Middle Schools, Cross-Sector Collaboration Key DC Needs

John Settles, candidate for DC Council At Large, talks schools and more with the Education Town Hall

Middle schools are an issue that “transcends education,” says John Settles, II, candidate for the DC City Council At-Large. “Any growth plan starts with retention,” he explains, and DCPS loses too many families when their student approach middle school age. If DCPS cannot meet the challenge of providing good, solid middle schools for every neighborhood, economic development will not be sustainable in the long run.

Another issue of prime importance, Settles told the Education Town Hall, is “getting rid of competition between DCPS and charters.” Charter schools should be, as originally envisioned, resources for innovation and incubation. They must collaborate with the traditional public school system, not work in opposition or competition.

Thomas Byrd, host of the Town Hall, noted that DC the Public Charter School Board seems more intent on establishing a “level playing field” and being made whole for what they see as past injustices in school finance. Settles’ response: Charters get public money and so must collaborate with the traditional public school system… or go off on their own.

Settles spoke with Deputy Mayor Abigail Smith and Washington Teachers Union president Liz Davis about teacher evaluation, community-center schools, the education infrastructure in DC and schools oversight, among other issues.

Listen to the full discussion on the January 2 edition of the Education Town Hall.

The Education Town Hall airs Thursdays at 11 a.m. Eastern on We Act Radio, 1480 AM in the DC area or worldwide via TuneIn.com.

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