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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Office of Student Advocate Releases Report

The Office of the Student Advocate has released its School Year 2017-18 Quarters 1 and 2 Report, that provides an in-depth look into the office’s work from August until January.

This year, the office has expanded the categories for data collection to capture Requests for Assistance by race, ward of residence and school ward.

The report also introduced the Parent & Family Go-To Guide on its website, which is a collection of resources designed to help families navigate the public education system in DC with topic areas ranging from achievement/testing to enrollment.

For questions or concerns about public education in DC, call (202) 741-4692 or email student.advocate@dc.gov.

SBOE in the Community

Ward 3 representative Ruth Wattenberg, Ward 4 representative Lannette Woodruff and SBOE staff recently visited the new campus of the District of Columbia International School in Northwest.

The group, welcomed by Principal Simon Rodberg, toured the building led by pairs of student ambassadors.

The SBOE team also sat down for a roundtable discussion with Rodberg, Deirdre Bailey, assistant principal; Allison Sandusky, director of Student Culture; and Lauren Games, communications associate.

Departing Testimony

DC PCSB chair Darren Woodruff gave his final testimony on Feb. 24 during DC Council’s Committee on Education Performance Oversight Hearing. Woodruff, who chaired D.C.’s public charter schools nearly 10 years, will continue to serve until his replacement is sworn in.

Woodruff’s testimony, in part:

When I began my service at the DC Public Charter School Board in December 2008, there were 96 public charter schools. Some were high performing, but others were not, and the DC charter sector labored under the public perception that many of its schools weren’t that good and didn’t represent an added value to educational choices in the District.

I was determined to do something about this, and, since I joined the board we have significantly increased our focus on school quality and on providing quality school options to students and families across the city.

Our focus on accountability has also led us to make many difficult decisions to close low-performing schools. Since I began my term on the board we have overseen the closure of forty. It is now rare to hear that there are too many low-quality charter schools in the District.

At the same time, we have actively sought to grow our best schools, and approve promising new applications to bring more quality options for parents. In my time on the board we have approved 29 new charter LEAs and an additional 32 new campuses of existing charter LEAs.

These new schools include five new adult-serving charter schools — Academy of Hope, Community College Prep, LAYC Career Academy, Goodwill Excel and the Family Place. I am proud that during my tenure on the board we have more than doubled the number of adult schools.

Why I Teach

“I teach because I believe it is so important to the future of our country that my students know their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as citizens of the United States, as well as the legacy and history they have inherited from the entire western world.

“I believe that my students are not what they were born, but what they have it in them to be; and it is an honor and a privilege to help them explore history and our world.” — Lawrence Staten, civics teacher, Washington Latin PCS, Tier 1 School

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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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