Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One Chartering Authority 

Theola Labbe of the Washington Post has an article today about reaction by Board of Education authorized charter schools concerning Mayor Fenty's proposal to have them report to the D.C. Public Charter School Board.

They don't like the idea, and have come up with a unique argument against it.

Norman Johnson, executive director of the Integrated Design and Electronics Academy (IDEA) charter school, said he applied to the school board 10 years ago because he wanted to be accountable to the local elected body. "Parents still want to talk to an elected board about their issues," said Johnson, whose school opened in 1998. "When you have an elected board, you get people who represent people."
As I explained to Ms. Labbe, I think they have drummed up this excuse. The real reason that these schools do not want to be under the D.C. Public Charter School Board is that for once they will be held accountable for what they do.

In D.C. there has always been two chartering authorities and everyone knew which one was tough and which one was easy when it came to having your school approved. The same was true of which body was more demanding regarding reporting requirements. The William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts chose to be under the D.C. Public Charter School Board because of their reputation. We wanted to be held to high standards.

The article does make come excellent points when it comes to the lack of transparency of the D.C. Charter School Board. I'm sure Mr. Nida will move them in a more open direction.

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