Yesterday, the D.C. State Board of Education released the names of those whose nominations were accepted to serve on the task force overseeing implementation of the city’s plan around the Every Student Succeeds Act, the law that replaced No Child Left Behind. The presence of pro-school choice individuals on this body is exceptionally important since the Office of the State Superintendent of Education will begin ranking both charters and traditional schools using a common grading system. The resulting membership could not have been much better.
First of all, the task force is being headed by Dr. Lannette Woodruff, the SBOE Ward 4 Representative and wife of the chairman of the DC Public Charter School Board, Dr. Darren Woodruff. Joining her will be my hero Donald Hense, founder and chairman of Friendship PCS. The fact that Mr. Hense is involved will I’m sure let all charter leaders rest comfortably at night since the Friendship PCS founder is known to be direct.
Also part of this team will be Alexander Rose-Henig, Basis DC PCS dean of students; Anne Herr, the FOCUS director of quality; Deborah Williams, Inspired Teaching PCS head of school; Jacque Patterson, Rocketship D.C. PCS regional director; Julie Anne Green, executive director New Futures and previous long-time director of marketing at E.L. Haynes PCS; Ramona Edelin, executive director, D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools; Richard Pohlman, executive director Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS, and a representative from the DC Public Charter School Board.
While the charter presence is good I could not help noticing that of our ten people sitting on the Task Force, six of them are in one of ten non-voting slots. But it really will not matter since I’m confident Mr. Hense will have us covered. The only selection I would have included that is not on the list is someone from the think tank/advocacy world such as Mieka Wick, from CityBridge Education, or Keith Gordon of Fight for Children.
We will be monitoring the activity of this group here. Let’s hope it makes more progress than the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Education’s Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force, although that sets the bar at an extremely low level.