PCSB Statement Regarding Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science

In light of recent news reports regarding the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)2, PCSB has released the following statement which can be attributable to PCSB:

"Public charter schools in Washington, DC, like the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, operate under charters approved by the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB).  As required by the School Reform Act (SRA), each charter sets out academic and other goals which each school is given great flexibility in determining how to meet.  Under the SRA, public charter schools, and not PCSB, are allowed the sole discretion on specific academic decisions including the hiring and termination of their staff and teachers. 

PCSB uses a variety of methods – including reports, analysis and site visits – to ensure that public charter schools are providing quality educational opportunities to their students and are complying with the law.  PCSB staff has visited (MS)2 on several occasions and has done so again in the last few days." 


Having worked in, attended and covered (as a reporter) educational institutions both private and public, I have observed that two of the major differences across the public/private divide are Human Resources practices and those policies that address the concept of protected speech. Given the great latitude over hiring/termination of teachers, are there any asterisks/exceptions/protections when it comes to termination over arguably protected speech? Is there any right to a hearing or other procedure for faculty running afoul of the chain of command in regard to speech in the classroom or at faculty/staff meetings? This question is not meant to imply that I am characterizing this as a firing over protected speech or a First Amendment issue. However, all portrayals of this incident lead to the contextual question: Are there ANY protections against summary firing for the content of teachers' speech, inside or outside the classroom, protections offered either by the individual school in question or by D.C. Charter schools?
Wayne Jebian (not verified)
And what's the result of your visit? Stop treating these student, their parents and the public like we're not intelligent!
LC Robb (not verified)
Your comment is a CYA statement (ask any AA definition of CYA, please) aimed at removing yourself from the matter involving Howard University's Middle School of M&S. The level of involvement and the quality of your comment is shameful. Your provision of "great flexibility" given to each school DOES NOT extricate you from MEANINGFUL involvement in a charter school's view, methodology, and pedagogy about history of African Americans. No wonder the quality of education in this nation's capital has so diminished! Every study from universities, school districts, and international educational organizations has made it clear that students that see themselves as culturally/historically a part of the subject area perform better, learn more, and are better motivated. You are a supervisory/monitoring organization! How can you deal with such culturally and educationally critical matters as INCLUSION by issuing a CYA statement that shows you to be less than a sycophant! Shame on you.
Oyajide Anigbo (not verified)

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