Photo by Martin Moulton.
Dunbar High School group has been working on a plan to revive school’s glory: A group of parents and alumni at the struggling Truxton Circle school have been working on a proposal to give the school more autonomy. That could include greater control over which students can attend. (Post)
One parent might applaud the change: A DCPS parent says schools that draw students from across the District should be located more centrally, rather than concentrated in the western part of the District as they are now. (NW Current)
Charter board votes to close one elementary school: The Public Charter School Board unanimously agreed not to renew the charter for Arts and Technology Academy, which serves 600 students in Ward 7, because students haven’t demonstrated sufficient academic achievement. (Post)
And another is taken over by a New York-based operator: Imagine Southeast PCS, which has been under threat of closure for poor academic performance, will become part of the Democracy Prep charter network. Current students at the school will have the right to stay. (Post)
Some complain about DCPS response on middle school plan: Councilmember David Catania, who gave Chancellor Kaya Henderson a month to come up with a plan to improve middle school offerings, isn’t happy that she says she needs more time to get community input. Some parents have also expressed frustration. (Post)
Bowser won’t commit to keeping Henderson: Speaking on WAMU’s Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood, DC Councilmember and mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser said she wants to keep her options open on retaining the current DCPS chancellor. (Post)
Andy Shallal calls for “life skills academy:” The restaurateur and mayoral candidate says kids need to learn “emotional literacy” beginning in 5th grade. He also wants a moratorium on charter schools and school closings and believes mayoral control of the school system should be re-evaluated. (Education Town Hall)
Fairfax urged to review school boundaries: Faced with increasing numbers of students, the county’s facilities planning advisory council recommends redrawing or even eliminating boundaries to relieve overcrowding, rather than embarking on a building program. (Post)
And classes there could get larger: Fairfax Superintendent Karen Garza, faced with increased costs, is calling for budget cuts that would increase class sizes. Parents complain that some classes already have more than 30 students. (Post)
Prince George’s grading system may get an overhaul: School officials will consider questions such as whether homework should be graded, if behavior should count towards a grade, and how much credit students should get for showing improvement. (Post)
Federal government calls for alternatives to suspension: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder called on schools to use positive alternatives to suspensions, expulsions, and arrests, measures that schools have been resorting to even for relatively minor infractions. A panel of school officials and activists on the Kojo Nnamdi Show welcomed the move, as did the Post editorial board. (NY Times, WAMU)
But Alexandria students say it’s not happening fast enough: School officials promised to introduce a restorative justice pilot program in response to data showing that minority students receive a disproportionate share of suspensions. But the program has yet to begin. (Post)
Debate on benefits of preschool: Some studies show short-term gains that fade out after a few years, and experts are debating the reasons. (Post)
Kuumba Achievers Literacy Workshop: Afrika Abney will offer a mini-literacy workshop designed for children in 2nd and 3rd grade who are residents of the DC area. Friday, January 24, at 12 pm at Sankofa Video, Books & Café, 2714 Georgia Ave NW. The cost is $5.00 per person.