Mark David Richards
Council Period 12
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Government and People
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Boards and Com
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What Is DCWatch?
PLATFORM FOR QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
We need our elected officials to contribute to the leadership of a
cooperative initiative to improve public education; so that District residents have a
public school system to count on, believe in and of which we can be proud
On July 11, 1998 a coalition of District parents, local school
educators and community activists (listed on the back) [below] came together to articulate
a platform on public education The platform expressed below represents an effort to build
on the experiences and background of participants to identify education priorities and the
areas where strong consensus exists.
We ask that the aspiring District of Columbia candidates speak to the
issues raised in this platform during the 1998 elections.
- Establish a high quality school system that offers multiple programs and options (and
supports them) such that all students can graduate prepared for gainful employment, post
secondary education and training or both.
- Staff all schools to provide a full spectrum of disciplines including art, music, second
and native language, technology, physical education, as well as core subjects of
mathematics, reading, language arts, science, and social studies; and provide counselors
and librarians to support these offerings.
- Recruit, retain and maintain a high quality teaching force.
- Create and support small schools and small classes that provide humane learning
environments, where all children are safe, valued and engaged.
- Support and nurture innovation foster excellent programs in regular schools. Do
not push out our best programs or rely on the charter schools to provide enrichments and
opportunities the regular schools should offer.
- Integrate community and social services with public education so that all students
receive the support they need to learn to their fullest potential.
Child Care Education
Return democratic process of governance to public education.
- Restructure the board of education as a more effective elected body.
- Establish a new financing and accountability structure for local schools based on local
school control of resources.
- Require timely public notice, sufficient time for public comment and consideration
before policy decisions are made.
- Require disclosure to the public of pertinent information, as a matter of course, in
time for public consideration.
- Establish and comply with due process, procurement rules, and personnel rules.
Local School Governance
- Establish effective site-based management to produce desired student outcomes.
- Establish a clear accountability structure based on performance standards for students,
teachers and principals.
- Implement a formal process of collaboration by central administration and local school
stakeholders on policies that effect the local schools.
- Promote local school control of budget and staffing.
- Fund local schools based on Local School Restructuring Teams' (local school management
teams) meeting requirements for teacher, community, parent, and student participation in
planning the budget, improving the curriculum, and deploying staff.
- Develop and fund programs for instructional leadership training for principals.
- Provide incentives for teacher training and leadership in curriculum design.
- Develop and implement a zero-based budgeting process based on the needs and programs at
the local schools.
- Provide full disclosure of all financial matters, both at the district and local school
level, as part of a deliberative and public budgetary process.
- Fund a ten-year initiative, developed through public engagement and collaboration to
comprehensively modernize public school facilities to comply with local and federal
mandates on health and safety, accessibility, and good repair that support teaching,
learning, and community use.
- Guide the planning process by the principle, substantiated by research, that small
schools, small learning clusters, and small class sizes are the most appropriate learning
(Positions under development on these issues.)
Standards, Testing and Assessment, Promotion
K-16 public education UDC and other options
Education of non- native English speakers
|Board of Trustees
Vocational and Career Education Vouchers
Militarization of schools
State education agency
Endorsers (Organizations for identification purposes only). Nora E.
Bawa, Bell MHS; Marlene Berlin, Ad Hoc Parent Coalition; Bonnie Cain; Heleny Cook, Wilson
HS PTA; Susan Duncan, Funds for the Community's Future; Wanda Fox, Amidon ES; Susan
Gushue, DCPACE; Timothea Howard, Shaw Family Collaborative; Nancy Huvendick, Oyster
Community Council; John Judge, Washington Peace Center; Lynn Kauffman, School Without
Walls; Mary Levy, Washington Lawyer's Committee, Arona McNeill- Vann, Community Academy
Charter School; Deborah Menkart, Network of Educators on the Americas; Glenda Partee,
American Youth Policy Forum; Cathy Reilly, SHAPPE; Delabian Rice-Thurston, Parents United;
Gail Sonnemann, Capitol Hill Cluster parent; Maurice R. Sykes; Carrie Thornhill, DC
Agenda; Alicia Rucker Tobechi, Woodson HS PTA; Harriet Tyson; Mine Veazi; Athena Viscusi
DCCMH MSD; Sarah Woodhead, 21 st Century School Fund; Jerald Woody, Sr., Washington Parent
For more information about the coalition of parents, teachers and
community members who worked on this platform, call 202-238-2379.