DCPCSA November 2012 Newsletter
 
 

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November Newsletter 2012
  1. Charter School Board Approves Adult Education Pilot
  2. D.C. charter board releases school ratings
  3. D.C. forecasts charter school shortfall of $20.5m
  4. Charter schools send teens to college
  5. Colleges agree to recruit KIPP alumni
  6. KIPP DC a finalist in Race to the Top competition
  7. Friendship builds new facility for Tech Prep campus
  8. What will come of the buildings on D.C.’s closed-school list?
  9. DC Public Schools' failure to compete
  10. Truancy in the District demands more from parents
  11. More details on three charter-school chains seeking approval to operate in the District
  12. Proposed new schools would give D.C. charters majority of public school students
  13. Four takeaways from the D.C. Council's school-closure hearing
  14. Three charter school operators apply to open doors in the District
  15. Work begins on $35.7M charter school building in Southeast D.C.
  16. Higher Achievement tries to start path to success in middle school
  17. After D.C. school-closure proposal, a flurry of feedback
  18. D.C. schools chief, watch your back
  19. D.C. school closures are focus of hearing
  20. Exclusive interview with Brian Jones, Chairman Public Charter School Board
  21. Twenty D.C. schools targeted for closure
  22. D.C.'s dismal graduation rate
  23. Head Start Programs Offer Benefits, Improve Child Well-Being And School Readiness
  24. New Report Finds Economic Growth is Dependent on Educating Minority Students
  25. Duncan Sketches Out Second-Term Agenda
  26. What Should Children Read?
  27. Scores Drop on Ky.'s Common Core-Aligned Tests
  28. Debate stirs around school closings
  29. Teacher Quality: Investing in What Matters
  30. 'Soft Skills' Pushed as Part of College Readiness
  31. New study suggests charter schools may not systematically under-enroll students with special needs
  32. A Class Where Opening Minds, Not Earning Credits, Is the Point
  33. College of Future Could Be Come One, Come All
  34. School reform is helping make D.C. safer
  35. Seeds of school choice are now blooming in D.C.
  36. Even a bad AP score can be good
  37. How great principals build and lead great teams of teachers
  38. Mary Lord wins at-large seat on D.C. education board
  39. Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
  40. An Ode to the King of Writerly Tools
  41. DCPS graduation rate up slightly; but well short of goals
  42. D.C.'s education emergency
  43. Most D.C. charters adequate but needing improvement, board finds
  44. Federal oversight to end for District's special-ed school buses
  45. US oversight of charter school funds lax
  46. Charter High School Graduation Rates Above Average
  47. Five takeaways from the DCPS school closings
  48. Mayor Grays's response to the school closure announcement
  49. Announcements
  50. Save the date
  51. Resources
  52. Grants and Funding Opportunities

Charter School Board Approves Adult Education Pilot
By Dorothy Rowley
Washington Informer

November 29, 2012- During a recent gathering of the D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB), officials approved a pilot for the school system's adult education curriculum that will measure effectiveness by tracking student achievement and graduates' ability to obtain employment. Read more

D.C. charter board releases school ratings
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 7, 2012- The D.C. Public Charter School Board released charter-school ratings Wednesday that aim to provide a way to assess and compare education choices across the city. This is just the second year for the rating system, which scores schools on a 100-point scale. The schools are sorted into high, low and middling performers, based on their students’ progress and achievement on standardized tests, graduation rates a Read more

D.C. forecasts charter school shortfall of $20.5m
By Alan Blinder
The Washington Examiner

November 26, 2012- The District is facing a potential budget shortfall of more than $20 million in its public charter schools, city officials said Tuesday. "It's due entirely to enrollment going up higher than projected," said Eric Goulet, Mayor Vincent Gray's budget director, told lawmakers. Read more

Charter schools send teens to college
By Donald L. Hense
Washington Times

November 27, 2012- The share of District of Columbia public high school students who graduate within four years has increased to 56 percent, up 3 points from last year, according to data just released from the District's Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Read more

Colleges agree to recruit KIPP alumni
By Nick Anderson
Washington Post

November 26, 2012- Many of its schools have prospered in neighborhoods beset by social and educational troubles. The D.C. Public Charter School Board rates KIPP schools in the city’s top tier. Skeptics say KIPP benefits substantially from private donations and that its schools do not serve as many students with disabilities or language barriers as other public schools. Read more

KIPP DC a finalist in Race to the Top competition
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 26, 2012- Charter school operator KIPP DC is one of 61 finalists in the federal government’s $400 million Race to the Top-District grant competition, U.S. Department of Education officials announced Monday. Read more

Friendship builds new facility for Tech Prep campus
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 21, 2012- The District’s Friendship Public Charter School plans to spend $36 million to build a new facility for students enrolled at its Technology Preparatory Academy campus in Southeast. Read more

What will come of the buildings on D.C.'s closed-school list?
By Jonathan O'Connell
Washington Post

November 18, 2012- It prompted hours of D.C. Council testimony, public shouting matches at neighborhood meetings and street demonstrations where protesters called on the mayor to be jailed. Read more

DC Public Schools' failure to compete
By Jonetta Rose Barras
Washington Examiner

November 22, 2012- For months, Mayor Vincent Gray and DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson had been crying poor mouth, asserting schools must be closed to free up cash to ensure greater investments. Read more

Truancy in the District demands more from parents
By Colbert I King
Washington Post

November 23, 2012- A death wish is unfolding before our very eyes. A generation of youth in this city is self destructing. These youth, mostly black, are wandering aimlessly toward a cliff’s edge. Read more

More details on three charter-school chains seeking approval to operate in the District
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 20, 2012- Three experienced charter-school operators have applied to set up shop in the District, eventually enrolling more than 6,000 kids at 10 separate campuses. Meanwhile, the city’s school system prepares to shutter 20 under-enrolled buildings. Read more

Proposed new schools would give D.C. charters majority of public school students
By Mark Lerner
The Examiner

November 28, 2012- The Washington Post's Emma Brown reveals today that three experienced charter school operators are preparing to open in the nation's capital. Using the charter board's recently adopted fast-track approval process, two of these organizations are planning to begin classes in the fall of 2014. Read more

Four takeaways from the D.C. Council's school-closure hearing
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 16, 2012- Thursday’s D.C. Council hearing was the first opportunity for public debate over D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plan to close 20 of the District’s schools. It lasted seven hours. Here are four takeaways Read more

Three charter school operators apply to open doors in the District
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 19, 2012- Three experienced charter-school operators have applied for fast-track approval to run 10 campuses serving thousands of students in the District, D.C. Public Charter School Board officials said Monday. The applications come as the city’s traditional public school system prepares to close 20 schools because of under-enrollment, which is likely to give the already fast-growing charter sector an opportunity to continue expanding. Read more

Work begins on $35.7M charter school building in Southeast D.C.
By Michael Neibauer
Washington Business Journal

November 19, 2012- Friendship Public Charter School has started work on a new $35.7 million school building adjacent to the St. Elizabeths campus in Southeast D.C., where 11th and 12th grade students will be dual enrolled in both the charter's technology prep program and in college. Read more

Higher Achievement tries to start path to success in middle school
By Stefanie Dazio
Washington Post

November 13, 2012- Fifth-grader Shayne Burton didn’t know the right words to define “boogie.” Tasked with translating vernacular phrases into standard English, the Higher Achievement scholar finally decided on “dancing weird.” Only one more question remained Read more

After D.C. school-closure proposal, a flurry of feedback
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 14, 2012- A day after D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced her plan to close 20 schools, parents across the city signaled their intent to protest, labor leaders said they would push to unionize charter schools and charter-school advocates vowed to fight for control of vacated buildings. The reactions to Henderson’s plan were the first salvos in a battle that will unfold over the next several weeks and ultimately decide the shape of the District’s school system. Read more

D.C. schools chief, watch your back
By Deborah Simmons
Washington Times

November 14, 2012- To D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson: Walk with all deliberate speed, make clear tread marks and watch your back. While it seems as though Ms. Henderson is trying to clear out schoolhouses to help make way for the two things that matter most — teaching and learning — it’s clear not all stakeholders are on the same school-reform road. Read more

D.C. school closures are focus of hearing
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 15, 2012- Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plan to close 20 under-enrolled schools across the District drew a throng of parents, teachers and activists to a packed D.C. Council hearing room Thursday evening, the first opportunity the public has had to weigh in on the proposal that would close one in six of the city’s schools. Read more

Exclusive interview with Brian Jones, Chairman Public Charter School Board
By Mark Lerner
Examiner

November 15, 2012- It was past time that Mr. Jones and I sat down to catch up on goings on at the PCSB and in the D.C. charter school movement as a whole. The conversation started flowing from the minute I asked the chairman about recent staff changes at his organization. Read more

Twenty D.C. schools targeted for closure
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 13, 2012- McLeod said Garrison has been gathering momentum in recent years, drawing attention and buzz from the neighborhood’s growing number of young families. “I just don’t see that closing Garrison and moving us to Seaton is going to get any more students enrolled into DCPS,” McLeod said. “In fact, it might get fewer.” Read more


 
D.C.'s dismal graduation rate
By Examiner Editorial
The Washington Examiner

November 29, 2012- Five years after former DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee arrived on a wave of national publicity and made headlines by firing hundreds of teachers and offering triple-digit financial incentives to the good ones who remained, D.C. has the worst state high school graduation rate in the nation. Read more

Head Start Programs Offer Benefits, Improve Child Well-Being And School Readiness
By Huffington Post

November 19, 2012- Head Start programs lead to short-term benefits across multiple areas of children's well-being and school readiness, according to a recent report. An advisory committee charged with reviewing the federal pre-school program Head Start has issued its final report to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Read more

New Report Finds Economic Growth is Dependent on Educating Minority Students
By Cherise Lesesne
Diverse

November 28, 2012- The key to America’s future economic success relies heavily on closing the educational gap between traditionally disadvantaged, minority students and thriving White students, according to The Alliance for Excellent Education’s new report, released on Monday. Read more

Duncan Sketches Out Second-Term Agenda
By Michele McNeil
Education Week

November 16, 2012- In his first major postelection remarks, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he will use his second term to continue to leverage education improvement at the state and local levels, with a new emphasis on principal preparation and evaluation. Read more

What Should Children Read?
By Sara Mosle
New York Times

November 22, 2012- Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point” and a New Yorker staff writer, told me how he prepared, years ago, to write his first “Talk of the Town” story. “Talk” articles have a distinct style, and he wanted to make sure he got the voice straight in his head before he began writing. Read more

Scores Drop on Ky.'s Common Core-Aligned Tests
By Andrew Ujifusa
Education Week

November 2, 2012- Results from new state tests in Kentucky—the first in the nation explicitly tied to the Common Core State Standards—show that the share of students scoring “proficient” or better in reading and math dropped by roughly a third or more in both elementary and middle school the first year the tests were given.Read more

Debate stirs around school closings
By Deirdre Bannon
The Northwest Current

November 21, 2012- The D.C. Council concluded a two-day hearing Monday on D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s recently announced plan to shutter 20 schools. More than 100 public witnesses and the D.C. Council members weighed in on the controversial proposal over the course of the 16-hour hearing. Read more

Teacher Quality: Investing in What Matters
By Arthur L. Costa, Robert J. Garmston, and Diane P. Zimmerman
Education Week

November 14, 2012- Spurred by awards of federal funding under the Race to the Top competition, many states are adopting teacher-evaluation systems with student achievement as the ultimate goal. This drive to create robust evaluation systems places far too much emphasis on inspecting and testing. Read more

'Soft Skills' Pushed as Part of College Readiness
By Caralee J. Adams
Education Week

November 14, 2012- To make it in college, students need to be up for the academic rigor. But that's not all. They also must be able to manage their own time, get along with roommates, and deal with setbacks. Resiliency and grit, along with the ability to communicate and advocate, are all crucial life skills. Read more

New study suggests charter schools may not systematically under-enroll students with special needs
By Debra Britt
Center On Reinventing Public Education

November 20, 2012- A fresh examination of special education enrollment patterns in New York State suggests that charter schools may be doing better at enrolling students with special needs than many believe. These findings are relevant for Washington state as policy makers consider how best to implement Initiative 1240 to allow charter schools, which appears to have been approved by voters in the most recent election. Read more

A Class Where Opening Minds, Not Earning Credits, Is the Point
By Tamar Lewin
New York Times

November 19, 2012- Tuvan throat singing was never in my repertoire. I had never heard of Tuva, a small Russian republic north of Mongolia. And until the third week of “Listening to World Music,” a free online course taught by a University of Pennsylvania professor, I did not know that the human throat was capable of producing two notes simultaneously. Read more

College of Future Could Be Come One, Come All
By Tamar Lewin
New York Times

November 19, 2012- Teaching Introduction to Sociology is almost second nature to Mitchell Duneier, a professor at Princeton: he has taught it 30 times, and a textbook he co-wrote is in its eighth edition. But last summer, as he transformed the class into a free online course, he had to grapple with some brand-new questions: Where should he focus his gaze while a camera recorded the lectures? Read more

School reform is helping make D.C. safer
By Robert Cane
Washington Examiner

November 17, 2012- The nation's capital -- once one of America's most violent urban centers -- now ranks only 16th in the annual Forbes ranking of dangerous U.S. cities. The District has gone from 2,452 violent crimes per 100,000 people to just 1,130. Read more

Seeds of school choice are now blooming in D.C.
By Examiner Editorial
Washington Examiner

November 15, 2012- Why has DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced plans to close 20 under-enrolled D.C. public schools -- one of every six DCPS campuses -- even though the District's population has been growing at its fastest pace in 60 years? Read more

Even a bad AP score can be good
By Jay Mathews
Washington Post

November 14, 2012- I am approaching the 30th anniversary of my Dec. 7, 1982, encounter with East Los Angeles math teacher Jaime Escalante. That day changed my life. If I had not met the guy who was helping so many Hispanic kids master calculus, I wouldn’t be writing columns today. Read more

How great principals build and lead great teams of teachers
By Anson Dorrance
New Leaders

November 2012- Great coaches are known for their ability to get the absolute best from every player on their team at the most critical times. The relentless pursuit of excellence from a coach is what propels good teams to become great. The same is true for schools. Read more

Mary Lord wins at-large seat on D.C. education board
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 7, 2012- Mary Lord appears to have easily won the at-large seat on the District’s State Board of Education, defeating parent activist Marvin Tucker. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lord, who represents Ward 2 on the nonpartisan board, had won 64 percent of the vote. The results are unofficial and do not include provisional or absentee ballots. Read more

Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
By Matt Richtel
New York Times

November 1, 2012- There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday. Read more

An Ode to the King of Writerly Tools
By Lois Leveen
New York Times

November 12, 2012- I once wrote a love poem to my thesaurus. After all, a writer’s relationship to her thesaurus is a very emotional thing. And, in my case, a lasting one: my thesaurus and I have been together for more than 26 years. Longer than a lot of marriages. Definitely long enough to finish each other’s sentences. Or at least for the thesaurus to complete most of mine. Read more

DCPS graduation rate up slightly; but well short of goals
By Lisa Gartner
Washington Examiner

November 8, 2012- The number of students who graduated from D.C. Public Schools in four years increased by three percentage points to 56 percent last year, but the system's chief said DCPS would have to pick up the pace and make stronger gains to meet its goals. Read more

D.C.'s education emergency
By Jonetta Rose Barras
The Examiner

November 8, 2012- The District continues to have a public education emergency. Many charters could be considered mediocre. A significant number of traditional schools have been labeled low performers; some of those, undoubtedly, are on Mayor Vincent C. Gray's and DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson's facilities closure list, expected to be released within days. Read more

Most D.C. charters adequate but needing improvement, board finds
By Lisa Gartner
The Examiner

November 7, 2012- Most D.C. charter schools met minimum standards but fell short of high performance on ratings released Wednesday by the DC Public Charter School Board.Read more

Federal oversight to end for District's special-ed school buses
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

November 9, 2012- A federal judge has agreed to let the District regain control of its special education school buses after 17 years of federal supervision, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said Thursday. In 1995, parents filed a class-action suit alleging that the city had failed to provide reliable transportation for students with disabilities. The suit led to federal oversight of the system. Read more

US oversight of charter school funds lax
By Christina Hoag
Boston Globe

November 24, 2012- LOS ANGELES (AP) — An audit of the U.S. Department of Education’s division overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in charter school funding has criticized the office for failing to properly monitor how states spend the money. Read more

Charter High School Graduation Rates Above Average
By Dorothy Rowley
Washington Examiner

November 9, 2012- As of June 2012, District public charter high school students garnered a 76.7 percent graduation rate, which far exceeded the state's target of 63 percent in accordance with the federally-approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver. Read more

Five takeaways from the DCPS school closings
By Mike DeBonis
Washington Post

November 13, 2012- Twenty schools in 19 buildings would close over the next two years under a plan publicly floated Tuesday by D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. Most are severely underenrolled schools in wards 5, 7 and 8 — the latest signal of a public education system in flux, as in-boundary parents continue to be lured away by out-of-boundary schools, charter schools, and private school vouchers. Read more

Mayor Grays's response to the school closure announcement
By Mark Lerner
Examiner

November 14, 2012- Here's what I imagine Mayor Gray saying today at a press conference in reaction to DCPS Chancellor Henderson's announcement that she will be closing 20 traditional schools. Read more
 
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