Here is a curiosity. The recent investigation of graduation rates in the D.C. Public Schools–which revealed that one-third of the graduates lacked the minimum qualifications to graduate–did not include charter schools. Nearly half the students in the D.C. schools attend charter schools.  Why were they not included in the investigation?

D.C.’s answer to the scandal is to create an “Office of Integrity.” Former teacher Erich Martel says that is not enough because such an office would be subservient to the authorities creating and covering up the scandal.

He writes:

 

Council Education Committee Chairman and Members, Council Members,

(Council staff: Please print the attachment for your CM, thank you)

 

DCPS chancellor Antwan Wilson’s proposed “Office of Integrity” is inadequate because it is not independent of the education hierarchy that ignored it for years.  Teachers and school staff will not trust any office that is within the DCPS bureaucracy.  And, it doesn’t cover charter schools, voucher recipients, college funding recipients or home schools.

 

The bill before the MD state legislature calling for an Investigator General under a proposed “Education Monitoring Unit” that is INDEPENDENT of the state education hierarchy with an independent funding stream is a far better alternative, more likely to fulfill its intended function. 

 

It has to have investigative powers with full due process protections as the proposed MD bill spells out.

 

Alternatives for DC might be:

An education investigator general (or whatever name) under the DC Inspector General,  DC auditor, with authority over DCPS, DC charters, DC voucher recipient schools, DC college funding recipients and home schools.

 

And – I am waiting for the Council to conduct an independent audit of DC charters’ graduates compliance with attendance requirements and fulfillment of graduation requirements.

 

Erich Martel

Retired DCPS high school teacher

Ward 3

ehmartel@starpower.net