Confirmation Hearing Testimony of Rick Cruz
Testimony of Rick Cruz
Member of the DC Public Charter School Board
DC Council Committee on Education
January 10, 2018
Thank you, Chairman Grosso and members of the Committee, for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Scott Pearson and I am the Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board.
I would like to express my strong support for the re-nomination of Rick Cruz. Rick has been a dedicated member of the Board since 2014 and has extensive knowledge about the inner workings of public charter schools. He is also the only current member of the Board who has experience as a school leader. At times, it seems his entire career has been a preparation for his service at DC PCSB – from his leadership at America’s Promise and Teach for America to his current role at the College Board. This unique history, along with his focus on educational access and opportunity provides an important perspective in our deliberations.
Over Rick’s last term on the Board, graduation rates and PARCC scores have increased, in-seat attendance is above 90% and there are more Tier one schools in the district than ever before. In addition, there has been a steady increase in average composite PARCC scores for public charter school students and test scores for both African American and At-Risk students outperform the state average. Expulsion rates have dropped and out of school suspensions are at record lows and continue to decrease. With Rick’s valuable insight and support the Public Charter School Board will continue to ensure quality school options for students and families in DC.
While we have made great strides to improve our schools over the last few years, the work is not done. Rick Cruz brings the professional background and the commitment to excellence and equity in public education that are essential for service on the Public Charter School Board. Thank you for scheduling this hearing, and for your support of his nomination.