Washington, D.C. — The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) voted January 30 not to renew the charter of Booker T. Washington Public Charter School (BTW PCS) for another 15-year term.
Charters in the District are granted for a 15-year term. As part of the charter renewal process, a school submits a renewal petition and there can be a public hearing on the application before the PCSB Board takes a vote.
In a special meeting, the Board’s 5-0-1 vote (Herb Tillery abstained; Sara Mead not present) came after BTW PCS submitted a renewal application because its current charter was expiring. PCSB reviewed the school’s application and found that the school failed to meet its charter goals and academic achievement expectations. As a result, the charter does not meet the standard for charter renewal set out in the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995.
Located in Ward 1, BTW PCS opened in 1999 under a charter from the former DC Board of Education. It currently offers a high school program and an adult education program, with several different programs. The school operates three daytime adult education programs and three evening adult education programs, including trade education, a high school diploma program and a program that prepares adult students for the GED exam. There are 180 students enrolled in the high school and 370 students in the GED/Adult Education programs.
The high school program of BTW PCS had eight goals and academic achievement expectations that were measured in its renewal application and the adult program also had eight goals. PCSB found that the high school met two goals, partially met another, and did not meet five goals. For the adult program, PCSB found that BTW PCS met five goals and did not meet three.
Board Chair John H. “Skip” McKoy said he heard some employers and BTW PCS staff and alumni speak positively of the school and their experiences at a January 14 public hearing, but that the information about the school’s results did not meet the standard for charter renewal.
“I have no doubt that Booker T. Washington has served many students well. But when I look at the a the evidence and the data, I don’t see that it has met its responsibility as a charter school.”
The school’s charter will expire June 30. To read PCSB’s renewal report on Booker T. Washington PCS, please click here.
About PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB oversees 60 public charter schools on 109 campuses serving nearly 37,000 students living in every ward of the city. Learn more at dcpcsb.org.