DCPCSA October 2015 Newsletter
 
 

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October 2015 Newsletter IMG_1448 2
Shown Above: Public Charter School Day at the Council 2015

Following Charter Schools' Lead, One D.C. Public School Adopts Longer Year
By Martin Austermuhle
WAMU 88.5

Oct 2, 2015- Ask most school-age kids about their traditional two-month summer break, and they may wax poetic about the time they get to spend away from school. But ask a parent, educator or administrator, and they might mention the dreaded "summer slide" — the loss of learning that predictably comes from being out of school for the summer months. Read more

Harvest time! Michelle Obama is joined by elementary school children to help harvest sweet potatoes, carrots and peanuts in the White House vegetable garden
By AP and Dailymail.com Reporter
Washington Post

Oct 6, 2015- A gloved Michelle Obama wielded a pitchfork Tuesday to show some young helpers how to harvest the sweet potatoes in her White House garden. 'We've got to dig these babies up,' she said of the orange tubers, as beads of perspiration glistened on her forehead in the afternoon sun. Read more

A Tale of Two School Systems
By David Osborne
US News

Nov 5, 2015-In public education, the District of Columbia may be the nation's most interesting laboratory. It is the only city with two public school systems of roughly equal size, each with a different governance model. The results of this competition have profound implications for the future of public education nationwide. Read more

Does Pre-K Make Any Difference?
By David L. Kirp
New York Times

Oct 3, 2015- DOES preschool work? Although early education has been widely praised as the magic bullet that can transport poor kids into the education mainstream, a major new study raises serious doubts. Read more

Sweetgreen team helps revitalize charter school in Northeast (Video)
By Emily Mekinc 
Washington Biz Journal

Oct 8, 2015- A little dirt never scared anyone, especially those in management at D.C.-based salad chain Sweetgreen. More than 100 Sweetgreen store managers and executive team members traveled to D.C. Bilingual Public Charter School's new home in Fort Totten on Wednesday with shovels, soil, drills, hammers and paint in hand. Read more

The Donor Behind a Major Boost for Charters in Washington, D.C.
By Ade Adeniji
Inside Philanthropy

Oct 7, 2015- We wrote recently about how Washington, D.C., is a "money magnet" for education dollars from reform-minded foundations and individual donors. But we wondered in that piece whether the ed grants and gifts would keep coming to the city—just as we've wondered more broadly whether education reform funders might be running out of steam when it comes to backing charter schools, which have still not scaled to educate more than a small sliver of U.S. school kids. Read more

Dual-Language Programs Are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers
By Elizabeth A, Harris
Washington Post

Oct 8, 2015- On one of the first days of class at Dos Puentes Elementary School in Upper Manhattan last month, a new student named Michelle peered up through pale blue glasses and took a deep breath. “Can I drink water?” Michelle, 6, said. “Diga en Español,” her first-grade teacher, Rebeca Madrigal, answered. Michelle paused. “Can I drink agua?” she replied. It was a start. Read more

Who gets the credit for rise in D.C. graduation rates?
By Moriah Costa
Washington Post

Oct 22, 2015- The D.C. Public Schools secondary graduation rate increased six percentage points over the past year. School officials say higher spending is yielding results. Reformers say school choice should get the credit. Read more

Volunteers Bring Play to D.C.’s Achievement Prep
By Barrington M. Salmon
AFRO

Oct 21, 2015- As he took a quick break from painting signs, earlier this summer, Fitzroy Hunt surveyed the scene before him. Everywhere along the front of Achievement Preparatory Academy Wahler Place campus in Southeast D.C., and pouring into the street, were scores of volunteers laboring in the heat and hot sun.  Read more

D.C. adopts national proficiency level for its new PARCC tests
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 21, 2015- The D.C. State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday evening to set what board members called a rigorous proficiency score in anticipation of soon-to-be released results from the new standardized tests administered last year. Read more

Youth Summit Kicks Off Non Violence Week in D.C.
By Linda Poulson
AFRO

Oct 21, 2015- An intergenerational crowd of youths and adults came together on Oct. 17 to hear what teens and millennials had to say about issues such as education, drugs, and the lack of resources to stay out of trouble. Read more

Dialing Back on School Testing
By Editorial Board
New York Times

Oct 29, 2015- President Obama struck just the right balance last week when he addressed the highly contentious issue of student testing. He urged state and local officials to do away with the many meaningless, make-work tests they give each year, while preserving essential, high-quality exams that allow them to tell whether students are making progress and, importantly, whether minority children are being fairly educated. Read more

As Schools Buy More Local Food, Kids Throw Less Food In The Trash
By Dan Charles
NPR

Oct 30, 2015- More and more schools are trying to serve meals with food that was grown nearby. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released some statistics documenting the trend. According to this "census" of farm-to-school programs, at least 42,000 schools spent almost $600 million on local food during the 2013-2014 school year. Read more

Kindergarten students get an introduction to engineering
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 24, 2015- The challenge for a group of kindergartners Saturday morning was not just to keep from eating the marshmallows set in front of them but to turn them, along with a pile of straws, into the tallest tower they could build. The children at Cedar Tree Academy in the District set to work. Read more

How innovation is happening at this D.C. charter school
By Nicholas C. Fondacaro
Watchdog Arena

Oct 23, 2015- The United States is in the middle of an education crisis where our kids are falling behind the rest of the world. With people scrambling to find innovative ways to teach kids, some of the most innovative and radical experimentation is happening in the seemingly least likely place: Washington, D.C.. Read more

Study says standardized testing is overwhelming nation’s public schools
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Oct 24, 2015- The number of standardized tests U.S. public school students take has exploded in the past decade, with most schools requiring too many tests of dubious value, according to the first comprehensive survey of the nation’s largest districts. Read more

Obama Administration Calls for Limits on Testing in Schools
By Kate Zernike
Washington Post

Oct 24, 2015- Faced with mounting and bipartisan opposition to increased and often high-stakes testing in the nation’s public schools, the Obama administration declared Saturday that the push had gone too far, acknowledged its own role in the proliferation of tests, and urged schools to step back and make exams less onerous and more purposeful. Read more

 
One in 10 D.C. students score 'college ready' on new high school math test
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 27, 2015- Just 10 percent of District students who took a new standardized Geometry test and 25 percent of students who took a new high school English test met proficiency standards designed to reflect whether they are on tract to enter college or begin careers after graduation.  Read more

Task force meetings on D.C. charter and regular schools will be  public
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Nov 6, 2015-  Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles plans to open up meetings to the public for a task force that is being created to improve planning between the District's traditional and charter schols, reversing an earlier decision to hold the meetings behind closed doors. Read more

Dual Generation: School in Northwest D.C. teaches both students and parents
By Kellye Lynn
ABC 7 News

Nov 4, 2015- A charter school in Northwest is working to meet the needs of the community by educating not only children, but their parents. Many of the preschoolers at Briya Public Charter School live in homes where Spanish is the primary language.Read more

Boys’ soccer: Washington International, Capital City claim PVAC, PCSAA titles
By Dillon Mullan
Washington Post

Nov 3, 2015- On a bus packed with victorious smiles and a pair of championship banners, Washington International captain Matteo Schlitz and his teammates could not help but feel unsatisfied. The Red Devils had just defeated Sandy Spring Friends School, 3-0, to complete a sweep of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, but two titles are not enough.Read more

D.C. Public Schools to take bigger role in modernization projects
By Moriah Costa
Education Watchdog

Nov 3, 2015- The D.C. Public Schools district is taking on a bigger part of the planning process for school modernizations after D.C. City council members criticized the district for poor fiscal management. Read more

D.C. school gets high marks for home visits
By Kellye Lynn
ABC7

Oct 29, 2015-A program that takes teachers into their students' homes is showing success in improving reading and attendance. Every teacher at D.C. Scholars Stanton Elementary in Southeast is expected to conduct a home visit between July and October with their students' parents. Read more

D.C. students tell officials changes needed in schools
By Sope Aluko/Howard University News Service
District Chronicles

Nov 1, 2015- District of Columbia public high school student Milagro Argueta said that if she and her Spanish-speaking friends are lucky enough to eat lunch at their school in peace, it’s a good day. They have the money, she said through an interpreter, but they don’t speak enough English to easily order lunch. So, they can only point to what they want to eat, and frustrated, sometimes insensitive, cafeteria personnel lash out at the students, she said. Read more

Charters grapple with admission policies, question how public they should be
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 31, 2015- At Achievement Prep, the test scores of low-income African American children rival those at wealthy neighborhood schools. Over at D.C. Prep, middle school graduates routinely go on to top high schools. And at Latin American Montessori Bilingual, the combination of instructional approaches is so attractive to parents that more than 800 names filled the school’s waiting list for pre-kindergarten classes last spring.Read more

D.C. and Maryland test results look bad, but they show the rigor of new standards
By Editorial Board
Washington Post

Oct 30, 2015- EDUCATION OFFICIALS in Maryland and the District had pretty similar responses to the release of test scores showing that most high school students in the two jurisdictions are not on track to graduate ready for college or careers. “Obviously, this is a cold shower. There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Maryland Board of Education member Chester Finn. Read more

A cap on the amount of testing time is the wrong answer for schools
By Michael Casserly
Washington Post

Oct 30, 2015- You’ve seen the images: Students hunched over desks, pencils in hand, taking tests. And you’ve read the headlines about the stream of testing in our nation’s schools. Over the past several years, parents across the country and people in the nation’s educational community have been swept up by a growing controversy over standardized testing. Where did all these tests come from? What are we measuring? Are there just too many? Read more

D.C.’s school reforms are yielding results
By Anthony A. Williams and Donald E. Graham
Washington Post

Oct 29, 2015- District residents have to be confused after the release of apparently conflicting student test results this week. The new annual tests given to some D.C. students seem to show dramatic declines in the percentages of high school students scoring “proficient,” or working at grade level. Read more

College readiness scores range widely at D.C. high schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 28, 2015- High school scores ranged widely on the new PARCC assessments that were released this week. Overall just 10 percent of District students who took a new standardized Geometry test and 25 percent of students who took the new high school English test met proficiency standards designed to reflect whether they are on track to enter college or begin careers after graduation.Read more

Charter schools help Hispanic kids assimilate
By Jason Russell
Washington Examiner

Oct 27, 2015- Much of the conservative concern with immigration revolves around assimilation. How can we ensure that immigrant children are speaking our language and understanding our culture? Educating them in charter schools is an important part of the answer. Read more

D.C. charter school enrollment up, but share remains flat
By Moriah Costa
Education Watchdog

Oct 22, 2015- The percentage of students in D.C. charter schools has remained flat since 2013, despite a yearly increase in enrollment numbers. Both charter schools and D.C. Public Schools saw a 2 percent increase in the 2015-16 school year, with 39,096 and 48,653 students, respectively, according to the District Superintendent of Education’s office. Read more

Md. sees major drop on national test as state includes more student scores
By Donna St. George and Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 28, 2015- Maryland’s scores on national reading and math tests dropped significantly and showed some of the largest declines in the nation in 2015, as the state included more students with disabilities and English-language learners than it had in previous years. Read more

U.S. student performance slips on national test
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Oct 28, 2015- Fourth-graders and eighth-graders across the United States lost ground on national mathematics tests this year, the first declines in scores since the federal government began administering the exams in 1990.Read more

D.C. bill aims to increase fiscal oversight of charter schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 14, 2015- Education advocates and charter leaders debated at a hearing Wednesday legislation that would give the D.C. Public Charter School Board greater authority to see financial records of private management organizations. Read more

Recent ‘Marshmallow Test’ shows impulse control, other traits are not fixed
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 13, 2015- Four decades ago, the famous “Marshmallow Experiment” at Stanford University spawned a body of research that showed how an early test of children’s ability to delay gratification — eat one marshmallow now, or wait 15 minutes and get two — correlated with greater success and self control later in life. Read more

Number of home-schooled students increases in the District
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 10, 2015- When Lisa Cain’s second-grade son became bored at his charter school in the District last year, she started searching for a new school. She went to public schools — “about 25 open houses,” she said — and visited a handful of private ones, too. At the same time, she pored over education research and theory. Read more

D.C. charter schools serve fewer at-risk students than nearby neighborhood schools
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 8, 2015- Nearly 90 percent of charter elementary schools serve a smaller portion of students considered “at risk” than their neighboring traditional public schools, according to a new analysis by the District of Columbia’s Office of Revenue Analysis. Read more

Federal judge agrees to hear charter schools’ case alleging unequal funding
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Oct 5, 2015- A federal judge has agreed to hear a case brought by an association of D.C. charter schools that alleges that the city has not provided uniform funding to public charter schools and traditional schools, a violation of the D.C. School Reform Act. Read more

Black leaders visit schools in D.C. and elsewhere to inspire students
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Oct 4, 2015- Hundreds of black leaders in business, the arts, education and public life have visited the nation’s schools in recent weeks, telling their personal stories in an effort to provide students with role models and inspiration. Read more

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