will be held by the council committee on education next Thursday, May 19, starting at 9:30 am. See here for more details and to sign up to testify.
The mayor’s appointment of lawyer Saba Bireda to the charter board (to replace an outgoing member’s unexpired term) is interesting. Bireda has worked as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Education and at the Poverty and Race Research Council here in DC.
In 2011, Bireda wrote about cheating on standardized tests by adults in Atlanta’s public schools and said this:
“Almost everyone in education–from parents to the president–agrees that this accountability system doesn’t work. A new approach should encourage the kind of effective teaching and meaningful learning that leads students to success beyond any single year of test data.”
Interestingly, in 2016, a “single year of test data” ensured that the charter for Potomac Prep would not be renewed by the DC charter board.
And, in its responses to questions posed by the council during performance oversight in February and March, the charter board pushed back on providing information about learning conditions in charter schools. Rather, the board noted, it preferred to focus on student performance, including “output measures” such as proficiency rates and growth on standardized tests.
The charter board also noted that measuring “inputs” (presumably including Bireda’s effective teaching and meaningful learning) is “highly burdensome.”
Hmm: Will anyone on the council ask about this?