My kids, Ella and Sam, attend Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, DC. The school was founded by public school teachers and parents 10 years ago because they were fed up with the lame, bureaucratic, poorly performing District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).
Almost 30,000 children attend charter schools in the District of Columbia. Some charters, like Capital City, are among the finest schools in the city, offering kids a world-class public education in the inner city. So many people said it could never be done. They were wrong. True enough, there are some charters that aren't doing so well, but the really bad ones have their charters pulled by the Board that oversees these schools. They aren't permitted to linger for years on end, like lousy DCPS schools.
While DCPS schools have seen some improvement over the last couple of years, and we hope to see that improvement continue (because we'd like to be able to send our kids to DCPS schools too), charters have to do more with less because they receive less from the city in per-pupil facilities funding: $2,800 vs. $3,200.
Charters offer an excellent choice to DC parents and are in large part responsible for keeping middle class, and upper middle class white, black, Asian, and Latino families in this city and part of the tax base that helps provide social services to low income families.
For more information, go to http://www.befairdc.org and http://www.focusdc.org.
Here are three videos from the organization Fight for Children, which supports public education in DC. The organization awarded $100,000 to Capital City this year. The children in the videos are from Capital City and our "sister" school, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School.
Look real close and you'll see my son, Sam, in the videos. (He's the one with Queen Latifah at Fight for Children's gala :o) )
Fight For Children - What do you Dream of Being when you Grow Up? from Blue Sky Films on Vimeo.
Fight For Children - Why is an Education Important? from Blue Sky Films on Vimeo.
Fight For Children - Why Should We Give Back? from Blue Sky Films on Vimeo.