In Blog

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

Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

Last month we welcomed our inaugural class of Fellows, host school site leader mentors, and facilitators for DCSC’s School Launch Program Kickoff.  Over four days, Fellows shared their leadership stories, considered ways to dismantle white dominant culture, established school vision, and prepared the strategic plans that will guide them through the year. On day three of Kickoff, staff from Coalition schools in DC and Baltimore joined Fellows at our Mid-Atlantic Regional Convening. At the Convening, we heard feedback on the Coalition’s 2018/2019 goals. This year, our goals will center on the theme of Promote, Expand, Support. We look forward to working with all of you to promote, expand, and support excellent, diverse by design schools.

Here’s what folks had to say about our time in DC:

“I appreciated the opportunity to hear about DCSC’s vision, goals and plans for the coming year and the presentation by Diversity Talks was outstanding!”

“I liked meeting the fellows and connecting with DC members.”

“I met so many amazing people.  It is helpful to know there are others out there who are consciously working on changing the way our systems work in favor of educational equity.“

Our next Convening is the Mid-West/Central Regional Convening, October 19th, in Kansas City, Missouri. Save the date! Stay tuned for more information from Elsa to learn more.

Finally, we post regular, timely updates on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to follow us to stay in the loop!


Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition: Where Have We Been?
NYC Talent Pipeline Convening
Sonia joined leaders and education sector partners at the recent TNTP NYC Charter Sector Landscape convening to discuss pipeline challenges.  Participants grappled with important questions like: What are the challenges we face within our control? How is competition supporting our forward progress or holding us back?

Chiefs for Change Reception in Philadelphia
Chiefs for Change builds and supports a diverse community of state and local education Chiefs dedicated to a shared vision where all American children can lead fulfilling,
self-determined lives as adults. Sonia attended their recent reception where she had the opportunity to chat with chiefs from across the country, including Philadelphia’s Dr. William Hite and Hanna Skandera, New Mexico’s former Secretary of Education.  Skandara is launching Pathways 2 Tomorrow (learn more about the initiative below!).

Member Spotlight: DSST Public Schools Farewell Class of 2018 Senior Spotlights
DSST Public Schools, the winner of the 2018 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, has a great deal to be proud of from the Class of 2018. To highlight the graduating seniors, DSST has created a unique way to share 11 of their senior stories. The “senior spotlights” highlight each senior’s unique path to graduation including the graduates’ teachers who made a difference in the students’ high school careers, and why they’re excited to move on to the next phase of life: college. Click on each one to learn more about the seniors!

The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards
Each year, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards solicits nominations from the general public and notable public figures, providing the opportunity to submit stories about teachers and professors who made a significant difference in their lives. On March 22, Stephen Sondheim’s birthday, a select number of these teachers will each receive The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award – $10,000 in appreciation for their contributions to the field of teaching. Awardees will also be showcased, along with the people they inspired, on The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards website. The application deadline is Sunday, December 31st, 2018. Submit a nomination here.

New Partnership: Pathways 2 Tomorrow
The Diverse Charter Schools Coalition is proud to join Pathways 2 Tomorrow (P2T) as one of its Partners. P2T matches responsive and agile education policy solutions with state and community needs. Connecting educators, practitioners, parents, researchers, advocates, nonprofit and business leaders, and entrepreneurs with state and local policymakers, P2T and its Partners value innovative and agile solutions with the potential to transform state and local education outcomes.

P2T is currently offering a special award to the boldest of ideas to impact education. P2T partners have come together to create this award to move thought leadership into action. The Call for Proposals are due Friday, August 31 at 11:59 p.m. and includes $15,000 stipends to support outstanding ideas emerging from local communities.  Submit your idea for consideration today! 

From the Field: Grants to Charter Management Organizations
The U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) recently released a notice of proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the CSP’s CMO Program. Officially, the CMO Program is called the Grants to Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools Program. The federal register notice regarding these proposed changes and the link to a form to submit comments are available to the public. The comment period for the proposed changes goes through August 24th, 2018. Learn more here.

Program Spotlight: TeachCS
TeachCS is a new service corps bringing Computer Science teachers to public high schools. The group is recruiting mid-career professionals from places like Google and Facebook, along with recent graduates who would otherwise be entering the tech industry. The program provides them with an intensive, summer training program and professional support throughout the school year. The program is looking to pilot in the 2019-2020 school year in New York-based charter schools. If you are interested in learning more, please email Jonathan Taqqu at

Upcoming Conferences & Events

Black Male Educators Convening
October 12th to October 14th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Register here

Teacher diversity works. Increasing the number of Black male educators in our nation’s teacher corps will improve education for all our students, especially for African-American boys.Today Black men represent only two percent of teachers nationwide. This is a national problem that demands a national response.
NACSA Leadership Conference
October 22nd to October 25th in Orlando, Florida
Register here

Expect More this year as authorizers come together in Orlando to learn more, to network more, and to ask more of our schools, our educators, our politicians, our leadership, and even ourselves. Attendees will leave empowered to be inspirational education leaders in their state, filled with knowledge and backed by new and strengthened relationships with other professionals throughout the country.

CER’S Silver Anniversary Summit 
October 25th to October 26th in Miami, Florida
Register here

During our time the education reform movement has been part of revolutionary changes in what we mean by “school”, and thousands of innovations have been made possible by path-breaking discoveries about what works, how people learn, what is possible and what can be done if we are willing to disrupt our comfortable ideas and assumptions. This won’t be just any summit. Nor will the celebration be like any gala you’ve attended. CER will ensure that when you join us on October 26th, you will be part of developing strategies that fuse together our collective efforts across every juncture. We will say goodbye to silos, and hello to student-centered learning and opportunities to redesign schooling without the confines of 18th-century classrooms. You’ll meet top education leaders, school pioneers, investors, industry giants, and EdTech decision makers, from throughout this continent and the world!

National Summit on Education Reform
December 5th to December 7th in Washington, DC
Register here

The National Summit on Education Reform convenes the nation’s leaders in education policy to share what works, what doesn’t and what’s next in education reform. Join our chairman, Governor Jeb Bush, as we host more than 1,000 legislators, state superintendents, policymakers, and advocates. The packed two-day event will feature notable keynote speakers and in-depth strategy sessions on evolving laws, new trends, successful policies and the latest innovations that are transforming education for the 21st century. 

News Roundup

“School Choice Is the Enemy of Justice” by Erin Aubry Kaplan
The New York Times — August 14, 2018

“Rural Alabama charter opens asfirst integrated school in Sumter County” by Trisha Powell Crain
AL — August 13, 2018

“Designing diversity: How one Memphis charter school set out to recruit its students” by Laura Faith Kebede
Chalkbeat — August 10, 2018

“The myth of ‘school choice’ in North Carolina” by Valerie Strauss
Washington Post — August 10, 2018

“Hate in Schools” by Francisco Vara-Orta
Edweek — August 6, 2018

“Boston’s schools are becoming resegregated” by James Vaznis
Boston Globe — August 4, 2018

“Can Campus Diversity Survive Without Affirmative Action?” by James McWilliams
Psmag — July 31, 2018

“Investigating school segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones” by Chris Hayes
NBC News —  July 31, 2018

“What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market” by Gary Sernovitz
New Yorker — July 30, 2018

“Can Richard Carranza Integrate the Most Segregated School System in the Country?” By Adam Harris
The Atlantic — July 23, 2018

“How One Charter Network Recruits Diverse Teachers” by Leslie Brody
Wall Street Journal — July 6, 2018

“What White Educators Can Do to Create Space for More Black Teachers” by Sydney Chaffee
Education Post — June 6, 2018


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