Yesterday, the DC Public Charter School Board released the results of the 2016 to 2017 school quality reports, which demonstrate school rankings on the organization’s Performance Management Framework. The overall takeaway from this measure is that more students than ever, 47.4 percent of all pupils attending charters, are enrolled in Tier 1 schools, which are those obtaining the highest scores. This is an extremely positive trend.
Let’s focus on some of the schools doing some great academic work. Among those recording the greatest scores are:
- BASIS DC PCS (High School) – 95.5%
- Washington Latin PCS – Upper School – 89.1%
- Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS – 87.7%
- KIPP DC – Connect Academy PCS – 87.4%
- Cedar Tree Academy PCS – 86.8%
Here are the top five charters with the highest results who are educating a student body composed of at least 60 percent of children living in poverty:
- Friendship PCS – Blow Pierce Elementary School – 79.0%
- Early Childhood Academy PCS – 69.9%
- Cedar Tree Academy PCS – 86.8%
- Friendship PCS – Blow Pierce Middle School – 65.9%
- SEED of Washington DC (High School) – 66.1%
Finally, listed below are those charters that have been categorized at Tier 1 from the time the PMF was introduced in 2012:
- Washington Latin PCS – Upper School
- Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS
- DC Prep PCS – Edgewood Middle School
- Two Rivers PCS – 4th Street
- Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS
- KIPP DC – College Preparatory Academy PCS
A few takeaways for me. I’m extremely impressed with the number of Friendship PCS campuses, five, on the Tier 1 list. My friends Susan Schaeffler and Allison Fansler are doing a great job at KIPP DC PCS with 11 campuses graded as Tier 1. DC Bilingual PCS is there; I just recently interviewed its head of school Daniela Anello. I have also interviewed the leaders of Mundo Verde PCS, Thurgood Mashall PCS, DC International PCS, Appletree Early Leaning Center PCS, Carlos Rosario International PCS, Washington Yu Ying PCS, Eagle Academy PCS, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS, Two Rivers PCS, E.L. Haynes PCS, and the academic director of Center City PCS, which are all 2017 Tier 1 schools. Just last year I spoke to LaTonya Henderson, the executive director of Cedar Tree Academy PCS. This school nearly closed years ago. Coming up is a conversation with the head of school for Sela PCS which is also in this category.
I am so proud of these institutions that are demonstrating that the academic achievement gap really can be closed. Cheers!
One surprising finding is the number of Tier 3 schools. Last year there were only four. This year there are nine. Some of the names on this list are also jolting because we associate them in our minds as high performers such as Harmony PCS, Democracy Prep Congress Heights PCS, Achievement Preparatory Academy PCS – Wahler Place Elementary School, Cesar Chavez PCS for Public Policy – Parkside Middle School, and Seed PCS middle school, although its high school is in the Tier 1 category. Two of these charters are in this tier for the second year in a row, Achievement Prep PCS and National Collegiate Preparatory PCS, which is troubling.
To end this discussion on a positive note, Rocketship PCS is un-ranked this year because last term was its first, but its PMF score demonstrates that it would be in the first Tier, a commitment it made when it opened.