The New Year: Improving Public Schools
Dr. Ramona Edelin | , Special to Informer | 12/27/2011, 12:49 p.m.
What other education policy goals might the mayor pursue in 2012? One should be ensuring that chartered public schools are treated in the same way as DCPS schools when it comes to decisions emanating from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. I'm thinking of nagging per-student funding disparities between DCPS and chartered public schools, and taxpayer-funded city services enjoyed by DCPS, but not charters.
It's true that the order has come down from the mayor's office that officials are to change their old ways-but progress has been slow. If ensuring equal treatment of chartered public schools was a factor in performance evaluations, pay increases, promotions and dismissals, the mayor might get everyone's attention. That approach succeeded in ensuring diversity directives in government were followed, and it could become a powerful incentive to implement the mayor's policy.
At this time last year, I wondered how the new mayor would govern our city. So far, Mayor Gray has proven that he understands the critical role that the District's public chartered schools play in improving public education. A year from now, I hope we will look back on 2012 as a year when Mayor Gray eliminated bias against and resource disparities to D.C.'s charter schools, and delivered on his commitment to improve public education for every child in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Ramona Edelin is executive director of the D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools.