Over the weekend the editors of the Washington Post raised the issue of D.C. Mayor Bowser’s Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force complete with all of the dangers for charter schools I had identified when the group was first announced. But there is one other point that needs to be addressed.
The Deputy Mayor for Education Jennie Niles explained that the Task Force will meet for a couple of years before a report will be created. Really? This means it could be another 24 months before additional excess facilities are turned over to charters. Another 24 months before some sort of resolution is reached over the FOCUS-coordinated funding inequity lawsuit? Two more years to determine if these alternative schools will have to provide a neighborhood admissions preference?
Two more years to find out if DCPS will have to adopt the same high academic standards that charters face?
Perhaps this is the moment when school choice advocates approach Congress to obtain the policy prescriptions that cannot be achieved locally. As the gap between white and black and rich and poor students grows this may be the time to say enough is enough. It appears that a new injection of passion is in order, an emotion sadly absent in the Wilson Building.
We can sit back and do nothing and the situation we are in today could go on for another two years or another two hundred years. Or, we can take a different path.