After nearly a year of work, the DC Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force is preparing to release its interim recommendations to advance collaboration between the DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the District’s public charter schools.
Charged with developing recommendations to improve the coherence of public education in the District, the task force expects to release its interim recommendations in January and its final advice to Mayor Muriel Bowser in June 2018.
“The task force is focusing its efforts on identifying key aspects of education that would benefit from cross-sector efforts between DCPS and public charter schools,” says Anthony Williams, CEO and executive director of the Federal City Council (FC2) and a co-chair of the task force. “I think by the end of January the recommendations will be released to the public for comment.”
Once the interim recommendations are released to the public, DCPS will launch a community-engagement phase to give interested parties and citizens the opportunity to review the proposal and make suggestions or changes. A final draft will be given to the mayor.
To guide their work, members of the task force traveled to Denver in December to study its efforts to introduce similar cross-sector initiatives. The city of Denver approved its Collaboration Compact between Denver Public Schools and charter schools in 2010. The compact promised equitable funding and a shared enrollment system for charters and traditional schools. Additionally, it created a system for duplicating the most effective schools, regardless of whether they were charter or traditional.
“Denver is not a utopia, but it has some things that have worked well and some lessons that can be drawn from,” says Kevin Clinton, FC2 COO. “Denver has an annual process for determining which programs and schools are necessary to address its educational needs. Both traditional public and charter schools are on the same approval cycle which allows for greater coordination and ultimately improved outcomes for students.”