Status

CM Allen Letter on Chancellor Selection

The above letter was sent to Mayor Bowser and the co-chairs of the Our Schools Leadership Committee on August 21, 2018 .

The letter summarizes the discussion organized by CM Allen, SBOE Ward 6 Representative Joe Weedon, and CHPSPO Chair Suzanne Wells on July 19, 2018.

Status

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – June 20, 2017

Payne Elementary School, 1445 C Street, SE

June 20, 20176:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

SBOE Update – Joe Weedon, Ward 6 SBOE Representative

  1. Additional funding allocated by DC Council

When council added additional funding to schools, came w/ a directive to put money into local schools. Chancellor committed that $$ would go to schools and would reinstitute cuts. How to ensure this will happen?

  • Budget changes should be announced via LSATs
  • Council called for DCPS to issue report by September 30

2. ESSA Advisory Task Force,

  • Chair of task force is Lanette Woodruff – Ward 4
  • ESSA over-emphasized ELA, Math; did not emphasize public process going forward for outstanding items
  • Task force to work w/ OSSE on those outstanding items: science assessment, school climate pilot, develop system to measure growth in high schools. These outstanding ESSA elements to be sorted out while school report card (likely to come out at year 2 of new state rankings) is under development. The items should align w/ what is used for accountability;
  • Represents all Ed entities: DCPS, DC PCS, OSSE Superintendent, individual schools, teachers, Ward Ed councils, business leaders and policy experts, community activists, 25 voting members who will work to approve recommendations; 2-3 seats reserved for parents
  • Over course of next year – monthly meetings for different topics related to the outstanding elements. Developing schedule and identifying speakers, experts, etc.
  • Changes for ESSA need to come from OSSE (w/ SBOE vote)
  • Application for task force participation will going up in next week or so on https://sboe.dc.gov/

3.  High School Graduation Task Force; https://sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs

  • Open application for high school graduation task force; looking at HS graduation requirements and identifying ways to be more flexible to meet student needs
  • DC has some of highest requirements in nation for HS grad; very prescriptive – hoping for more flexibility: https://sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs
    • Ideas: computer coding could count as world language and science credit
    • How to better prepare students for college or career
      • Align skills w/ growth in local economy: what are key elements we need to build into curriculum?
    • Board is willing to listen and bring in a wide range of stakeholders

 

Does Ward 6 need an education strategic plan?

  • Ward 3 working on overcrowding issues; unclear how the formal structure w/ DCPS was initiated
  • Ward 7 – Opposite issue of Ward 3, as many kids go to Ward 6 (and other wards) schools
    • Recently sent letter to DME, PCSB, DCPS to engage w/ them re: charter schools. Have abundance of charters, making them defacto neighborhood schools. DC Prep and KIPP in last few months, have asked for enrollment increases, adding 4000 new seats (2 elementary schools (ES), 1 middle school (MS), 1 high school (HS)
      • Public Charter School Board recently denied DC Prep’s ES
      • KIPP approved for HS, and withdrew ES and MS applications
  • Ward 6
    • Maury overenrolled and about to be renovated while Miner is under-enrolled
    • Eliot-Hine and Jefferson under-enrolled
    • Overcrowding at PreK3-PreK4; many go to Appletree as a result
    • Eastern enrollment has dropped from 1066 to <900 projected for next year.
    • Enough big picture issues facing Ward 6 that warrants planning discussion
    • Claudia Lujan just selected to be director of strategic planning for DCPS – has history with Ward 6 in willingness to listen
    • How are additional Prek-3/PreK-4 classrooms granted?
      • Ward 3 is focused on facilities
      • Experience w/ facilities planning w/ DCPS shows inputs are:
        • Expected retention?
          • DCPS’ numbers are artificially low and dated
        • Facilities meet requirements?
      • Discussion re: needs
        • Need for predictability and stability around enrollment and budgets
        • Need alignment in the feeder pattern from elementary to middle to high school, e.g., begin preparing students from beginning in “Eastern Way”
        • We say we have a system of schools, but not preparing them for what’s next
        • DCPS reluctance is re: we have to teach the students who are here today – schools need vision around what they want to be excellent at
        • IB à MYP à pulls from ES, but need to be articulated in that way
        • How to convince DCPS to sell the schools and the community of schools?
        • Need for schools to talk; parents should be able to match a school w/ children’s needs and interests; schools should coordinate around strengths, weaknesses, resources; good to keep children within the system
        • Need to be better about branding
        • Invite representative from Ward 3 Education Council to future CHPSPO meeting to discuss the working group on overcrowding

 

Chancellor’s Parent Cabinet

  • https://dcps.dc.gov/page/chancellors-parent-cabinet
  • application period through June 30
  • Encourage Ward 6 parents to apply
  • A critical responsibility of cabinet members is to disseminate discussions w/ community and to engage community in providing input into issues raised w/in cabinet

 

CHPSPO Officer Positions Elections (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Walk-to-School Coordinator, Bike-to-School Coordinator) – election in September 19, 2017 meeting.

Next CHPSPO Meeting: July 18, 2017

 

Upcoming Events

Twitter Town Hall with Chancellor Wilson

Thursday, June 22, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, #AskChantwan

 

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

Tuesday, June 27, EducationCounsel (101 Constitution Ave, NW, Suite 900)

 

Chancellor’s Parent Cabinet

 Application can be found online at bit.ly/dcpsparentcabinet. Applications are due by 11:59 on June 30.

 

Capitol Hill Independence Day Parade

Visit CHPSPO on the web at http://chpspo.org

 

Status

Caryn Ernst Testimony – ESSA – State Board of Education – March 15 2017

Testimony of Caryn Ernst
State Board of Education
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
School Accountability Measures
March 15, 2017

Dear SBOE Members,

Thank you for developing ten outstanding recommendations for changes to the Every Students Succeeds Act draft accountability plan. Your ten recommended changes are an excellent reflection of the diverse and extensive feedback you gathered through community meetings, conversations and testimony.

More importantly, your recommendations provide thoughtful guidance for OSSE on how to construct an accountability system that corrects the deep flaws of NCLB and meets the intentions of the ESSA requirements to broaden accountability by adding to test scores and graduation rates indicators of “school quality or student success.” As the U.S. Department of Education noted – “[this requirement] presents an opportunity for States to develop robust, multi-measure accountability systems that help districts and schools ensure each student has access to a well-rounded education [.]”

As your recommendations make clear, OSSE’s current proposal relies on measures developed under NCLB and continues the many flaws of NCLB that have resulted in our schools becoming increasingly segregated with a persistent achievement gap.

IF OSSE incorporates your recommendations, the District will have an opportunity to reverse those damaging trends. However, during the public meetings OSSE seemed disinclined to commit the time and effort required to adapt its approach to create a new robust, multi-measure accountability system that ensures each student has access to a well-rounded education.

I urge you to reject any proposal from OSSE that does not incorporate all ten of your thoughtful and strategic recommendations.

As you know well, OSSE does not need to submit this proposal in April and has the time to incorporate all of your changes before the September deadline. There is no downside to you rejecting an incomplete proposal in March, but significant downsides to you capitulating to OSSE’s narrow and simplistic measures of school quality.

I applaud your willingness to gather robust feedback from your constituents and your ability to translate that feedback into a comprehensive and strategic approach to measuring school accountability. But all of that effort will have been wasted if you accept a plan from OSSE that doesn’t reflect the results of the hard work and commitment that you and your constituents have shown to getting this right.

Your guidance to the OSSE plan has been one of the most important roles that you serve as an elected school board and your vote on OSSE’s plan will be the most important action you take, as the school accountability system impacts every aspect of the education of every child in the District.

As your constituents, we urge you to do the right thing by our schools and our children by voting NO to an OSSE accountability proposal that does not incorporate all ten of your excellent recommendations.

I offer my most sincere appreciation for your dedication and hard work.

Caryn Ernst
DCPS parent, Ward 6 resident

Status

Sandra Moscoso Testimony – ESSA – State Board of Education – March 15 2017

Testimony of Sandra Moscoso
State Board of Education
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
March 15, 2017

Good evening SBOE members. Please consider this my ‘Just in Time’ testimony, given OSSE’s March 14 response to SBOE.

I am Sandra Moscoso, a parent of students enrolled in BASIS DC Charter School and Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan – two very different schools with two very different approaches to education.

While my children in these very different schools perform similarly on the PARCC, their schools fall into very different “categories” of overall student body performance. Our family values both schools and the opportunities each school have afforded our children, and I can confirm the value we place in the schools is much broader than PARCC results.

With this in mind, I worry about how an accountability structure which focuses too heavily on a narrow measure of PARCC results, could (and does) translate into inequity within my own family. One of my children attends a school with the flexibility to offer art, social studies, and prioritizes foreign language, while my other child’s school moves mountains to do the above, while subject to the mandatory magic bullet of the day, and heavily scrutinized, giving up instruction time to constant testing.

I am hopeful that the approach (while still limited) of giving more weight to indicators outside of PARCC performance when evaluating school success or accountability, will indirectly address some of today’s inequities in DC’s education system. We want all schools to have access to arts, enrichment, science, civic studies. We don’t want lower performing schools, who may be addressing very diverse student needs, to continue to struggle to provide robust learning environments in a frenzy to chase down test scores.  Our schools should be able to meet the goal of growth without sacrificing equity. Your recommendations support a step in this direction.

We have this unique opportunity to broaden school accountability beyond the current testing paradigm. Excluding or diminishing academic and non-academic indicators like school climate, social studies, arts, etc., is a huge opportunity missed.

Thank you, SBOE for representing the voice of DC parents in this discussion. I also thank OSSE, who in their March 14 summary of public engagement feedback, acknowledges what we have heard parents say over and over again: we want less weight on standardized tests, growth matters, and school climate is important.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this testimony.

 

Status

Sara Moore Kerai Testimony – ESSA – State Board of Education – March 15 2017

Testimony of Sara Moore Kerai
DC State Board of Education Hearing
March 15, 2017

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Sara Moore Kerai and I am a parent of a pre- K 3 child at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan.

I care deeply about the quality of my children’s education and the need to understand the quality of our schools based on more than just a test score. I was excited and hopeful at the opportunity to create a new accountability system that will value test scores alongside other important ways of demonstrating school quality & environment.

I read the draft plan and attended an OSSE outreach session hosted by the Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization. I was pleased to hear the deep interest in a new accountability system that looked at the whole child shared by all of the parents who attended.

At the meeting, I was concerned by OSSE’s seeming lack of motivation to make significant changes, and to allow more time to think critically about these issues as a broad community.

Later, I was pleased when the State Board of Education released a list of well thought-out and meaningful recommendations for changes to the draft ESSA plan. The recommended changes are greatly supported by my community, including teachers and parents. The recommendations also demonstrated that members of the State Board actually listened to feedback from the community. My community has hoped that the State Board would not approve an OSSE plan that does not implement those changes in full.

However, only yesterday, OSSE released its response to public and State Board comments.

This left us once again with precious little time to review and understand the response and its impact before today’s hearing. As I understand it, the plan takes some meaningful steps in addressing the State Board’s comments, as well as parent and educator input, but it does not go nearly all the way. Is the State Board indicating that it generally supports the revised plan as is? It is disappointing to me and my school community that we are essentially backed into a corner with no additional room for revision or improvement.

While I appreciate OSSE’s efforts to respond to some of the community input, I still believe we can do better. I hope that you will not stop with the plan. I hope that OSSE will continue to work with the parent and educator community every step of the way through implementation. A plan is only as good as its implementation – and implementation will not be effective without parent and educator partnership.

Thank you.

Status

Danica Petroshius Testimony – ESSA – State Board of Education – March 15 2017

TESTIMONY OF DANICA PETROSHIUS
DC State Board of Education Hearing
March 15, 2017
dpetroshius@yahoo.com

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I’m Danica Petroshius, parent of two at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan.

Based on the conversation at your meeting yesterday I viewed via Periscope, it appears that there is State Board support for the revised ESSA plan. It begs the question: Is this a fake hearing?

I have been astounded at the disregard for DCPS parent and educator engagement in the ESSA plan process even though we support 49,000 students every day. OSSE has touted that it held “50 meetings with 100 organizations” throughout 2016 before the draft plan went public. We are supposed to applaud that as great public engagement. Who were those private meetings with?

  • 50 charter schools or charter organizations
  • 34 national education groups
  • Only 10 local education organizations
  • 4 universities
  • 4 DC government agencies including DCPS

This is a very unbalanced outreach plan where 84% of the input came from charters and
national organizations that have no understanding of how DCPS schools operate and what the needs of our students are.

OSSE did hold one public meeting in each ward in June 2016. I can’t take that seriously. Anyone that truly wants to engage parents and teachers does not do so at end of school and summer when communication with schools and parents is difficult. Let’s face it. The DCPS parent and educator community did not help create the draft.

After these 2016 meetings, parents and educators did not see the draft plan until January 30th of this year. We had only one month to give input on a plan that will affect our children’s education for the next 10 years.

Now, again, we are being treated as expendable in this process. The revised draft came out only yesterday yet we have to testify on its merits within 24 hours.

Parents appreciated the full set of State Board recommendations to improve the ESSA plan.

Yesterday’s revised draft plan includes some improvements and it’s clear our advocacy helped move the needle forward. But it was not without a massive effort by us to overcome the reluctance of OSSE to listen.

OSSE is not elected and so has less stake in our voice. But the State Board is elected and has power to say “wait – we can think more, plan more, do better.” Please stop saying September is too late. 30 states are waiting until September to submit their plans and they will start collecting baseline data in 17-18 just like DC. We could wait and build a better plan with deep buy in. But OSSE says they won’t. I urge you, our elected body, to vote no on the plan. But based on yesterday’s swift, seemingly pre-baked support of the tweaked OSSE plan, it seems you have already decided to stand down.

So tonight I’m standing up for parents and educators who do the daily work to build excellent DCPS schools to say that we as a community can do better. We should not make stakeholders beg for real engagement. Parents and educators should not be “processed out” of the system by back-door deals.

I ask OSSE and the State Board to commit today to a better process going forward. As
Superintendent Kang has said over and over, this plan is “just the beginning.” In fact, the plan is full of policies that include “let’s look into it more”, “let’s phase it in” and “let’s test it out first.”

So I ask you to make public and articulate in the plan:

  1. your commitment to full transparency and ongoing engagement;
  2. a schedule that you will execute on engagement at each phase of implementation with the intention of seeking ways to continuously improve the plan;
  3.  a process for implementing the Task Forces recommended by the State Board; and
  4. a process for sharing results of the pilot fully and hosting engagement meetings to
    discuss how as a community we should use the results to improve the system.

We hope that OSSE and the State Board support our calls for more engagement, more
innovation and more transparency. Our students deserve it.