘Dionne Owens’ <>; ‘Sandra Moscoso’ <>; ‘’ <>; ‘Laura Marks’ <>; ‘Monica Warren-Jones’ <>; ‘Marlana Wallace’ <>; ‘Shereen Williams’ <>; ‘Tianeka Arno’ <>; ‘Suzy Glucksman’ <>; ‘Rick Bardach’ <>; ‘Emily Rand’ <>; ‘Andrea Tucker’ <>; ‘Elizabeth Festa’ <>; ‘Mark Smith’ <>; ‘Greg Dolmann’ <>; ‘Carolyn Bowen’ <>; ‘Elsa Huxley’ <>; ‘Chica Hairston’ <>; ‘Valerie Jablow’ <>; ‘Andrea Ryan’ <>; ‘Sheila Clark’ <>; ‘Peter MacPherson’ <>; ‘Tammy Alexander’ <>; ‘Katy Thomas’ <>; ‘Daivernee Primus’ <>; ‘Bruce DarConte’ <>; ‘Nicole Petty’ <>; ‘’ <>; ‘Rose Shelton’ <>; ‘Patrick Jackson’ <>; ‘Mark Jordan’ <>; ‘’ <>; ‘Michelle Martin’ <>; ‘Sah Brown’ <>; ‘Clinton Turner’ <>; ‘Julie Johnson’ <>; ‘Kristofer Comeforo’ <>; ‘Karen Cowden’ <>
Cc: ‘Secret WordPress’ <>
Subject: RE: CHPSPO Meets Thursday, July 19

Hey all!!

I want to share the free bus/metro process is changing for kids. You have to go in person to sign up – they are having events around town in all wards. It’s changing from DC one to “KIDS RIDE FREE”

See details here:

I’m not sure how known this is. I heard word of mouth and don’t know more than is here.


From: Suzanne Wells [mailto:m.godec]
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2018 8:24 PM
To: Mitchell Brunson <mitchell.brunson>; Dave Stevenson <dbs>; Lynch Kathleene (DCPS) <kathleene.lynch>; Amy Weedon <amyweedondc>; Lauren Amendolara <lamendo>; Alison Harvey <acharve>; Lolitta Ball <mikeball42000>; David Treat <dtreat2mars>; Kat Wilson <vannessparentgroup>; Annie Mair <annie.mair>; Kevin Moore <kbmoore25>; Julie Muir <julie.hodgson.muir>; Stephanie Byrd <stephanie.byrd>; Joe Weedon <joeweedon>; Vincent Morris <vsmorris>; Caryn Ernst <caryn.ernst>; Lucy Rojansky <lucy.rojansky>; Max Kieba <maxjkieba>; George Blackmon <gblackmon>; Danica Petroshius <dpetroshius>; Bruce Jackson <bruce.jackson>; Ivan Frishberg <ivanfrishberg>; Erin Roth <erinfc>; Beth Hayden <president>; Smith Andrew (DCPS) <andrew.smith2>; Mandla Deskins <mtdeskins>; Ben Champa <benchampa>; Elena Bell <elena.bell>; Barbara Riehle <barbara>; Samantha Caruth <kirbycaruth>; Ben Feldman <benjamin.n.feldman>; erika hoppes <president>; Denise Forte <dm_forte>; Scott Abbott <>; Anne Fitzpatrick <annefitz>; Norah Lycknell <norah.lycknell>; Grace Hu <ghgracehu>; Erin Johnston <erinkjohnston>; Thu Pham <vicepresident>; Alexis Bataillon <alexisb03>; Martin Welles <martinwelles>; William Horne <williamdhorne>; Ms. Thompson <msmischa>; Beth Bacon <beth.a.bacon>; Valentine Breitbarth <vbreitbarth>; Rebekah Benson-Flannery <rebekah.benson>; Derek Herr <dh32019>; Betsy Wolf <betsyjwolf>; Areola Brodie <ayeolaa>; Janice Brown <payneelementaryschool.pta>; Amy Bryan <vicepresident2>; Liz Weeden <eyoungweeden>; Ivy Ken <ivyleighken>; Marlene Magrino <marlene.magrino>; Shahna Gooneratne <mattandshahna0805>; Shannon Von Felden <shannon_von_felden>; Susan Oakley <sdoakley>; Carrie Elliot <carriebelliot>; Gail Sullivan <glsullivan>; Heather Schoell <heysassy>; Dionne Owens <dionne.m.owens>; Sandra Moscoso <smoscosomills>; sherry_trafford; Laura Marks <lauramarks>; Monica Warren-Jones <mwarrenjones>; Marlana Wallace <mwallace>; Shereen Williams <shereenwilliams27>; Tianeka Arno <downingt50>; Suzy Glucksman <suzy_glucksman>; Rick Bardach <rrickbar>; Emily Rand <emilyrandpe>; Andrea Tucker <datruth120>; Elizabeth Festa <elizabeth.d.festa>; Mark Smith <mcsmith84>; Greg Dolmann <greg.dohmann>; Carolyn Bowen <carolyncbowen>; Elsa Huxley <elsa>; Chica Hairston <chicahairston>; Valerie Jablow <wolbajenroh>; Andrea Ryan <ryquins>; ‘Sheila Clark’ <strain1913>; Peter MacPherson <pmacpher>; Tammy Alexander <minerpto.tammy>; Katy Thomas <kazt1978>; Daivernee Primus <daiverneeprimus>; Bruce DarConte <bruce>; Nicole Petty <nicole.petty>; janicebslp; Rose Shelton <vshelton324>; Patrick Jackson <pjacksondc>; Mark Jordan <president>; amy_mauro; Michelle Martin <michmartin72>; Sah Brown <sah.brown>; Clinton Turner <clinton.turner3>; Julie Johnson <juliejenj>; Kristofer Comeforo <kristofer.comeforo>; Karen Cowden <karen.cowden>
Cc: Secret WordPress <yihe035yanu>
Subject: CHPSPO Meets Thursday, July 19

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Thursday, July 19 at 6:30 pm at the Northeast Library (330 7th St., NE) in the lower level conference room. Council member Charles Allen and State Board of Education member Joe Weedon will join us for an open discussion on what people are looking for in the next DCPS Chancellor.

Please share this information with your school communities. Principals, teachers, parents and students are all welcome to attend.

Hope you will be able to join us for this important discussion.

Suzanne Wells