"Today is a sad day in the lives of students and parents of Anacostia High School, when you Mrs. Rhee want to turn over our school to people like Mr. Donald Hense of Friendship Edison. When the founder of Friendship Edison says that the reason the students of Anacostia can’t learn is because their mother’s are on crack cocaine this is a sad day. He made this statement at the Anacostia construction meeting. Again as a parent why would someone say this about our children’s parents this way? Is this the way you Mr. Lew, The Mayor, The Gates Foundation and members of your staff think about our students at Anacostia who belong to us ?
I attended a meeting today at Anacostia . I thought that we were going to talk about the construction of Anacostia, but it was not the case. For the first half or more it was about Friendship's programs and their history and not about Anacostia’s building. I talked to the staff of Mr. Lew’s shop before the meeting and Mr. Robinson told me they would have a few words in the beginning and that did not happen. Friendship took over the meeting. Again the lies that people tell us to get us in a room so that they can say they had a meeting with parents of Anacostia, so that they can get paid by The Gates Foundation. Friendship told the Gates Foundation that they had met their obligation as it relates to the DC Education Compact and the community, parents and students, when in fact they never met with the parent body and they gave out false information along with Mr. Justin Cohen a member of your staff . I have heard back from Andrea at the Gates Foundation and she has let me know that she has spoken both with Friendship Charter Schools folks and with Justin at DCPS regarding our concerns. At this point she feels that the project is on target as described in the plans as they have documented opportunities for parent and community engagement – among benchmarks they are responsible for. The parents of Anacostia did not know any of this and the cover up grows.
When people say things about our children I have problems with it, here is a statement made by a member of your staff:, Mr. Justin C. Cohen of the Office of Portfolio Management:
"The Chancellor asked me to respond to your last email. The DC Education Compact serves as the fiscal intermediary for grant funding to DCPS from the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation. Acting in this capacity sometimes requires them to disburse funding to organizations that support our work, and such is the case with the Friendship Schools. DCPS does not pay the DCEC any funds; rather they disperse grant funding on our behalf. To your other point, the No Child Left Behind act establishes targets for standardized test scores and attendance at individual schools. While it is one indicator of school performance, it is an imperfect and incomplete measure. Friendship's high school - the Collegiate Academy - has consistently outperformed every DCPS high school, except for our selective admission magnet schools. In addition, the Chancellor does not have control over the charter schools in DC, as those are overseen by the DC Public Charter School Board, a completely separate independent entity. We appreciate your concerns, and I encourage you to come to us with questions about these arrangements, as we want to make sure you have the appropriate facts. "
A member of Mr. Lew’s staff told us Mr. Lew did not care about this meeting, so writing him gets us nothing. He is not going to look at it any way. (He will just delete it). Mrs. Rhee the parents at Anacostia did not know about this meeting but the parent and staff of Friendship knew, and they came to a school that they do not teach at or their children did not go to. This tells me that this is about money not about making the city schools better. Mr. Cohen said it best in his e-mail that the test is an imperfect and incomplete measure, so why do we take the test and why did you change Anacostia school staff if it does not mean anything ? Our children are in trouble at Anacostia when Mr. Beck of Friendship follows the young ladies of Anacostia to the rest rooms with a video camera and films them going in and coming out. He told the young men of the building he was taking their pictures so when he took over he would put them out. What happened to the investigation on him because Mr. John Davis of your staff knew about it and did not turn it over to your security force unit? All these things have been going on since you made the move at Anacostia. It is time to remove Friendship Edison from Anacostia. If you don’t, you are looking at a war on your hands. I hope you can take care of this matter before it gets bad." - Signed an Anacostia SHS parent
*Anacostia SHS made Safe Harbor in reading in 2008 for Black/Non-Hispanic groupings. They went from 6.28% proficient in 2007 to 21.15% proficient in 2008. As a result of having 95% students tested and reducing those non-proficient students by 10% earned them safe harbor in this category.
Posted by The Washington Teacher