Community Engagement on IFF Report???


Kudos to Daniel over at Empower DC for spotting this and for blasting out this information.

You can read the email below...

Notice how he hasn't received a response, nor does he know of anyone else who knows about this planned meeting.

Sign of things to come?

We will keep you posted.

Hello all,

Today I was made aware that the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Office and DC School Reform Now are having a meeting on Monday April 30th to discuss the findings of the IFF report (which recommends the closure/turn over to charters of 37 DCPS schools).  The meeting is to take place at CW Harris (info below), I called several parents I met from CW Harris and not one that I spoke to knows about this meeting.  In the email below I sent to the Deputy Mayor for Education, I ask if these are the meetings they promised to host in the neighborhoods of the affected schools.  I am concerned that the people who need to be at this meeting will not be there.  I encourage everyone to attend and to let others know.  

Please feel free to call or write with any questions, I plan on being there Monday and I hope many of you will be able to join me.


Daniel del Pielago
Education Organizer
Empower DC
1419 V Street, NW

From: Daniel del Pielago []
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:53 PM
To: ''; ''; ''
Subject: Dicussion about "Quality School Reports" Monday April 30th

Mr. Wright,

The following flyer has come to my attention, is this the beginning of the promised meetings on the IFF report?  I’ve checked both the DME website and DC School Reform Now website and see no mention of this.  How have parents and community members been made aware of this and any other meetings that are to come, where can a list of these meetings be seen?  I’ve spoken with several parents at CW Harris and not one knew this meeting is taking place.


Join the Deputy Mayor For Education’s Office and DC School Reform Now in a discussion about the data from the quality schoolsreport and get your questions answered!
When?Monday, April 30th 2012
Where?: CW Harris Elementary School
301 53rd St. SE
What Time?5pm

Daniel del Pielago
Education Organizer
Empower DC
1419 V Street, NW

Educational (in)Equality Part 1


Last Thursday, we heard from Deputy Mayor for Education De'Shawn Wright, Dr. Liliana Garces, a GW professor, and Art Coleman of Education Counsel, LLC at George Washington University. Their talk centered around GW receiving the papers of William Taylor, a education activist during the Civil Rights Era and a co-author of No Child Left Behind, and eventually evolved to talking about race and education. The talk was very open and honest, to the credit of the panelists. But what it had in honestly, it lacked in substance; the great elephant in the room was the inequity that exists here in DC! There was not a single, single mention of it!

Now, we know DC has the greatest gaps in educational equity compared to other urban school districts. The achievement gaps between the rich and poor and between white and children of color is enormous! You can check it our for yourself here: nation's report card or can look at a broken down version here: gaps in dcps. So that you know, these score cards are based on 4th and 8th graders for math and reading.

Now, where was this talk last week? Where was the urgency, the state of "now!" to address these issues? Wright certainly liked the idea of appearing as a Civil Rights crusader; we would like to see that put into action.

A deeper question, for ourselves and for policy makers, why aren't the programs we have promoted working? We have done a lot, in the name of education reform, and yet nothing has changed. What do we make of this?

Stay tuned for the next two weeks as we detail much of the inequity that exists here in DC - from school closures, to resources, and to us releasing our data on equality in education.

Tis the season!


No! We don't mean Christmas. And we definitely don't mean baseball. Testing season is upon us!!!

Tis the season that matters. This is what it all comes down too! This is what tells us who is "advanced," "proficient," "basic," and "below basic," labels that we need to know in order to function in society.

Tis the season were we find out if schools are failures or not.

Tis the season were we find out how much value teachers have added to our students education, and if they are worthy or not to keep their job - a very much needed process.

Tis the season were we see if the entire year of teaching to the test actually paid off!

Tis the season where test-prep companies rack in their millions on the tests given to students.

Tis the season where politicians praise so-called reforms in potentially raising test scores only to find out that that scores are stagnate.

Tis the season to be jolly!

*DISCLAIMER* This post is obviously meant to be a caricature.



Yesterday's primary elections offered a new chance to put new blood on the city council and make a education an important issue. That door opened and closed without anyone walking through.

Here seems to be why:

1) There was much dissatisfaction with the council in general, but there were to many "outsiders" running so that the opposition vote was split and the incumbents claimed victory. This is what happened with Alexander and Orange. In Orange's case there were be an automatic recount since he edged out Biddle by barely 1%.

2) Many of the challengers failed to connect to the larger audience. They had their core, but their platforms were separated and not interconnected leaving many voters confused.

3) There was low voter turn out. Of course this was to be expected given that it is a mid-year election (in DC not nationally obviously), but how many voters stayed home out of apathy? If we want to make our voices heard we have to get out and vote!!!

4) Finally, if the initiative to ban corporate donations to council candidates could get 10,000 signatures, and most or disgusted by this current council, why could we not force them out?  The answer? WE ARE DIVIDED

So, what does this mean:

1) Mayoral control of the school system will definitely continue.

2) The Committee of the Whole - by which we mean the Committee of None, a.k.a Kwame Brown - will continue to dictate the education agenda.

3) If we want to have a say about our public education, we must UNITE. New on the ground confirms that there is much public outrage over the state of education. Are we so divided that we have already lost?

4) We must strategize how best to continue the fight and make sure the voice of the people is actually heard on the City Council and that the Council answers to us, their constituents!!!


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