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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Charter School Rejections

The D.C. Public Charter School Board recently denied proposals that sought to open three new public charter schools in the city.

The three proposals were submitted by BOLT Academy, Capital Village Academy and MECCA Business Learning Institute.

“Our goal is to provide D.C. students with quality and choice,” said Rick Cruz, board chair. “We assess all applications, including those submitted this year, with this in mind.”

The board, in determining the applicants had been close to meeting standards for approval, has encouraged them to make improvements and submit another application next year. In the past five years, the board has approved one-third of all applicants. Last year, of the seven applications submitted, three met conditional approval.

“Public charter schools in Washington, D.C., are some of the best in the country because the board thoroughly examines each application it receives — and approves only those which meet a very high standard,” said Scott Pearson, the board’s executive director. “The board determined that these applicants do not meet that standard.”

Charter School Waitlist Data

With more families seeking to enroll their children in a public charter school, waitlists to get into the schools are growing.

Here are a few highlights from the 2018 waitlist data:

– 11,317 individual students are on a waitlist to attend a PK-12 public charter school in the 2018-19 school year, an increase of 17 percent over last year.

– Roughly 66 percent of applicants are waiting for a spot at a high-performing (or Tier 1) public charter school.

– 13,611 total students on a waitlist are waiting for a spot in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, an increase of 1,468 over last year. The greatest demand continues to be for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

– 65 percent of public charter schools have longer waitlists than they did this time last year.

Pearson: DPCS Troubles Overshadowing Charter School Success

D.C. Public Charter Schools Executive Director Scott Pearson wrote in an recent essay that D.C. has faced nearly a year’s worth of bad news about DCPS, and it’s casting an unfair pall over the city’s public charter schools.

“This steady drumbeat has undermined confidence in the city’s traditional public schools — far more than is warranted, in my opinion,” he said, adding that DCPS “is a vastly better school system than it was in 2007, when Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson took the reins.”

Pearson’s essay, “The Broad, Long-Term Success of DC Public Charter Schools,” was published April 23 on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper Education Writers Association Blog.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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