City Paper is not for tourists
Give D.C. public School parents credit for understanding the nuances of education reform and the myriad ways students should be measured for learning. Many of them were incredulous after Jeffrey Anderson reported that an education PAC was phone-banking residents to advocate for a school rating system based primarily on single test scores.
“Thank you for this important story,” vjablow wrote on our website. “The OSSE [Office of the State Superintendent of Education] staff we met with, including the superintendent Hanseul Kang and her chief of staff, repeatedly said that the people they heard from all wanted this heavy emphasis on test scores. But none of the community members in that meeting wanted it—and testimony since the fall by parents and others in public forums, like the state board of education and the city council, has repeatedly made clear that heavy reliance on test scores to judge schools is damaging.”
The PAC in question is Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), which is rallying behind an OSSE draft plan based on the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act.” It requires states to create a new school accountability system beyond the standardized math and reading tests of “No Child Left Behind.”
“We should be outraged by @DFER_news astroturfing community comment on #essa standards,” Chris Sondreal tweeted.
Meanwhile, in last week’s cover story by Alexa Mills and Matt Cohen, City Paper detailed D.C.’s robust interfaith movement to support area immigrants living in fear of the new administration’s erratic and threatening immigration policies. More than 150 D.C. congregations are participating at different levels—some already announcing that they’re prepared to shelter immigrants in fear of unjust deportation.
“DC churches are some of the most progressive and socially active in the country,” u/thestruggleisreal wrote on reddit. And u/her_ladyships_soap asked: “Anyone know of solid ways to support efforts like this if you’re not involved in a religious community?”
We do. Staffed with volunteers experienced in immigrant rights, Sanctuary DMV, which is featured in the story, is hosting a legal orientation for volunteers on March 15 and is participating in myriad other efforts. Citing the story and the group, @chiglinsky tweeted, “Well, if this isn’t the most inspiring thing I’ve read this week.”