Monday, February 28, 2005

Letter To The Editor Of The Washington Post 

Dear Sir:

The most important goal of the more than 40 charter schools now in operation in Washington D.C. is to provide a first class education for children living in our nation's capital. But the other aim of this movement is no less important; namely to compete with traditional public schools for students in the hope that the free-market will drive all pedagogical institutions to improve.

Positive change to the educational landscape has been slow and frustrating. But now, with the news that Wilson High School is seriously considering converting to a charter, I believe we have reached the tipping point. Colbert King, your newspaper's deputy editorial page director, wrote last weekend that "Wilson is the best all-purpose public high school the District has. Lose Wilson to the charter school movement and watch the conversion of additional schools, along with the departure of concerned parents and achieving students." Combine this development with what I heard at a hearing a couple of weeks ago held by the D.C. Council's Education Committee. There public school officials pleated to let them have their institution's facility allotment from the city deposited directly with them, just as it is with charter schools. Please, they begged, don't let this money continue to go to the central office which continually fails to address our serious maintenance needs. I heard tales of wings of school buildings not being able to be utilized because of leaking roofs and missing floor tile.

Despite all the criticism of charter schools in D.C., they how enroll more than 20% of the school-age child population. And that figure is growing with each academic year. If Mr. Janey and the central office bureaucrats cannot figure out how to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of school administrators, children, families and teachers then the traditional public school system as we know it may finally disappear. Through the extremely hard work of charter school supporters we may have finally put an end to educational malpractice in the city we love.


Mark S. Lerner
Chairman, Board of Directors
William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts

PermaLink | 5:56 AM | |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?