DC Charter Schools Archives

A Northwest D.C. public charter school that has not enrolled a special-education student in three years is under scrutiny by District officials.

Roots Public Charter School, which serves 120 children in grades pre-K through 8, said it does not discriminate against students with physical or emotional disabilities. But the staff of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, which oversees the city’s 57 publicly funded, independently operated schools, said in a recent report it has “grave concerns” about Roots’ admissions practices. It said the board planned “an intensive compliance review” of the school.

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A Northeast Washington school will plead its case Thursday evening as the DC Public Charter School Board decides whether to close the campus because of poor academic performance. Opened in 1998, Integrated Design Electronics Academy Public Charter School is one of the oldest charters in the District, and charter officials say  Read the rest of this entry

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How Many Students Really Graduate From High School?

D.C. expects ‘significant’ drop in graduation rate under new calculation.

Shira Fishman, a teacher at McKinley Technology High School in Northeast D.C., works with high school students in a math class. New federal standards are going to ensure that each high school student is tracked individually to determine whether he or she graduates.

Ask a random sampling of D.C. residents about the dropout rate of District public school students, and their guesses actually aren’t that far off. Many of them guess that 70-80 percent of students graduate; the actual official graduation rate hovers around 76 percent.

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More than 50 D.C. youths in the custody of the city’s juvenile justice agency either have been killed or found guilty of killing someone else over the past five years — and the majority of them had been categorized in advance as posing a “high,” “high-medium” or “medium” risk of reoffending.

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Texas cities are low on annual literacy list

Texas has routinely topped the national growth charts, but the Lone Star State’s biggest cities are behind the curve in an annual ranking of literacy rates.

Austin (tied with New York City at No. 22) was the only Texas city to crack the top third of the 75 cities ranked in the study of literacy resources by John Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University.

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STRESSING that every learner, able or differently abled, should be in school, Education Secretary Armin Luistro has ordered all of the Department of Education (DepEd) heads nationwide to take the lead in planning and implementing the early registration of children and youth with disabilities on Jan. 28.

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Growth in prekindergarten slowed in recession

WASHINGTON –  The expansion in public prekindergarten programs has slowed and even been reversed in some states as school districts cope with shrinking budgets. As a result, many 3- and 4-year-olds aren’t going to preschool.

Kids from low-income families who start kindergarten without first attending a quality education program enter school an estimated 18 months behind their peers. Many never catch up, and research shows they are more likely to need special education services and to drop out. Kids in families with higher incomes also can benefit from early education, research shows.

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In September 2010, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi hired education finance expert Mary Levy as a consultant to study the funding of public and public charter schools. Over the next five months, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi. Levy said, she wrote a large chunk of a report that was never released. Gandhi spokesman David Umansky, asked about this a few months ago, said there was never any report contemplated, only “an information gathering exercise.”

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DOE Sends Annual IDEA Report to Congress

Last month the United States Department of Education sent its annual report on the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act to Congress.  Because of the slow movement in all things government, the report is for 2008 and most of the data is for the 2005-2006 school year. Nothin’ like staying current.

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Some officials associated with the District’s public charter schools are lauding an initiative that will streamline the way these schools are evaluated.

The Public Charter School Board, parents and other stakeholders spent almost three years developing the Performance Management Framework (PMF), which will be an evaluation tool to assess and monitor charter school performance. Schools that are rated will fall into one of three tiers. Tier 1 schools will have met standards of high performance; Tier 2 schools are those which fall short of high performance standards but meet minimum overall performance; and Tier 3 schools are those which fall significantly short of high performance standards and show inadequate performance. Tier 3 schools that fall below 20 percent of an established number of points may have their charters revoked.

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