Soooo, in addition to a new chancellor apparently selected against the wishes of the chancellor selection panel (and who comes with both scandal and ed reform kudos), we have his new supervisor, Paul Kihn, who as deputy mayor for education stated the city must “look at [the] role” of schools of right (which I guess means no apparent concern for existing disparities and inequities)—oh, and a new school rating system based largely on test scores and thus socioeconomics of the children therein; tabling of legislation to make the city’s office of the state superintendent (OSSE) more independent of the mayor; political maneuvering to ensure the mayor gets to call the shots on the research collaborative (recall that the whole point was to ensure that our education data would be honest and not simply political spin); and the possibility that a politically (and financially?) connected private organization will continue to profit from struggling charter schools while not necessarily helping them, as some charter operators make moves on “asset acquisition,” which the public is invited to give its comments on after the charter board votes about said acquisition.
Feeling the love yet from your education leaders?
Now, in a bid to keep the public somewhere in DC’s public schools, DCPS will be holding several more budget forums on December 12.
In case you need a primer for commentary, you might consider reading this helpful summary–delivered at the last DCPS budget forum. (Among other things, consider the fact that “literacy materials” now replaces “library books“ as a budget item for DCPS, such that funds were garnished from individual school library budgets before the start of school this year. Smooth.)
To be sure, we have had plenty of chances to weigh in–for example, the survey on the new DCPS Bard high school that circulated for a few weeks and is now closed. It was essentially premised on an agreement that the high school was a great idea, while the public was not given enough information to be able to give a sensible response to questions, such as whether it should be co-located with another school. (Any co-location would depend on where the co-location is; what people in that area think and want; what the co-location space is currently being used for (or is suitable for); what other co-location or stand-alone spaces are available; the costs involved in whatever choices are available/made; and how the public has been and will be involved in any of that before a decision is made–all of which were/are not elaborated anywhere publicly. Details!)
But rest assured, you have not lost all chances at high school surveys! Here’s yet another survey: for a new charter high school! Of course, there’s no information about who is the target audience; who is behind the operation; or even why we need another high school anywhere given the current glut of high school seats in DC–but hey! Our schools of right need to “look at their role,” which apparently means picking up the pieces of such, uh, “asset” management.
Good times, good times.