Public schools in the District of Columbia are a complex landscape, according to Faith Gibson Hubbard, the first Chief Student Advocate, an independent office housed withing DC’s State Board of Education. It can be difficult for even the most up-to-date parent to navigate the traditional and charter systems, and then, within a school, to get the best for their child or resolve more communal problems. The Chief Student Advocate partners with parents to identify problems, communicate with educators and administrators, and, where appropriate, advocate for changes in the system.
The Office, created by legislation in 2013, was not funded until more recently. Hubbard has been on the job since May of this year. Why an Advocate? How does this differ from an Ombudsman (see September 16th Education Town Hall)? Hubbard joined the Education Town Hall, in studio, to discuss this and more.
She says much of her effort surrounds communicating, helping parents to isolate issues that can be addressed and share their children’s needs in effective ways. She is also preparing materials to help parents testify to the DC Council and other agencies. In addition to responding to individual parents, collaborating with existing District organizations, and participating in countless meetings and public events, Hubbard is organizing a resource page. With hundreds of links on thirty-some topics relating to education and youth well-being, the page is due to launch by the end of October.
More on Track 3 below —
The Chief Student Advocate Currently Hubbard is alone on staff, with two fellows to assist. Contact the office as follows:
(202) 741- 4692
@DC_Advocate on Twitter
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