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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Washington Post Panel featuring PCSB Executive Director

PCSB Executive Director Scott Pearson will be among the featured panelists at a Washington Post forum on The State of District Education the evening of Wednesday April 24. The panel is the first in a three-part discussion series on education in the Washington region. The event will also include DC Councilmember DavidCatania, Director of Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principles and Educators (SHAPPE) Cathy Reilly, The Washington Post DC Schools reporter Emma Brown, and Empower DC’s Daniel del Pielago. Natalie Hopkinson of The Washington Post will moderate the event, which PCSB will be livetweeting, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

State Board to Vote on Attendance Rules; PCSB Has Concerns

UPDATE: The State Board of Education (SBOE) decided Wednesday (4/17) to allow further public comments on the proposed rulemaking, tabling the issue until at least the time of their May meeting. PCSB will continue to work with the SBOE and to ensure that the final regulations are in the best interest of all stakeholders.

PCSB recognizes that attendance and truancy are important issues. PCSB tracks student absences and shares the data with city agencies and the public. We have also recently begun making these data public and are pleased to report that truancy rates at charter schools are lower this year than last.

The State Board of Education is also considering this issue, and is scheduled to hold a final vote the night of April 17 on rules pertaining to mandatory school attendance. PCSB strongly supports efforts to improve attendance and reduce truancy; however, we continue to have concerns about how these regulations may impact PCSB’s oversight of public charter schools.

We have shared PCSB’s concerns, and also made suggestions to the State Board, most recently in an April 15 letter and look forward to working collaboratively with Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the State Board on effectively addressing this issue.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

15-year Charter Renewal Approved for Washington Mathematics Science & Technology PCS

DC Public Charter School Board voted 6-0 to approve a charter renewal for Washington Math Science Technology PCS on Monday night, during a public hearing at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

WMST PCS is a high school that began operating in 1998. PCSB recommended its approval based on the school’s overall academic, compliance, and fiscal performance. The board was unanimous to approve the renewal, congratulating the school for its success so far.

During its 5-year review in 2002-2003, PCSB determined the school’s academic data records were insufficient and therefore had only met one of eleven academic goals. But the school, in NE on Bladensburg Road, corrected itself by late 2004.

During its 10-year review in 2008, PCSB determined the school had met all performance standards. In this review, PCSB noted the school’s performance on the DC-CAS (74.68% of the school’s students scored proficient on the DC-CAS in mathematics; 64.56% of students tested proficient in reading).

You can read the full recommendation here.

Posted by: PCSB at 3:15 p.m.
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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Charter Board to Hear from Charter Applicants at Public Hearing April 8

Nine charter school applicants will make their case for why they should be allowed to open a public charter school in Washington, DC during a public hearing on Monday, April 8.  The hearing will be held at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, 1110 Harvard Street, NW, at 6:20 pm.  In addition to the public hearing, the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) will vote on the 15-year charter renewal of Washington Math Science and Technology PCS at a Public Meeting, which will commence at 6:00pm.  Here’s a link to all the materials for the Board meeting.

Each applicant group will make a short presentation and PCSB Board members will have the opportunity to ask questions. The schools, which represent start-up applications from eight local founding groups and one nationally-recognized charter management organization, would open in school year 2014-15 if approved.  The Board will vote on the applications at its May 20 Public Meeting.  To read the full applications visit this link.

The public is welcome to testify at the hearing or you may submit written comments on the proposals. To be put on the witness list, please call the Public Charter School Board’s offices at 202-328-2748 by 3:00pm on Friday April 5. Public comment will be limited to two minutes per person.  To submit written comments, please email Isoken Igodan,, or mail them to DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th Street, NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010.  

Posted by: PCSB at 3:40 pm
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