DCPCSA December 2015 Newsletter

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December 2015 Newsletter I gave my students iPads — then wished I could take them back
By Launa Hall
Washington Post

Dec 2, 2015- I placed an iPad into the outstretched hands of each of my third-grade students, and a reverent, tech-induced hush descended on our classroom. We were circled together on our gathering rug, just finished with a conversation about “digital citizenship” and “online safety” and “our school district bought us these iPads to help us learn, so we are using them for learning purposes.” Read more

The Bold Idea Behind a Small Brooklyn School
By Ginia Bellafante
New York Times

Dec 4, 2015- TThe widely publicized letter that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, wrote to their newborn daughter this week — a letter that might have attempted to preclude any anxiety on the child’s part with a clause like “don’t worry, there’ll always be money for Cheddar Bunnies” — pledged 99 percent of the couple’s Facebook shares to charity. Read more

How to Make Choosing the Right School Easier
By Roger Altman and Robert Hughes
New York Times

Dec 6, 2015-ARE the student achievement scores at charter schools too good to be true? Every year, urban school districts across the country release test scores showing dismal student proficiency in math and reading, especially for students in poverty. At the same time, parents in those same cities often hear claims by many charter schools that their students score two or three times higher than their district school counterparts. Are these results accurate? Read more

The Politics of Math Education
By Christopher J. Phillips
Washington Post

Dec 3, 2015- Pittsburgh — AMERICAN children have been bad at math for well over a century now. As early as 1895, educational reformers lamented Americans’ “meager results” in the subject. Over the years, critics of math education in this country have cycled through a set of familiar culprits, blaming inadequate teacher training, lackluster student motivation and faulty curricular design. Today’s debates over the Common Core mathematical standards are just the latest iteration of this dispute. Read more

Course Correction for School Testing
By The Editorial Board
New York Times

Dec 7, 2015- Congress missed a crucial opportunity eight years ago when it failed to reauthorize the deeply unpopular No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, which required the states to administer yearly tests to public schoolchildren in the early grades and to improve instruction for underprivileged students in return for federal education aid. Read more

Lower grades struggle on PARCC
By Mark Lieberman
The Northwest Current

Dec 2, 2015- Only a quarter of D.C.’s elemen- tary and middle school students scored proficient on the first iteration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam in the spring, according to results released Monday by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Read more

ESEA reauthorization continues a long federal retreat from American classrooms
By Arnold F. Shober

Dec 8, 2015- Although many groups have lauded the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) because it abolishes the “hated No Child Left Behind” (NCLB), ESSA is less a “repeal” than another step in the federal retreat from the classroom and a testament to the continuing education exceptionalism in American politics. Read more

Why the New Education Law Is Good for Children Left Behind
By David Kirp
New York Times

Dec 10, 2015- THE No Child Left Behind law will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. With a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress has overhauled federal education policy. The law’s successor, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is headed for the president’s desk, and he has signaled his intention to sign it. Read more

A Tale of 2 States: Lessons to Be Learned
By Frederick M. Hess and Sarah DuPre
US News

Dec 14, 2015- The new Every Student Succeeds Act wisely returns to the states much of the authority for directing school improvement that the federal government had assumed in the past 15 years. Some states are ready to roll, but plenty are searching for potential role models. Fortunately, at least two such candidates are easy to find. Read more

The best and worst cities for school choice
By Amelia Hamilton
Colorado Watchdog.org

Dec 14, 2015- A recent report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute ranking America’s best and worst cities for school choice includes two consistent winners — New Orleans and Washington, D.C. — at the top, and a trio of Texas cities in the bottom half of the 30 areas surveyed, with Albany, N.Y., bringing up the rear. Read more

Success Academy Schools, in Shortening Their Day, Shed a Distinction
By Kate Taylor
New York Times

Dec 16, 2015- Among the things that set the Success Academy charter schools apart from public schools is the length of the school day: eight hours 45 minutes for elementary students, nine hours 15 minutes for middle schoolers. But on Tuesday, Eva S. Moskowitz, the head of the Success network, which operates 34 schools in New York City, said the students’ days would get shorter. Her reasoning: Because we can now. Read more

Preschool Without Walls
By Lillian Mongeau
New York Times

Dec 29, 2015- SEATTLE — Three-year-old Desi Sorrelgreen’s favorite thing about his preschool is “running up hills.” His classmate Stelyn Carter, 5, likes to “be quiet and listen to birds — crows, owls and chickadees,” as she put it. And for Joshua Doctorow, 4, the best part of preschool just may be the hat he loves to wear to class (black and fuzzy, with flaps that come down over his ears). Read more

Class Differences in Child-Rearing Are on the Rise
By Claire Cain Miller
New York Times

Dec 17, 2015- The lives of children from rich and poor American families look more different than they have in decades. Well-off families are ruled by calendars, with children enrolled in ballet, soccer and after-school programs, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. There are usually two parents, who spend a lot of time reading to children and worrying about their anxiety levels and hectic schedules. Read more

The Counterfeit High School Diploma
By The Editorial Board
New York Times

Dec 31, 2015- Teachers unions and other critics of federally required standardized tests have behaved in recent years as though killing the testing mandate would magically remedy everything that ails education in the United States. In reality, getting rid of the testing requirement in the early grades would make it impossible for the country to know what if anything children were learning from year to year. Read more

Senate passes NCLB replacement: Will shift to states help or hurt students? (+video)
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo
The Christian Science Monitor

Dec 8, 2015- Across Minnesota, the number of native American kids heading to college is on the rise. The reading and math scores of black students are catching up to those of whites. Low-income students, kids whose native language isn’t English, and kids with disabilities are meeting the higher expectations teachers have been setting for them. Read more

BAEO Statement on Every Student Succeeds Act

2015- After years of contentious debate in the halls of Congress on the direction of the nation’s education policy, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is now law. The new Act, signed by President Obama, replaces many of the flawed provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLD) that many states objected to because it led to high-stakes testing and academic standards impossible to meet. ESSA strikes the right balance between local, state, and federal roles in educating our nation’s children. Read more
In D.C. schools, the racial gap is a chasm, not a crack
By Colbert I King
Washington Post

Jan 1, 2016- The final page has been turned on D.C. Public Schools’ 2015 calendar. But 2016 begins with the same uncompromising problem: the school system’s huge racial achievement gap. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson called the results of last year’s standardized tests “sobering.” How about painful? Read more

The Every Student Succeeds Act will leave children behind
By Michael Gerson
Washington Post

Dec 28, 2015- The nation’s capital is experiencing something of a thaw in polarization and partisanship. And the largest iceberg that has broken free is the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most consequential education reform in the p ast 15 years. Read more

Petworth stabbing victim identified as 17-year-old; motive unknown
By Julie Zauzmer and Martin Weil
Washington Post

Dec 22, 2015- The victim in a fatal stabbing Sunday in Petworth was a 17-year-old high school football player who was on his way to visit his girlfriend. Police identified the slain teen as Jose Ochoa of Northwest Washington. According to a relative, Ochoa was a senior at Paul International High School, a public charter school. Read more

Small in enrollment, IDEA Public Charter School proving big in results at Panther Classic
By Ryan Elyswick
The Sun News

Dec 22, 2015- JA small charter school from northeast Washington D.C. in making some big noise this week in Myrtle Beach. IDEA Public Charter School cruised to a second blowout in as many days on Tuesday night, outpacing Somerset (Pa.) 92-60 in the quarterfinals of the Panther Classic at Carolina Forest High School. Read more

This superintendent has figured out how to make school work for poor kids
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Dec 20, 2015- School districts don’t usually operate homeless shelters for their students. Nor do they often run food banks or have a system in place to provide whatever clothes kids need. Few offer regular access to pediatricians and mental health counselors, or make washers and dryers available to families desperate to get clean. Read more

Why are low-income high achievers so underrepresented at elite schools?
By Craig Sutton
Washington Post

Dec 18, 2015-As winter approaches in Hanover, N.H., the admissions season at Dartmouth College is in full swing. By the start of the new year, the college’s admissions office will receive roughly 20,000 applications from talented scholars vying to join the Class of 2020. By spring, Dartmouth’s incoming class will be a diverse community of students with different intellectual passions, native languages, religions and political leanings. However, like its counterparts at other Ivy League institutions, this class will fail to be diverse in at least one important respect: socioeconomic status. Read more

D.C. Students Dazzle at Oratory Competition
By Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Dec 16, 2015- Banneker High School student Khelonji Bulluck didn’t need a microphone to say what he had to say Dec. 8 at a citywide “soapbox” tournament. The passion with which he spoke against the federal government’s war on drugs enabled him to amplify his speech loud enough for all in the room to hear – even though the microphone was temporarily out of order. Read more

SEED School of Washington, DC Educator Topher Kandik named 2016 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year
By Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Dec 16, 2015- State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang named Topher Kandik, a high-performing English language arts teacher at The SEED School of Washington, D.C., the 2016 District of Columbia Teacher of the Year in a surprise announcement today at the Ward 7 public charter school. Read more

Task force to study D.C. charter and traditional public schools
By Jamaal Abdul-Alim and Shantella Sherman

Dec 2, 2015- Kaya Henderson, chancellor of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), along with Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced Nov. 30 that assessments from standardized testing showed District’s students largely failing to meet benchmarks for college preparedness. Read more

KIPP D.C.’s High Suspension Rates Raise Alarms
By Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Dec 15, 2015- While the KIPP DC charter school receives praise for raising achievement scores for Black students, the network’s higher-than-average suspension rates is a cause of for concern, a D.C. charter school board leader said. Read more

Charter board to pursue revocation for Potomac Prep’s charter
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Dec 14, 2015- The D.C. Public Charter School Board is expected Monday night to begin the process of revoking the charter for Potomac Preparatory Charter School. The school in Northeast Washington, which used to be called Potomac Lighthouse, nearly lost its charter last year during a 10-year review because of poor performance. Read more

Why D.C. has a uniquely bad record on helping the unemployed get jobs
By Robert McCartney
Washington Post

Dec 12, 2015- Bureaucratic obstacles and other dysfunction at the District’s workforce agencies have blocked the spending of tens of millions of dollars in recent years to provide job training that could have helped thousands of the unemployed find work, according to officials and city contractors. Read more

Boosting the value of a GED
By Tierra Jolly
Washington Post

Dec 4, 2015- My grandmother dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and worked most of her life as a hotel maid and a custodian at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library downtown. Despite growing up in one of the District’s thousands of alley dwellings, her childhood dream was to become a fashion designer. That dream was never realized. Read more

Efforts must focus on student achievement
By Ramona Edelin
The Current

Nov 25, 2015- As the discussion about future cooperation between the D.C. Public Schools system and D.C.'s public charter schools becomes increasingly prominent, the terms and parameters of collaboration need to be set. Which conditions must first be met and what are the criteria for greater coordination? Should such efforts focus on the needs of the students or schools? One prerequisite is the establishment of equal per-pupil funding from the District. Read more

Learning is an ‘expedition’ at schools that enhance class with field work
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Dec 3, 2015- For a fourth-grade unit about Jamestown, students at Two Rivers Public Charter School studied historical documents, created a timeline of important events in the history of the first permanent English settlement in the United States, researched the groups of people that lived there — Africans, Powhatan Indians, the settlers — and wrote fictional stories from different points of view. Read more

Charter school next to future Planned Parenthood clinic sues anti-abortion protesters
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Dec 9, 2015- Leaders at a public charter school in Northeast Washington filed a lawsuit Wednesday against antiabortion protesters who they say are harassing students in their efforts to stop construction of a Planned Parenthood facility next door. Read more

Achievement gap in D.C. starts in infancy, report shows
By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post

Dec 10, 2015- The District is a national leader in providing universal access to preschool for 4- and 5-year olds, an investment designed to improve school readiness and narrow a a rich-poor achievement gap that is apparent by kindergarten. But, according to a new report produced by Child Trends and commissioned by the Bainum Family Foundation, the achievement gap starts much earlier — in infancy — and the city isn’t prepared to deal with it. Read more

How to Find the Best D.C. Public School
By Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Dec 9, 2015- Representatives from more than 200 D.C. Public Schools are set to gather under one roof on Dec. 12 for EdFest2015. The event will let parents and guardians compare and contrast D.C.’s public education options, which include schools from both DCPS as well as the public charter school sector. Read more

Can States Use Special Needs, ELL Students To Manipulate Test Scores?
By Kavitha Cardoza

Nov 12, 2015- Maryland posted significantly lower test scores this year in the NAEP assessment, often called the Nation’s Report Card. Elected officials and school leaders have said it's partly because more students with special needs took the test, but researchers who administer the test say that's not accurate. Read more

High school graduation rate hits all-time high; 82 percent finish on time
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post

Dec 15, 2015- The national high school graduation rate hit an all-time high in 2013-2014, with 82 percent of students earning a diploma on time, according to federal data released Tuesday. Read more

Shadow Chancellor
By Jeffrey Anderson
Washington City Paper

Dec 11, 2015- She’s the wife of a media mogul, a friend of the Washington Post’s Graham family. She’s a philanthropist, adviser to public officials, and conduit to private foundations and investors in what has become her life’s work. In D.C., likely no private citizen is more involved in public education than Katherine Bradley. Read more

High-poverty schools often staffed by rotating cast of substitutes
By Emma Brown
Washington Post

Dec 4, 2015- Mya Alford dreams of studying chemical engineering in college, but the high school junior is at a disadvantage: Last year, her chemistry teacher at Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse Academy quit just weeks after school started, and the class was taught by a substitute who, as Alford put it, “didn’t know chemistry.” Read more

Above Sponsor: Hertz Furniture
  • DC Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force
  • Capital City Public Charter School is seeking a Bilingual Front Office Manager-Closing Date:Open until filled. Read more
  • LAMB Position Openings
  • 2016 Black History Calendar- The DC Black History Calendar is currently collecting program and event information for the 2016 Black History Calendar. The calendar will include all free programs and events on a printed calendar brochure, a website link, and social media platforms. To have your programs and events listed, please include the following information- Name of Program, Date & Time (include duration), Organization(s) presenting program, Location, Brief description with contact info (for public use) that includes a name, email, telephone, website, social pages, and an image/picture or logo.
Grants and Funding Save the Date​​ Resources

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