DC Education Issues 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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Save the Date! We have a NEW Date for the 2012 Young Women’s Conference on Non-traditional Careers*!

Date: Friday, March 16, 2012
Location: Kellogg Center at Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
Cost: Free! On-line Pre-registration is required (registration opens Jan. 21, 2011)
Target Audience: Young women enrolled in DC public, and public Charter Schools 8th through 1st year of college

*Young Women’s Conference on Non-Traditional Careers – A professional conference experience and environment with opportunities to discover and explore non-traditional careers fields, network with successful female role models in the Trades, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, while learning about the academic, certification, and licensing requirements.

This will be the 6th annual Young Women’s Conference on Non-traditional Careers organized by the DC State Office of Career and Technical Education in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)!

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Parents, students and school officials voiced their support for legislation that would keep District schools open after-hours to provide medical services and learning opportunities to the surrounding low-income communities.

Learning Centers

D.C. Councilman Michael Brown

The Community Schools Incentive Amendment Act of 2011, written by D.C. Councilman Michael Brown, D-at large, would partner five public schools with community organizations to provide mental health services, tutoring, adult classes in nutrition and literacy, and more initiatives to combat the effects of poverty.

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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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The District of Columbia has long had some of the worst educational outcomes in the country, including the lowest high school graduation rate. Now the nation’s capital owns the dubious distinction of having by far the largest achievement gap between African American and white students – as well as Hispanic and white students – among major urban school systems, according to a federal study released last month.

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Today, DCFPI is releasing a “resource map” of workforce development services in the District of Columbia. This project, a culmination of nearly two years of effort, offers a visual way to see how our city spends its resources on services to help residents get and retain jobs. We hope it’s a policy brief that would make the character Rod Tidwell—“Show Me The Money”—in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire proud.

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The Washington, D.C. school system’s failure to hold higher-ups accountable for their 2008-2010 test cheating scandal has led to more speculation that some are intentionally stonewalling attempts to get at the truth.

According to the Washington Post, D.C. ‘s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), headed by Hosanna Mahaley, issued a December 23 press release after months of dodging Freedom of Information requests by journalists.  In September, a spokesman for OSSE told the Post‘s Jay Mathews that the “data was ready and I would get it after Mahaley returned from a trip to Brazil.”

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Tiffany Johnson is the beneficiary of the Washington, D.C., merit pay system.

Washington, D.C., public school teacher Tiffany Johnson is a “highly effective” educator — and saw her pay jump to $87,000 from $63,000 this past year as a result.

“When I was making way less, I was entertaining the idea of going to a neighboring school district,” said Johnson, 29, a special-education teacher. “I’m not going anywhere now.”

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Special Education Children

Tiffany Johnson, a special-education teacher, got a large raise after earning the rating "highly effective" for two years in a row.

WASHINGTON — During her first six years of teaching in this city’s struggling schools, Tiffany Johnson got a series of small raises that brought her annual salary to $63,000, from about $50,000. This year, her seventh, Ms. Johnson earns $87,000.

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