D.C. Councilman and education committee chairman David Catania held a hearing on Saturday to put pressure on Mayor Vincent Gray to allow the D.C. International School to receive the $6 million he set aside for the school's permanent facility. Mr. Gray nixed the funds saying that the city cannot give money to a non-profit corporation and it is not fair for one charter to receive these dollars when others do not.
I agree on the second point. Until the charter school facility financing problem is solved I'm uncomfortable with one-offs for particular projects. However, there is a solution to this mess. DCPS has more than enough space to house the language immersion middle and high school formed by a consortium of five charters.
Many of our public officials state boldly that they are supporters of public school reform. Yet, when a traditional school fails to educate our kids year after year it just continues operating. This is quite different from the charter model in which chronically low performing schools are closed. If we are really for reform then low quality institutions must be shuttered.
I can hear the cries now in response to my suggestion. "We cannot close a neighborhood school. It is too disruptive." Well I would point out that it is far more disruptive to society to have adults who cannot find a job because they were not taught the skills in school they need to succeed. In the nation's capital we have accepted educational malpractice for far too long.
If you say you are for school reform then close those that are not working and expand those