Anacostia Teach-in, Rocketship Greenlighting, and Newark Sit-In

Notes from around the country.

Teach-In and Art Build

Closest to the We Act Radio home: Everyone is welcome to a Teach-in and Art Build organized by Black Lives Matter DMV at the Anacostia Public Library, Feb. 19, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m., 1800 Good Hope Road, SE.

dmvfebParticipants will learn about the practice of police Jump Outs – in which plainclothes officers in unmarked vehicles surround, frisk, and threaten citizens – and about the case of Raphael Briscoe, a local teen shot to death in 2011 by police inside an unmarked vehicle. Police involved in that incident were recently cleared by a jury, while the practice of police Jump Outs continues in certain neighborhoods, including the one where We Act Studios are located. Tonight’s event will include art activities to create a memorial for Briscoe.

Rocketship Greenlighting

On the West Coast, but with national and DC impact: Rocketship Education Board of Directors meets tonight to consider a Greenlighting Resolution, including the go-ahead on a new facility planned for here in Washington DC’s Ward 8. (Here’s the Resolution.)

The Greenlighting materials include a budget providing for a student-to-teacher ratio of 33:1 at the Kindergarten and First Grade levels, far above the 20 students permitted by agreement with the Washington Teachers Union and above the DC average of 19.1. The Rocketship ratio in grades 2 through 5 matches the WTU standard but remains above the DC school average.

Greenlighting materials also highlight the “high African-American and FRPM [free and reduced price meals] population in certain wards, including target Ward 8,” a point Rocketship sees as contributing to the potential revenue stream for a school. Criteria for greenlighting are “a high need community with failing schools” and a “financially viable enrollment.” Community demand, ability to meet particular student needs, or good fit with existing educational landscape are not part of the stated criteria for Rocketship greenlight.

Rocketship expects to break ground in DC in April and is moving to greenlight additional schools in California and Tennessee.

Real estate and lease agreements with Apple Tree early learning center, which is planning to co-locate with Rocketship in DC, were conducted under closed session in recent committee meetings. (See for details.)

Newark Student Sit-in

The student sit-in at the office of Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson is entering its third day with students demanding an end to the One Newark enrollment plan and the resignation of Ms. Anderson.

For more, see: — Baraka, Ron Rice throw support…”

Al Jazeera: “US Students take over…”

And latest at Newark Student Union Twitter feed

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