DCPSSpeeding: Selecting the Next Chancellor

In taking some weeks away from this blog to attend to summer, I didn’t realize that I might miss the entire DCPS chancellor selection process.

As it is, the mayor’s chancellor selection advisory committee (announced just last week) might not even have time to hear much public input, as the mayor has indicated she wants to select the next chancellor by October.

I believe this timeline, not only given the speed with which the committee was formed but also the dates of the scheduled community forums (all 6:30-8 pm: August 30 (Roosevelt HS), September 7 (Eastern HS), and September 14 (Savoy Elementary)) to solicit opinions from the general public on what the new chancellor should be, do, think about, etc.

(Must ask: Does this speediness mean the preferred candidate is already known to DCPS–say, someone who has worked for DCPS? Even perhaps someone who is (also) a former deputy mayor for education? Hmm.)

Anyhow, the mayor just picked 17 people to serve on her chancellor selection advisory committee (called, without irony, the DCPS Rising Leadership Committee). The committee seems to have some oddities, including several charter proponents and very few teachers or students, which appears kind of, erm, backward (though maybe it’s a signal that people from DCPS will now regularly advise/comprise the charter board and DC charter schools?).

Regardless, given that this entire process is in the control of the mayor, and on a fast track, the committee’s composition may be less important than the input it receives–which must necessarily be on a fast track as well.

The committee is meeting three times before giving recommendations to the mayor (no dates announced, and no doubt private meetings, but perhaps August, September, and September?). The committee is also required to show up to at least one of the citywide forums detailed above.

Here are some other ways to give input:

School advocacy group C4DC just drafted a letter to the mayor for education councils citywide to sign on to, detailing the five qualities most desired in the next chancellor. If you have suggestions to improve the letter, or want to sign on, please send a note asap to dc.shappe@gmail.com.

–There are also “stakeholder” phone calls by the deputy mayor for education, who is also running the community forums. Not sure if/how this involves giving feedback (my only experience with this kind of phone call was rather, um, one-way), but these calls are on August 12 and September 27, both at 2 pm; if interested, email dcpsrising@dc.gov and ask to be included.

–There are apparently online tabs available through http://www.engagedcps.org, which the DCPS Rising website says can take our comments and ideas and allow us to participate in surveys. To be sure, I am a technoklutz, so I don’t doubt there is a way to do this—but I have not mastered it (despite trying; good luck).

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