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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

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CHPSPO Meeting Notes – October 16, 2018

Seaton Elementary School; 1503 10th Street, NW
October 16, 2018; 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

1. Technology Update, Grace Hu (ghgracehu (at) gmail (dot) com)

Objective is for DCPS to develop a comprehensive technology plan

  • First: need basic access to technology(impacts digital literacy, testing
  • Second: Have DCPS look at how they will fund technology in a way that is sustainable
  • DCPS Technology Challenges and Opportunities (Excerpt from)
    • DCPS has a tech plan but it’s not funded; working on inventory so they know what is at each school; exploring leasing
  • Students testified at Education Committee’s Public Oversight Hearing on Issues Facing District of Columbia Youth on October 15, 2018
  • Next Steps: Without advocacy, not likely to move forward
    • Talk to Councilmembers, email campaign
    • Contact Grace Hu (ghgracehu (at) gmail (dot) com) to share your school’s data and needs re: technology, and to support ongoing advocacy towards comprehensive technology infrastructure across all of DCPS

2. Research Collaborative, Danica Petroshius

Bill pending in council for research collaborative; way for research institute to partner w/ city to support research capacity the city alone cannot support: http://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B22-0776?FromSearchResults=true

Background:

  • City administration does not want it, but community wants it
  • City wants pursue this on their own, w/out engagement;
  • Bill moved forward unanimously and expected to pass by Committee of the Whole
  • The collaborative is to be led by a steering committee made up of community members to make decisions around research to be conducted
  • To ensure effectiveness of collaborative, need to focus on:
    • Ensuring steering committee is representative of school community; not just agency members
    • Incubate somewhere in government so it has a real chance to take off; proposed in auditor’s office
    • Create and develop a data warehousing system; to make data transparent and useful while ensuring student/family privacy is protected

3. Shaw Middle School Discussion

Background:

  • Shaw Middle School in 2008 closed and consolidated w/ Garnet-Patterson.
  • Although 54M was put into DC capital budget to renovate the Shaw Middle School, it was not prioritized; instead, funding for Shaw moved to Ward 4 for MacFarland Middle School. Garnett-Patterson closed and students dispersed to Cardozo and School Without Walls/Francis-Steven MS; Center City MS was “to be built” to support feeders in Wards 1,2,5, & 6; CM Allen required DCPS to conduct study on feasibility, but DCPS has not complied

Today

  • At some point around late 2017,  DCPS began considering moving Banneker High School to the Shaw Middle School location. DCPS only engaged the Banneker community on their plans to potentially repurpose the middle school as a high school.  They commissioned a feasibility study that was issued in August 2018, which essentially extolled the virtues of the Shaw site.
  • Community does not support a HS (application) but needs a middle school.
  • ANC6E prepared a resolution and sent to mayor that while would like to accommodate Banneker, will only support it if MS component is built into plan; DCPS needs to be more transparent
    • Top priority from community’s perspective is a middle school serving feeder patterns in schools Wards 1,2,5,6<
    • If there is to be a new Banneker on the Shaw MS site, the community would only consider supporting that if there is a middle school component
    • If there is no middle school component, then ANC will oppose Banneker moving to Shaw Middle School site

Questions/Comments:

  • Q: Where are students going to MS? A: Charters; MacFarland
  • Q: As parent of 5th grader, I need help in figuring out where my daughter will go to MS. What is a good choice? A: Seaton ES is planning a MS fair; provide guidance
  • Neighbors internally are not aligned and w/o having been consulted with by DCPS will not have opportunity to think through implications
  • When people talk about a lack of a middle school the conversation does not flow towards whether Cardozo is viable option (if more resources were to be invested, would it be?)
  • Current Banneker school community, regardless of site/solution, does not want delays
  • Site reflects a massive parking lot;

Next Steps:

  • Key Asks: 1; Delay decision to at least have a discussion w/ community. 2: ask for a middle school
  • Engage community stakeholders: Ward 1,2,5, & 6 education councils; Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (SHAPPE).  Suki Lucier will draft a sign-on letter.

4.  Proposed Mount Vernon PEPCO substation and loss of K St. Farm at Walker-Jones EC (Tiffany Aziz)

  • Health risks to community, Walker-Jones students and educators
  • Does not align with positive development contributing to the economic and social infrastructure of K street
  • Loss of the Farm at Walker Jones community garden
  • More information here: https://www.notinmycommunity.com/who-we-are

5. Next CHPSPO Meeting:

  • November 19, 2018 (NOTE:  This is a Monday)
  • MONDAY, November 19
  • Agenda items proposed: DME Paul Kihn, Safe Passages/Routes, ongoing diversity, equity, inclusion conversations

Upcoming Events

  • Empower Ed Teacher Voice Summit, October 20 (registration required)
  • DC Council Education Committee Hearing – Care of D.C. Coordinating Committee Act of 2018 – October 22: Register to testify.  
  • Feed-the-Feeder Event, October 24
  • Hill-o-Ween, Eastern Market – October 26
  • DC Council Education Committee Hearing – School Safety Act of 2018 and the Student Safety and Consent Education Act of 2018 –Nov. 1: Register to testify.
  • DC Council Education Committee Hearing – DME Confirmation – Nov 8 Register to testify.
  • DC Council Education Committee Roundtable – Plans for Shaw Junior High School Campus and Benjamin Banneker Academic High School – November 15 :Register to testify>

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

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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

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Walk to School Day is October 10 – save the date!

WTSD_2inch_Color

How to plan a fantastic party with all your school friends….

Stay tuned…