Scott Pearson should delay leaving D.C. charter board

Last November, Scott Pearson, the executive director of the DC PCSB, announced that he was relinquishing his position after eight and a half years at the end of May. In the face of the crises facing the public and charter schools in particular around the coronavirus pandemic I think it only prudent that Mr. Pearson should delay this move until the end of the summer.

Charter schools are now basically following the lead of DCPS and closing until April 1st. Chances are good that this date will be delayed. Students are being provided with the opportunity to take classes remotely and food is distributed to those who would go hungry if not for nourishment delivered where they normally would go to class.

The DCPCSB announced that its monthly board meeting that was scheduled for last night will move to Monday, March 23rd. The session will be held virtually. The charter board offices are closed with employees working from home.

Board chair Rick Cruz and Vice-Chair Saba Bireda have been leading a national search for Mr. Peterson’s replacement. We do not know the impact travel and meeting restrictions around personal safety have had on this recruitment effort.

With all that is going on and no immediate idea when life will get back to some form of normalcy, this would not be the right time to make such an important transition. I’m sure after all the dedicated service Mr. Pearson has provided to our 62 schools operating on 123 campuses that enroll 49,000 scholars, he can hang in there a few more months. This is also a crucial moment to have a thorough transition to a new leader.

Dramatic events call for dramatic actions. Mr. Pearson should continue to head the DC PCSB until the nation’s capitol begins to calm down. Perhaps this request should come directly from Mayor Bowser?

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