Yesterday I posted G.F. Brandenburg on the same question. He posted a letter by a parent activist, who thinks the charter industry wants a chancellor on their side. She wrote: “the D.C. Public School Chancellor has absolutely no authority over any charter school in this city. The Chancellor cannot make any determinations on the siting of a school, the board composition of a school, the curriculum, staff or any other matter related to a charter.” Furthermore, charters can locate wherever they choose, even across the street from a public school.

If charters are competing with public schools, why do they get a large say in picking the chancellor who leads the other team?

Here is another post by Brandenburg, with the names of those on the search committee. He cites a post written by Valerie Jablow.

He adds:

“All told, of the 14 people on the selection panel, half have ties to charter and ed reform interests. And several were the source of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for the mayor.

“[Confidential note to Mayor Bowser: Does this mean that if I and two of my DCPS BFFs donate $5000 to your current campaign, one of us will be named by you to serve on the charter board? I mean, this is the selection panel for the DCPS chancellor we’re talking about here! Why have any charter reps at all, as there have been zero purely DCPS reps. EVER on the charter board? Or is this all OK here because, um, well, because cross sector something something?]

“Then, too, of those 14 people on the selection panel, there are a total of 1 teacher; 1 student; and 4 parents, half of whom have ties to ed. reform and charter interests.

“The law regarding chancellor selection states (boldface mine) that “the Mayor shall establish a review panel of teachers, including representatives of the WTU, parentS, and studentS to aid the Mayor . . . in the selection of the Chancellor.” The law also says nothing about principals or officials from organizations unrelated to DCPS serving on the selection panel.

“Notwithstanding the (remote) possibility that the singular student and teacher selected for this panel have multiple personalities, the math here simply doesn’t add up: there are more than a hundred THOUSAND parents and students in DCPS and several THOUSAND teachers.

“And yet we have a rep from Friendship charter school on this panel and not even TWO DCPS teachers or students??

“Gees, Mayor Bowser: it’s nice that you’re soliciting limited feedback on the next chancellor from us unwashed masses, but can’t you dial back the public dissing?

“Amazingly, all of this is downright familiar in DC public education:

“For instance, several years ago the process to change school boundaries showed that people wanted, overwhelmingly, a strong system of by right public schools in every neighborhood.

“Since then, our city leaders have enacted policies and taken actions that ensure that remains a pipe dream:

“–Thousands of new seats have been created in the charter sector, with little public notification. (One–Statesman–will start this fall without any public notification or input whatsoever beforehand. Yeah: check out these public comments.) Without commensurate growth in the population of school-age children, the result is a declining share of DCPS enrollment–all without any public agreement whatsoever.

“–A closed DCPS school (Kenilworth) was offered to a charter school in violation of several DC laws, including public notification; RFO to other charter schools; and approval of the council. (I am still waiting for my FOIA request to DCPS about this to be answered, since no one on the council, at the deputy mayor for education’s office, or at DCPS ever answered my questions as to how this offer actually came about.)

“–A test-heavy school rating system was approved, which tracks closely with what our charter board uses, without any consideration for what the public actually said it wanted. (And with a private ed. reform lobbying organization phonebanking to ensure it got what it–not the public–wanted.)

“–Ours is a public education landscape in which wealthy donors set the conversation (watch the linked video starting at 1:21:25); determine the way in which schools are judged; and profit from it all, while the public is left far, far behind.

“–Despite clear data showing problems in both sectors for graduation accountability and absences, there has been little movement in city leadership to ensure both sectors are equally analyzed.

“In the same manner, in our new chancellor selection panel the public is disenfranchised and the law not followed, while personnel from private groups are heavily involved and stand to profit in a variety of ways.

“Hmm: Familiar indeed.”