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

Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

The end of the school year provides us with an annual opportunity to reflect. Looking back, I think about our member schools coming together in order to make this work possible. Throughout the year, leaders from across our coalition have joined with Ashley, Seon, Dave and myself to present at conferences, advocate in front of school boards, and spread awareness of diverse-by-design charter schools. Through Excellent School Visits (ESVs) sixteen of you have opened up your hallways and classrooms to provide real-world examples of what “diverse-by-design” schools look like in practice for our UnifiED fellows. In both the Member Needs Analysis as well as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Data Collection research projects you have helped our team and our board learn what member schools value most as coalition members. You’ve identified the strengths you want to share with the coalition and you’ve helped us plan for how best to set the conditions for collaboration across member schools. The work of any coalition is due to the part of its members, and it is through the collaboration of all of our member schools that adds to the strength of DCSC as an organization.

As we plan for the 2019-20 year, members continue to lead the way. To that end, I want to thank Mike Chalupa from City Neighbors, Hilary Darilek from E.L. Haynes, Monisha Karnani from Inspired Teaching, Daniel Rubenstein from Brooklyn Prospect, and Robert Reed from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools for coming together to form the Planning Committee for the 2020 Convening in Washington DC. It is the work of this team that represents our board and school leaders that will make next year’s convening the best one yet!

In addition to the 2020 Convening Planning Committee, we look forward to the other ways that we’ll get to collaborate with our member schools including partnering with host sites for our UnifiED School Launch Program and the Communities of Practice that we’ll start this July. With much appreciation, thank you to our members who make the work of the coalition possible.



Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition:
2020 Convening – January 30-31, Washington, D.C.
DCSC is excited to announce next year’s convening! We will reach out with more logistical and content information over the next several months. Registration will launch in September. 

Members, however, can book your hotel now. Each individual guest must make reservations by calling the Eaton Hotel directly at 1-844-863-6144 by Friday, December 13th, 2019. Identify yourself as a member of the 6th DCSC Annual Convening Group in order to receive the DCSC group discount!

Post on Response to Bernie Sanders Moratorium
The New York Times has published our letter in response to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Education Plan in which he states that ‘the proliferation of charter schools has disproportionately affected communities of color… This has led the NAACP, the NEA, AFT and others to criticize the charter movement for intensifying racial segregation.’  We are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

We have also posted a full response here that also address his call for a moratorium on charters. “The answer isn’t more choice or less choice, it’s the right kind of choice.”

DCSC Website Careers Page
Are you still looking to staff positions at your school for next year? As part of the benefits of membership, member schools are able to post any open positions on the DCSC careers page for free! If you haven’t already created a free account on our website, do so today so that you can begin leveraging the network of the coalition to find great educators for your school community. If you need help setting up your account, reach out to Seon at or go to

DCSC signs on to Teacher Diversity with the Association of American Educators Foundation
Earlier this year, DCSC was approached by the Association of American Educators Foundation to sign on to a letter that would be sent to the U.S. Congress and the Secretary of Education highlighting why teacher diversity is important and should be an urgent issue as it relates to student success. The letter has just been published, and you can read more information about AAEF as well as the letter here.

Welcome our new Intern, Layla Brooks!
DCSC is happy to participate for a second year in the Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship Program in which we’ll be hosting a summer intern. Layla Brooks is entering into her senior year at Virginia State University as a Criminal Justice Major with a minor in Political Science. She is active in her Student Government Association as well as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Layla will be working from our headquarters in New York City for June and July and will be supporting Seon on a data analysis project of our member schools.


Where we’ve been
Washington State Charter Schools Association Conference
Dave and Seon attended the Washington State Charter Schools Association Conference. With charter schools being able to operate again in the city just five years ago, there is a lot of room for charter school growth in the state of Washington. DCSC is looking forward to keeping up with what happens in Washington.

New Schools Venture Summit & Charter Collaborative – Oakland, California
Sonia, Dave and Ashley went to the west coast to attend two conferences and a school visit at Yu Ming School.  We even got a chance to reconnect with Elsa Dure! Many of our member schools attended the NewSchools Summit along with DCSC, and we were fortunate to speak to some, including Suyin of CQA (pictured left), though not nearly as many. Shout outs to Shannah Varon from Boston Collegiate, Todd Dickson from Valor, Sue Park from Yu Ming, Lee Tietel (DCSC board member) and Kriste Dragon of Citizens of the World who had killer sessions!

Sonia also attended the 2nd Annual Charter Leaders of Color Collective Action 2019 Convening while out in Oakland, CA. Joining Sonia was Danny Brink-Washington, a UnifiED 1st cohort fellow, Brandon Johnson, an incoming Unified 2nd cohort fellow, and Sean Wilson, school leader of International High School of New Orleans.

COSEBOC Conference – Detroit, MI
Seon visited Detroit to attend the COSEBOC (Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color) Conference. The conference was geared towards all schools serving a population that includes boys of color and included sessions that gave resources to school leaders and teachers to support their students both academically and socio-emotionally.


Making Policy at Home
Sonia, as part of the School Diversity Advisory Group in New York City, attended a meeting with Mayor De Blasio and NYC Chancellor Carranza to discuss the work of the SDAG and it’s preliminary recommendations. The final report and recommendations are expected to be completed by July. 


From Member Schools
Capital City teacher named as finalist for Washington, DC 2020 Teacher of the Year!
Justin Lopez-Cardoze, a seventh-grade Life Science teacher at Capital City Public Charter School since 2016, was named as a finalist for the 2020 DC Teacher of the Year. Justin serves as the school’s Science Department chair, seventh grade-level team lead, and middle school representative on the school’s Equity Core Committee. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), which runs the DC Teacher of the Year program, will announce the winner in October 2019. You can read more about Justin’s nomination here.



DSST Name Change
One of the campuses under DSST Public Schools has changed its name from DSST: Stapleton to DSST: Montview, with a focus on the diversity and inclusion of its student population. The change came from a student-led petition that sought to change the school’s name from a former mayor of Denver, Benjamin Stapleton, who was apart of the Klu Klux Klan, to a name of which everybody in the DSST School community could be proud. DSST students were an instrumental part of this process with the school receiving positive responses from the larger community. You can read more about DSST in the news hereherehere and here.


From the Field
Protect Charter School Funding
The Senate will soon make critical decisions on education funding with the Charter Schools Program (CSP) being at risk. The House already voted to cut funding for the CSP and the Senate is our best chance to protect critical dollars for charter schools. Every child deserves access to a high-quality public school and right now there are millions of students waiting for their chance to attend a charter school. Contact your Senators today and share with your networks to make sure your elected officials know that charter schools aren’t a political game!

Take Action in California!
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Allies for Education Equity bring to the forefront the battle that’s taking place in California. Through attacks on charter schools in the state, claims of under-serving of black students, and limits on school choice, the two organizations share three ways you can help:

California Charter Schools: Costs, Benefits, and Impact on School Districts
Since 2017 critics in California and nationwide have claimed charter school growth undermines school district finances and forces cuts in the quality of schooling districts can provide. The Center for Reinventing Public Schools has released three reports that compile data on charter schools’ growth and effects on district enrollment that is meant to inform public debate around charter schools in California.
Read the reports here.

Report: 2019 Top Los Angeles County Public Schools for Underserved Students
There are 1 million low-income Black and Latino student in Los Angeles county. Some schools are looking to find ways to help all of their students succeed, despite the many socioeconomic barriers and barriers in our public school system. The Top Public Schools for Underserved Students report, created by Innovate Public Schools in partnership with the schools of Public Policy and Education at the University of Southern California, highlights those schools closing the achievement gap for low-income African American and Latino students in Los Angeles County.
Read the report here.

Policy Brief: Do-Something Congress No. 10: Fighting Inequality by Reinventing America’s Schools
Authored by David Osborne, the keynote speaker for the DCSC 2017 Annual Convening in Denver, and Emily Langhorne, this publication shows how the federal government can play an important catalytic role in education reform by creating incentives for change at a state and local level. In particular, Congress can create financial incentives for states that strengthen charter authorizing and for districts that create autonomous schools, hold schools accountable for performance, and replace failing schools.
Read the brief here

KC Public School Enrollment Dashboard
Set the Schools Free, a Kansas City public education group, has shared its KC Public School Enrollment Dashboard updated with 2018-19 data. With three full years of zip code-based enrollment data sortable by sector, school(s), zip code and income, the dashboard is becoming increasingly useful for understanding how public school enrollment is changing across the KC district. The dashboard allows you look at data by zip code with accompanying charts and maps and shows information such as enrollment growth and loss across the district.
Read more information on the dashboard here.
Access the dashboard here

Computer Science Professional Learning Scholarships for Teachers offers professional development programs for existing teachers with no prior experience teaching computer science who want to begin teaching CS. The 2019 Professional Learning Program for middle and high school teachers is an engaging five-day, in-person summer workshop, and continues with four additional one-day follow-up workshops throughout the year.
Learn more about the Professional Learning Program here.
No-cost, one-day professional development workshops for elementary teachers are also available regionally year-round.

Public Support Climbs for Teacher Pay, School Expenditures, Charter Schools, and Universal Vouchers
Taken from the 12th annual Education Next (EdNext) survey, administered in May 2018, Education Next has released its findings on the public opinion of topics which include teacher salaries, school spending, unionization, common core, and racial disparities. The findings are accompanied by two interactive graphs that also give other data including trends.
Read the findings and view the interactive graphs here.


Upcoming Conferences & Events

2019 Decolonizing Education Conference
June 7th to June 8th in Brooklyn, NY
Learn more about the conference and register here
Layla, our new intern for the summer, will be attending this conference on Friday!
Put on by the Center for Strategic Solutions, the 3rd annual Decolonizing Education Conference will be a two-day event designed for & by teacher activists who are seeking to disrupt and dismantle institutional racism and systems of oppression in schools. The conference is two days packed with rich and critical spaces to interrogate existing norms in schools and recreate spaces that center the brilliance of our racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students, staff, and families.

National Charter Schools Conference
June 30th to July 3rd in Las Vegas, NV

Learn more about the conference and register here
Sonia, Dave, Ashley, and Seon will all be attending as well as our first cohort of UnifiED Fellows presenting their capstones!
The National Charter Schools Conference is for current and aspiring charter school leaders to come together to learn from experts in the field as well as peers. The conference delivers learning and networking opportunities for participants and activities include keynote speakers, more than 100 breakout sessions, and networking events. The conference is hosted by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, of which our board Member, Robert Reed, is apart. Last year’s conference had over 4,000 participants and this year should have something for everyone.

DCSC Reception at the National Charter Schools Conference
July 1st 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Libertine Social in Las Vegas, NV

Learn more about the reception here
DCSC will be hosting a reception for our member schools attending the National Charter Schools Conference! This is an opportunity for folks to meet, mingle, and be social with your peers. Space is limited for this gathering so RSVP ASAP to Can’t wait to see you in Vegas!


News Roundup

74 Interview: Professor Rucker Johnson on How School Integration Helped Black Students — and How Much More Is Possible When It’s Paired With Early Education & Spending Reforms” by Carolyn Phenicie
The 74 — May 27, 2019

There’s nothing progressive about strangling charter schools” by Editorial Board
The Washington Post — May 27, 2019

Sanders’s Education Plan Renews Debate Over Charter Schools and Segregation” by Dana Goldstein and Sydney Ember
The New York Times — May 23, 2019

Half a century after integrating a New Orleans school, Ruby Bridges says America is headed in the wrong direction” by Laura Faith Kebede
Chalkbeat — May 23, 2019

The 74 Interview: Iconoclast Howard Fuller on Brown v. Board, Segregation and Race in America’s Schools — the Debate That ‘Will Go On Forever’” by Kevin Mahnken
The 74 — May 21, 2019

The New Secession” by Adam Harris
The Atlantic — May 20, 2019

Lower class size and school integration go hand in hand” by Shino Tanikawa and Leonie Haimson
New York Daily News — May 17, 2019

Special Edition: Segregation, Integration and the Milford 11 [Podcast]” by Karin Chenoweth
The Education Trust — May 17, 2019

Brown v. Board at 65: Will Schools Ever Be Integrated?” by Kevin Mahnken
The 74 — May 14, 2019

At ed reform conference, charter leaders feel the political heat — and strategize about how to fend off unions” by Matt Barnum
Chalkbeat — May 13, 2019

‘Threatening the Future’: The High Stakes of Deepening School Segregation” by Dana Goldstein
The New York Times — May 10, 2019

3 California NAACP Chapters Break With State and National Leaders, Calling for Charter Moratorium to Be Overturned” by Esmerlalda Fabián Romero
The 74  — May 3, 2019

Still Separate, Still Unequal: Teaching about School Segregation and Educational Inequality” by Keith Meatto
The New York Times — May 2, 2019

Entrenched positions and pleas for change: NYC council debates school integration” by Christina Veiga
Chalkbeat — May 1, 2019



Have an upcoming event or know about an interesting conference? Forward information to and we’ll include it in our next month’s update!
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