On the July 11, 2019 show of Education Town Hall, host Thomas Byrd explored a variety of topics about DC’s schools with DC investigative reporter and political commentator Jonetta Rose Barras.
They began their wide-ranging conversation discussing mayoral control of DCPS schools, which began in 2007, and how it has effectively resulted in mayors who have been disengaged from schools, with the council not fulfilling an effective watchdog role. For instance, recent underfunding of Ward 7 & Ward 8 DCPS schools follows historic patterns of disinvestment in the city’s poorest wards. Yet, with new selective high schools (Bard and an expanded Banneker), high schools in those wards will lose yet more students and resources, which in turn ensures the entire system of schools of right suffers.
They also discussed the difficult budgeting that principals are forced into because of how money is designated and allocated, including at risk funds, designated for some of the city’s most vulnerable children, not getting to the students who need it the most.
And they discussed charter schools, including the harm caused by charter proliferation in DC; the irony of charters being created to foster innovation, not choice; and the problems of charters as private businesses, including SEED using DC tax money to grow its business in other jurisdictions.
— V. Jablow, 7/11/19
The Education Town Hall with Thomas Byrd
broadcasts from Historic Anacostia
in Washington, DC, on We Act Radio,
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern
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