Feb 3, 2016
Coming Soon To A School Near You: DC Mayor Announces Extended School Year
Written By, Candi Peterson, WTU General Vice PresidentStatements or expressions of opinions herein 'do not' represent the views or official positions of DCPS, AFT, Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) or its members. Views are my own. Before it was officially announced, The Washington Teacher blog was the first to break the report of DC Public Schools plans to extend the school year on Thursday, January 28, 2016 in SE middle schools. Click on The Washington Teacher in red to see details of my January 28, 2016 story: The Washington TeacherNow there is official confirmation of DCPS' plans. According to the Mayor's public schedule- Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Kaya Henderson will announce their extended school year at several DC Public Schools for the 2016-17 school year at 11 am. Others in attendance include: Council member David Grosso, Committee on Education Chair, Charlotte Butler, Principal of Hart Middle School, and Natalie Hubbard, Principal of Raymond Education Campus. The event will be held at Hart Middle School which is located at 601 Mississippi Avenue, SE.According to the press release, this event is being held during Education week in a "week-long effort to highlight how the District is accelerating the pace of school reform and creating pathways to the middle class for District residents." The reasons given in Mayor Bowser's press release for extending the school year point to un-named research which states that "time away from school during the summer contributes to the achievement gap. Providing more time for instruction not only increases time for reading and math, it also provides students more time to explore art, music, foreign language, and other interests. School districts across the country that have implemented extended year have seen significant gains among their student bodies." It's likely that these extended day programs will be provided in Wards 7 and 8 where many of the lowest performing schools are located.With little to show but incremental movement in standardized test scores as behavioral problems spill out onto the METRO transportation system from troubled DCPS middle schoolers, the Bowser administration now attempts to ram an extended school year down the throats of DCPS teachers without input from stakeholders as WTU President Elizabeth Davis continues to struggle to get teachers' a contract after 2 1/2 years. (last WTU contract expired 9/2012).Mayor Bowser also announced another education initiative earlier this year to open an ALL BOYS school that is slated to open next school year in 2016-17. Education critics view these as political band-aids and gimmicks designed to fool the public that this administration will raise student achievement and close the achievement gap.Stay tuned for more details........
© Candi Peterson, 2016