Carolyn Steptoe speaks on issues affecting Ward 5 and the city at large.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Moratorium on Charter Schools - Carolyn Steptoe Agrees With Superintendent

Campaign Release #6

Ward 5 City Council Candidate
Carolyn C. Steptoe and DCPS Superintendent Clifford Janey –


In today’s Washington Post (8/15/06, Metro Section, B1), Superintendent Clifford B. Janey calls for “a moratorium on new charter schools in the District, saying the independently run publicly funded facilities are draining students and cash from the traditional school system while failing to offer a high quality alternative.”

Carolyn Steptoe agrees with the Superintendent’s stance and so stated publicly at the Monday, July 31 Ward 5 city council candidate forum. The forum was sponsored by ACORN and held at the Trinity Baptist Church in Ivy City.

When the moderator asked candidates what they would do to improve schools, (specifically nearby Webb Elementary), candidate Carolyn Steptoe was the only candidate to respond “I agree with what Superintendent Janey said recently - that the council needs to issue a moratorium on charter schools. Charter schools are not only draining money from the traditional DC public school kitty, but there are no definitive performance assessment data or studies showing student learning at charter schools is superior to the traditional DCPS environment. I can also attest to what I saw as a former volunteer tutor in what is considered the ‘model’ public charter high school in this city. This school receives large amounts of money and grants and it’s a lovely school. However, over a three-year period, my experience in tutoring these students was that the classroom source material, teaching and learning were not superior to the traditional DCPS high school environment. I believe too much of our tax dollars are going into charter schools when this money should remain in our traditional DC public schools. I agree with the Superintendent’s position that the council should issue a moratorium on charter schools.”As council member I would make the moratorium a matter of legislation. I would also seek to serve on the Committee of Education, Libraries and Recreation. This Committee determines the budget for our schools. It also has direct oversight as to how monies are spent. We must have definitive, trackable performance measures that are fairly and uniformly tied to the budget allocation for both the traditional DC public schools and the city’s charter schools.

Paid for by “Elect Steptoe 2006,” Carolyn C. Steptoe, Treasurer
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