Resolution Calling for DC to Reform the Governance of DC Education
Whereas, the educational landscape that existed when the current system of DC Education governance was created was dramatically different than the one that exists today: the charter school sector was barely starting, educational facilities were in disrepair, DCPS had not even begun its curriculum and management improvements, the DC Financial Control Board was just finishing its transformation of the city’s finances and a new Mayor was promising to entirely revamp DCPS; and
Whereas, todays educational landscape includes the charter school sector educating about half of DC students or about 48,000 students, DCPS has stabilized at about 50,000 students, DC educational facilities that are by and large thoroughly renovated or replaced, a wide range of educational options for DC students exists,
Whereas, unfortunately the means of governing these options and balancing competing needs and interests has not changed: no one body arbitrates the various elements of DC’s educational system and in fact there are many bodies, nominally under the Mayor, who influence and enact educational policies. These include the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor for Education, The State Board of Education, The Office of the State Superintendent of Education, The Public Charter School Board, the DCPS Chancellor, the Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board, and the DC Council; and
Whereas, this state of affairs, and the vacuum it creates, causes a number of problems: an absence of accountability for education decisions, a lack of transparency in making those decisions, inefficient, wasteful and uncoordinated allocation of resources, a lack of resident and family representation in educational affairs, a lack of educational expertise where it’s needed, and perverse incentives and unintended consequences for educational policy and resources ; and
Whereas, the time to consider a new means of governing education in DC has come. This is an opportunity to reimagine what a system that has healthy and vibrant neighborhood and charter schools would look like, one that offers students and families have a wide variety of choices but that ensures they will have a quality neighborhood school if they so choose; and
Whereas, this process should be a collaborative one that involves all stakeholders in fashioning a modern, flexible and adaptable system that is also responsive and efficient in arbitrating policy and resources; and
Now, therefore, in recognition of these considerations, ANC 3E adopts the following resolution.
Resolved, ANC 3E urges the city to reform the governance of DC Education, keeping in mind the tenets mentioned above.
The resolution passed by a vote of 0 – 0 – 0 at a properly noticed meeting held on April 11, 2019, at which a quorum was present, with Commissioners Bender, Hall, McHugh, Quinn, and Ehrhardt in attendance.
By Jonathan Bender, Chairperson