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Monthly Digest with Coalition Updates, Must-Read News, and Upcoming Events

Coalition Updates

Name Change
We’ve officially changed our name to the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, a subtle but important change. Thank you to our Membership Committee for spearheading a thoughtful and inclusive process. We are now undergoing a much-needed rebranding to fit our new name and will soon be unveiling a more accessible and informative website.

2017 Convening
Join fellow school members and partners at our 3rd Annual Convening in Washington, D.C. We will be meeting from 5pm on June 10th until 5pm on June 11th at member school Lee Montessori Public Charter School. Together, we’ll explore best practice ideas, engage in consultancies, and strategize on what we can all do to advance diversity, equity, and excellence. This conference is for you! Sign up to share a “big idea” or submit a challenge for a consultancy and problem-solve with peers. Still mulling over an idea? Write-in TBD when you RSVP and we can circle back on details at a later date.

2017 Diverse Charter Awards
We will also be announcing the winners of three awards at our 2017 Convening:

  1. Best Newcomer School: Awarded to the member school that opened Fall 2012 or later that best exemplifies the Coalition’s values.
  2. School of the Year: Awarded to the member school that best exemplifies the Coalition’s values.
  3. Achievement Gap Award: Awarded to the member school (or CMO) that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to successfully closing achievement gaps within their student population.

The deadline for nominations is May 10th, 2017. Winners will be announced by May 17th and will be invited to receive their awards in Washington in June. Have questions or want to be part of the Awards Committee? Reach out to Brian Beabout at

Fellowship Program: Incubating Prospective Leaders Of Diverse Charter Schools
The Coalition is working to secure funding to launch a fellowship program to prepare aspiring school leaders to design and launch intentionally diverse charter schools. As you all know, there is an urgent need to open and sustain more “diverse-by-design” charter schools.  Only a small fraction of charter schools enroll racially and socioeconomically diverse student populations and too few individuals are adequately prepared to create and lead these schools.  Through our Fellowship, each prospective leader will be matched with an exemplary host school for a 12-month residency period. He or she will be working alongside school leadership and other schools in the community to learn best practices and develop her/his own proposal for a new diverse charter. We will reach out with more information on how you could be a host school and the application process for fellows.

Upcoming Conferences & Events

E.L. Haynes Public Charter Schools: Toast to Transformation 
Thursday, May 4th from 6:00 to 9:00pm in Washington, D.C.
Register and Buy Tickets here

E.L. Haynes is hosting our sixth annual signature fundraising event, Toast to Transformation. We are excited to honor John B. King Jr., President and C.E.O. of The Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education and highlight our Pre-K-12th grade students’ achievements. There will be student performances and features, delicious food, tasty drinks, complementary valet parking, and fun for all that attend.

DC Language Immersion Project: A Vision for DC – Leveraging the District’s Diversity through Bilingual Education
Thursday, May 4th from 6:00 to 8:00pm in Washington, D.C.

Innovative policies and legislation to narrow the achievement gap and prepare DC residents to excel in a global 21st century workplace. Please join local and national experts for our discussion on what DC gains by having a multilingual workforce and how we can achieve that goal. The District’s population and customer base is changing. Together with New York and Florida, DC is the state with the highest density of English language learners on the east coast. How can the District take stock of this demographic shift and leverage the opportunities it presents? How can education policies and economic development initiatives benefit DC’s residents more equitably? How can our decision-makers do so while increasing tourism, foreign direct investment and access to markets beyond our borders?

City Neighbors Foundation: Night in the Fab Lab
Saturday, May 6th from 7:00 to 10:00pm in Baltimore, MD
Register and Buy Tickets here

Join us for our annual fundraiser, Night in the Fab Lab.  The evening will be a unique and eclectic experience of jazz music, oysters, duck pin bowling, great food, and fun Fab Lab activities! This year we will also be showcasing student work from the Fab Lab and taking a moment to thank our Internship hosts.

Baltimore Montessori Public: Seed to Table — Student-powered Cooking and Gardening Program
Thursday, May 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in Baltimore, MD

Students chefs will design, prep, and serve a delicious meal, with support from Mr. Patrick and the Artifact team.  Our specially created seasonal dish is just $10 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit our student kitchen. Beer and other beverages available for sale. Our night will also feature students’ food-themed art for display and for sale. See you there!

Center for Education and Civil Rights: Furthering Diversity in K-12 Schools through Student Assignment
Thursday, June 1st from 8:30am to 4:30 pm in Washington, D.C.

School leaders will work alongside one another, advocates, and researchers on learning more about various aspects of designing, implementing, and sustaining student assignment plans that promote racial and socioeconomic diversity. This meeting will include new research about what diversity efforts districts are undertaking and what is known about the effectiveness of these models. Participants will also learn from one another about local successes and challenges regarding the design of diversity plans as well as how to effectively communicate about the plan with local communities.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: 2017 National Charter Schools Conference
Sunday, June 11th to June 14th in Washington, D.C.

The National Charter Schools Conference is the best learning and networking event for charter school educators, leaders and advocates. This conference is about being part of a movement, learning from the best in the field, and learning from each other. Meeting peers that struggle with the same issues you do – or have solutions to offer you – is an incredible learning experience. With inspirational keynote speakers, more than 130 engaging breakout sessions, and unique networking events, this national event has something for everyone. 

News Roundup

ICYMI: Two of our member schools, DSST Public Schools and Success Academy Charter Schools, were named finalists for the 2017 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. The Broad Prize is designed to recognize the best practices of successful public charter management organizations so that all public school systems can learn from them.

Whites Only: School Segregation Is Back, From Birmingham To San Francisco by Alexander Nazaryan
Newsweek – May 2, 2017

Family by Family, How School Segregation Still Happens by Kate Taylor
New York Times – April 28, 2017

Is This A Fix For White Flight Charter Schools? by Grant Blankenship
GPB News  — April 21, 2017

3 Ways to Think About School Choice Through the Lens of Equity and Diversity by Valerie Braimah
The 74 Million — April 17, 2017

School segregation persists in the new New Orleans, study says by Danielle Dreilinger
The Times-Picayune  — April 04, 2017

Washington, D.C. Montessori school learns to serve a diverse student body by Chris Pencikowski
Walton Family Foundation Blog — March 15, 2017

‘Diverse Charter School’ Is Not An Oxymoron by Sara Berman
Forward — March 14, 2017

Isn’t desegregation a measure of educational quality? Real reform begins early and accounts for racial and economic diversity by Andre Perry
The Hechinger Report —  March 14, 2017

In a city still struggling with segregation, a popular charter school fights to remain diverseby Emmanuel Felton
The Hechinger Report — February 24, 2017

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