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D.C. Public Charter Board Selects New Executive Director

DC Public Charter Schools | , From Audrey Wlliams | 12/9/2011, 12:24 p.m.
The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has selected Scott Pearson to serve as the...

The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has selected Scott Pearson to serve as the organization's new Executive Director. Pearson, a District resident, brings impressive credentials to the position. He co-founded a charter management organization in San Francisco that serves low-income high school students throughout the Bay Area and, most recently, oversaw charter school programs at the U.S. Department of Education. His first day at the Board will be January 9, 2012.

"This was a very important decision for the Board, and I am confident that we have picked the right person for the job" said PCSB Chair Brian W. Jones. "Scott Pearson brings a unique breadth of experience to this position. He has a multifaceted perspective that has been shaped by his work in the public and private sectors, and at both the local and federal levels and he is committed to helping DC charter schools thrive," Jones said.

"My work on charter schools has always been guided by an emphasis on quality, autonomy and fidelity to the notion that charter schools are meant to be an option for all students," said Pearson. "I am committed to making our schools and our city even better, and I intend to strengthen the tremendous foundation already in place."

The Deputy Mayor for Education, De'Shawn Wright supported the Board's choice. "I am pleased by the Public Charter School Board's selection of Scott Pearson as its next Executive Director. There is much to be excited about in public education right now in the District," Wright said. "By selecting a leader with an array of management experiences and a long history of promoting high-quality educational opportunities at the local and federal level, the Board has shown its commitment to seeing the reform efforts continue. I look forward to working in partnership with Mr. Pearson and the PCSB as we strive to ensure all children in the District have access to high-quality school options."

Pearson replaces the respected charter school leader, Josephine Baker, who stepped down in May. Baker had served in the Executive Director post at the DC Public Charter School Board from 2002 until May of this year.

"Jo Baker was a force behind the growth of the DC charter school community and in the establishment of the DC Public Charter School Board," Pearson said. "She and the Board have achieved great things for our city's children and its charter community. I look forward to continuing that important work."

Pearson most recently served in the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, where he oversaw federal charter school programs. He was a co-founder and chair of the board of Leadership Public Schools in San Francisco, a charter management organization operating college-preparatory high schools in the South and East Bay areas. Pearson also had a distinguished career in business at America Online and Bain and Company. He is a long-time resident of the District of Columbia.

At the Board, Pearson will lead a 26-person staff that reviews new charter applications and evaluates and monitors 53 charter schools on 98 campuses. He is responsible for providing quality public school options for DC students; providing meaningful support services to charter school leaders; and engaging stakeholders within the education community. He will represent the PCSB with the District government and the city's education leadership.

The D.C. Public Charter School Board's vision is to lead the transformation of public education in DC and to serve as a national model for charter school authorizing and accountability. The schools that the PCSB oversees serve more than 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Public charter schools now serve approximately 40% of all public school students in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the PCSB, visit www.dcpubliccharter.com