A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia’s Public Schools: From Impressions to Evidence

The National Research Council (NRC) recently completed and released a report entitled A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia’s Public Schools: From Impressions to Evidence. This report, which details the first phase of an evaluation of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools, recommends the establishment of a sustainable system to analyze and guide continuing improvement in the city’s public school system. The George Washington University is glad to have been asked by the Academy to plan the next phases for the development of this initiative and to plan for the development of a consortium on research and evaluation.

As a part of GW’s work this summer, we are inviting parents and community members to offer their views on the direction and related indicators that should be included in an ongoing evaluation of the education reform agenda established by the 2007 PERRA legislation. To determine this information, we are setting up a focus group to be held during the month of July.

During the focus group session, we will ask participants a number of questions, including how they currently learn about school performance in the District of Columbia. We will then seek recommendations on the types of school data that should be gathered and shared with the community as part of an evaluation system.

Our session will be held on the following date:

Focus Group:
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Refreshments: 5:00 – 5:30
Time: 5:30 – 7:00
Location: Early Stages Center
Walker Jones Elementary School
1125 New Jersey Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

Please contact Taunya Nesin (tnesin@gmail.gwu.edu) to RSVP. Ms. Nesin can respond to related questions.

No meeting doesn’t mean no work – upcoming CHPSPO initiatives

No meeting doesn’t mean no action. Please read about what we’re up to (and how you can contribute).


  1. Identify the new SY2011/2012 PTA president at your school. Please send their contact information to Suzanne Wells so they can be included in communications (m.godec@att.net).
  2. Hosting a screening for the movie Race to Nowhere http://www.racetonowhere.com/. Know anyone who might be interested in helping to organize? Please send Suzanne the names of parent volunteers who would be interested in helping organize the screening, including finding a location to show the film and advertising the screening
  3. Attend a double-feature book talk and film screening about THE POWER OF PARENT ORGANIZING FOR SCHOOL REFORM. June 28, 6-8PM @ Busboys and Poets. http://www.teachingforchange.org/events/hong_fruchter 
  4. The Capitol Hill Fourth of July parade will take place again at Barrack’s Row. Register your school or group here: http://tiberdc.com/4thofjuly/
  5. There will be a Save Our Schools & National Call to Action national conference and rally in Washington, DC July 28 – 31.  If you are interested in attending the conference, you can register at http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/event_info/conference/Consider registering for the Save Our Schools Conference and/or hosting a family.
  6.  Bylaws are still underway.

    See you in July!

Ward 6 State of the Schools – May 14 @ Eastern HS

Ward 6 State of the Schools

Saturday, May 14, from 10:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.
Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street, NE

Join Councilmember Tommy Wells and Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson

The work of improving our schools is too hard for anyone to do alone.
Everyonehas a role to play in this effort!

You will have the opportunity to:
-Learn more about Ward 6 DCPS schools
-Interact with Ward 6 school leadership
-Meet fellow parents and community members
-Share your ideas about how to improve Ward 6 DCPS schools

Read the Agenda for more details.

Refreshments will be served & childcare will be provided

Questions? Contact Bryant.Sewell@dc.gov

Discussion with Mayor Vincent Gray on Ward 6 Education Issues

Mayor Vincent Gray joined the CHPSPO community and others in an informal discussion on Ward 6 education issues. Adam Clampitt kicked off the event, introducing the Mayor and Suzanne Wells. CHPSPO’s Suzanne Wells briefed the Mayor and participants on CHPSPO’s role in the Ward 6 Middle School plan.  Mayor Gray delivered remarks and shared education plans including expanding the measure of excellence beyond standardized testing, offering education to infants and toddlers, providing in-school special education resources, and commitment to education facilities improvements. Deputy Mayor of Education, De’Shawn A. Wright and Acting State Superintendent, Hosana Mahaley Johnson also addressed the group.

The discussion then turned to Q&A, with questions and requests for support around:

  • communicating and spreading the word about the good things that are happening within DC Public Schools
  • the implementation of the Ward 6 middle school plan
  • concerns about the adequacy of facility improvements for schools receiving phased renovations instead of full school renovations
  • holding charter schools to the same standards as public schools regarding provision of services to children with special needs
  • support for the reconstitution and strengthening of Amidon-Bowen elementary school
  • rigor around education through middle school
  • a solution to save the Capitol Hill Classic
  • a request to revisit the no distance preference policy around Logan
  • setting a tone around culture for middle schools (specifically, Jefferson)

The event and discussion will be televised via the DC Office of Cable Television.

Thank you to Mayor Gray for spending the time with our community and to participants for contributing to the discussion and advocating for our schools.

Eastern High School Information Session on February 5th

Eastern Senior High School invites middle school students and their families to attend our information session where you will learn about the academic programs and activities for the Class of 2015, participate in a question and answer session, and receive a school tour.  We are excited to launch a rigorous academic experience at our newly restored, state-of-the-art campus and look forward seeing you on Saturday, February 5th at noon.

12:00 – 12:30  Presentation on Academic Programs

12:30 – 12:50  Question and Answer Session

1:00 – 1:45  Building Tour

The event will take place at Eastern Senior High School, The Pride of Capitol Hill (1700 East Capitol Street NE).  Please contact Rachel Skerritt, incoming principal, with questions at rachel.skerritt@dc.gov or by phone at (202) 939-5299.

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – January 18, 2011

The Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization meeting was held at Watkins Elementary School on January 18, 2011, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

1.   Middle School Collaboration Teams update (Eliot-Hine, Jefferson, and Stuart Hobson)

 Jefferson  (Update by Jason Townsend and Eve Brooks)

  • Things all set to go for 6th grade academy in a designated part of the school, element of phase in, phase out w/ grades
  • Principal has not been hired for 6th grade academy
  • Collaboration team reps going to each school to encourage kids to attend from feeders.
  • Applications will be required from each child (even from feeder schools)
  • Recruitment campaign outside of the feeder schools
  • Dual program approach – (6th grade academy + 7&8th grade will coexist). Good collaboration w/ existing school and budget of existing school along w/ 6th grade academy
  • 6th grade academy will be IB from beginning, but 7&8th grade students will have to test in to IB. Testing = proficiency
  • Action – Jason Townsend to circulate write up of the structure of the Middle Years Program (IB MYP)

 Eliot Hine (Update by Suzanne Wells and Heather Schoell)

  • Meeting every other week since teams were formed.
  • Outreach to feeder schools (plan for letters to go out to each 5th grade family encouraging to consider Eliot Hine, school representative to meet w/ 5th grade classes, etc.)
  • IB: Currently in “year 0” in moving toward IB MYP
  • Plan to implement math test to 5th graders to place students at appropriate math level in 6th grade, and to offer remedial math over summer school, as necessary to get students prepared for 6th grade math

 Stuart Hobson (Update by Clayton Witt)

  • Trying to implement a math evaluation process for rising 6th graders
  • Collaborating with Eastern HS to set up continuity of curriculum from SH to Eastern
  • Outreach to Ludlow Taylor and JO Wilson (feeders) to start ‘recruiting’ students.
  • Eastern principal will be at Cluster PTA meeting in January

2.  CHPSPO Priorities and ANC Support Brainstorming Session (outcomes are still under discussion and will be posted soon – please check back)


  • Contact Claudia Lujan to come in to discuss Collaboration teams.
  • CHPSPO Table at MS Fair – Clayton Witt and Heather Schoell.

Other News:  Article on Principal Skerritt to come out in February Hill Rag with information on plans for and the structure of Eastern. Open House on Feb 5. Noon to 2 PM @ Eastern

 Next CHPSPO Meeting:   February 22, 2011

 Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, January 22, 2011, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m – DCPS Middle School Fair, Eliot-Hine Middle School, 1830 Constitution, NE.
  • February 5, 12-2PM. Eastern High School Presentation/Tour Open House with detailed information around Eastern HS curriculum
  • Meeting with Vincent Gray on Middle School Plan TBD