Photo by jvazqu1234 on Flickr.

DC test scores rise: DC leads the nation in test score growth for both reading and math. All racial groups made gains, although a large achievement gap still exists between white students and those who are black or Hispanic. DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and others attributed the higher scores to school reforms and higher expectations for teachers and students. But some say it’s impossible to tell what’s behind the rise. (WUSA9, Post, City Paper, USA Today, Ed Week)

Ed reforms don’t trump poverty: The difference between DC test scores in schools east and west of the river have a lot to do with child poverty rates, according to one DCPS teacher and blogger. (The Chalk Face)

More trouble for JC Hayward and charter school: Documents filed in a lawsuit against Options PCS show that a company doing business with the school employed board chair JC Hayward as a paid consultant, casting doubt on her claim that she made no money on the deal.  Other documents reveal Options PCS faces a budget shortfall due to low enrollment, loss of a grant, and lower Medicaid reimbursements. (Post, Examiner)

Was it worth the cost? The keynote speaker at a recent DC-sponsored Parent Engagement Summit, Sunny P. Chico, received $75,000 for her 30-minute speech. The State Superintendent of Education’s office said turnover there led to a last-minute scramble that prevented the agency from conducting a competitive bidding process for the conference. (Post)

Charter rankings released: The DC Public Charter School Board released its annual tiered ratings. While the proportion of schools in each tier hasn’t changed over the past 3 years, parents may be using the ratings to make decisions. The PCSB says enrollment is rising at the top-tier schools and falling at those ranked in the bottom tier. (Post)

Schools take sports injuries seriously: Parents at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring support steps the school has taken to reduce the risk of brain injury. High school athletes are twice as likely to suffer from a concussion than college athletes. (myFoxDC)

Kickstart your school: Edbacker, a DC-based website, enables schools to use crowdfunding to finance projects. Three DC charter schools kicked off fundraising campaigns on the site yesterday. (Post)

Upcoming events

One Montgomery: A new group aiming to improve Montgomery County public schools will hold a workshop. Thursday, November 14, at 7 pm at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 13925 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.

Education hearing: The DC Council’s Committee on Education will hold a hearing on the DC Promise Establishment Act, which would provide college scholarships to DC public school graduates who remain DC residents. Wednesday, November 13th at 10 am at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room 500.

Roundtable on boundary and feeder patters: Councilmember David Catania will host a roundtable to hear from education officials and the public about the status of boundary and feeder pattern changes. Friday, November 15th at 9 am at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Room 412.

Ward 5 School Fair: Learn about the educational offerings in Ward 5. Saturday, November 16th from 10 am to 12 pm at Dunbar Senior High School, 101 N St NW.

DC Public Charter School Board meeting: Monday, November 18th from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 3333 14th Street, NW, 2nd Floor conference room.

Jessica Christy has two children learning Chinese at Washington Yu Ying, where she is also the president of the Parent Association. For work, she does industrial hygiene consulting and stays at home with her two-year-old. In her free time (ha!), Jessica enjoys needlepoint and DIY home improvement. All opinions stated here are her own.