Thursday, March 01, 2007

Controversy At The D.C. Public Charter School Board Meeting 

Theola Labbe of the Washington Post covers the argument that broke out the other evening between Tom Nida, the Chairman of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, and attendees who wanted a chance to address the board in opposition to the expansion of the Appletree Charter School (you have to go to the second page of the link to read the story. I was also at the meeting Monday night).

Mr. Nida would not let them speak but his decision seemed arbitrary since I attended a meeting a couple of months ago where he solicited the comments of Joe Bruno, the head of Project Hope who had come as an observer, regarding the proposed expansion of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy. (He supported their addition of a third campus in Columbia Heights and the plan was approved.)

Theola and others have pointed out that the D.C. Public Charter School Board operates in a manner that is far from transparent. Their website does not contain their meeting agendas or minutes. The rules for addressing the board are not documented. There is no public access to the hard-copy information that is presented to board members.

I blame all of this on the fact that we are still early in the development of D.C.'s charter school movement. Historically, interest in these board meeting by individuals other than those running charters has been low. But with 27% of all kids in D.C. attending these schools it is natural that more people will want to be involved. Now that the issue of transparency has been raised in the press let's see how quickly things change.

P.S. It was great to see that my friend Ariana QuiƱones-Miranda has joined the board.

PermaLink | 7:13 AM | |

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