Photo by K@ja on Flickr.
District accuses charter managers of self-dealing: DC’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against three former officials at Options PCS alleging they diverted millions of dollars meant to help the school’s at-risk students. Also indicted were WUSA9 anchor J.C. Haywood and former CFO of the DC Public Charter School Board Jeremy Williams. The defendants deny any wrongdoing but have severed ties with Options. A judge has appointed a receiver to handle the school’s affairs. (Post, Examiner,City Paper)
Federal shutdown squeezes DC education nonprofits: After-school programs for low-income children that rely on federal funding now face an indefinite delay in getting the money. A total of $2.25 million is at stake. (Post)
Test score flap continues: How important is that DC testing officials made a last-minute switch to a grading scale showing greater improvement in DC’s standardized test scores? Councilmember David Catania says it’s huge, and some agree that the process should have been more transparent. Others say they’re making a mountain out of a molehill. (Post, Examiner)
Girls’ sports make progress: As part of a settlement agreement with the federal government, DC’s traditional public high schools will track girls’ participation in sports, poll girls about what sports they’d like to play, and allow them to compete for other schools. A second complaint that makes similar allegations is still under investigation by the US Department of Education. (Post)
DC Council committee takes steps to end social promotion: The Council’s Education Committee approved a bill that would end social promotion in DCPS, giving principals the authority to hold back at-risk students at any grade level. The committee also approved a bill clarifying the role of the school system’s ombudsman. The bills are part of a package of education reform legislation that Committee Chair David Catania introduced earlier this year. (Post)
Even public schools can be expensive: A good neighborhood school can add $178,000 to the price of a home in the DC area. (DC Tots)
Veteran educator assesses waves of reform: One teacher reflects on 40 years of “failed” school reform, arguing that continual changes to the school environment exasperate teachers and sometimes do more harm than good. (Post)
Howard’s president steps down: After five years, Howard University’s president, Sidney Ribeau, is leaving. The university has been plagued by a downgraded credit rating, low enrollment, federal budget cuts, and changes to the Parent PLUS loans that make it harder for parents to obtain the loans. (Huffington Post)
Yu Ying Info Session: Come learn about the only Mandarin-immersion public charter school in DC. Tuesday, October 8th, 6:30 pm, at Washington Yu Ying, 220 Taylor St. NE.
Truancy reduction hearing: Hear testimony regarding what DCPS and supporting agencies are doing to reduce truancy and their plans for this school year. Thursday, October 10th, 9:30 am, at the John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 412.
Forum on high school graduation requirements: The Ward 5 Education Council is sponsoring a “listening session” with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the State Board of Education on graduation requirements and the new “report card” for local education entities. Saturday, October 12th, 10 am, at the Woodridge Public Library, 1801 Rhode Island Ave NE.
“Traditional schools vs. Charter schools:” The Hillcrest Citizens Community Association is sponsoring a forum on “the influx of charter schools into Washington D.C., and the effect they have had on traditional neighborhood public schools.” Speakers will include Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson and Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith. Tuesday, October 15th, 6:30 pm, at Randle Highlands Elementary School, 1650 30th St. SE.
DC Councilmembers speak on education: The Ward 5 Council on Education will hear from David Catania, chair of the Council’s Education Committee, and Tommy Wells, Councilmember and mayoral candidate, at its next meeting. Tuesday, October 15th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE.