The chartering chancellor


Kaya Henderson has sought the ability to open her own charter schools for more than a year. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The unabated growth of charter schools in the District could soon enter a new phase, with Mayor Vincent C. Gray now proposing to grant Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s wish to become her own chartering authority. The chancellor’s chartering power would join that of the Public Charter School Board and, Emma Brown reports in The Washington Post, would be used “to attract successful charter operators and a tool to turn around chronically low-performing traditional schools.” Those who know their D.C. educational history remember that the old Board of Education had chartering power for a decade but it was widely seen as being less successful than the independent PCSB. Henderson said she would use her charter powers “only in the right situations, as strategically as possible, to provide better outcomes for students.” Gray, announcing the proposal in his weekly radio address, justified the move thusly: “I want to see more gains, and I want to see them faster.”

In other news:

D.C. will get two laser cancer centers under regulators’ ruling (PostWBJ)

For Banita Jacks daughters’ estates, a $2.6 million city settlement (PostAP)

Leak investigations put Ron Machen in the national spotlight (AP)

On heels of WAMU investigation, time to get serious about campaign finance reform (Post editorial)

PERB director says he resigned because of board members’ discrimination, not because of his residency (WaTimes)

Doctor certifications mean more delays for medical marijuana program (Examiner)

For businesses making downtown deliveries, parking tickets are a big cost of doing business (Post)

Food truck regulations will go back to the drawing board (PostDCistWAMU-FM)

And council will vote on super-minimum age for “large retailers” (WBJHousing Complex)

Biz groups quite unhappy indeed about living-wage vote (WBJ)

Is D.C. Water’s plan to avoid tunneling a pipe dream? (WaTimes)

Good question: Why was Chartered Health Plan allowed to keep its D.C. Medicaid business after 2008 fraud settlement? (Examiner editorial)

High Metro executive salaries could figure in coming union talks (Post)

Dave Thomas Circle leads list of accident-prone intersections (Examiner)

Man is shot dead two blocks from Sixth District police headquarters (WUSA-TV)

Woman is abducted in broad daylight on Martin Luther King Avenue and sexually assaulted (Post)

Cabbies who take credit cards can now start charging higher rates (City Desk)

Sequestration will decimate region’s housing programs, advocates fear (Street Sense via HuffPo)

Sinkhole raises concerns about steel plates on streets (WJLA-TV)

Mary Cheh presses DDOT on Bikeshare wage-theft allegations (GGW)

Proposed changes to city homeless policy will get D.C. Council hearing today (Poverty & Policy)

No chemical weapons found in test tube newly unearthed in Spring Valley (WTOP)

Don’t expect 295 construction delays to ease for another year (Post)

D.C. needs more enforcement of speeding and other traffic violations, not less (Post op-ed)

National Theatre gains big-name shows, loses turquoise interior (AP)

Now smartphone app myTaxi says new cab regulations are the end of its business model (DCist)

“D.C. residents should not be denied the rights enjoyed by all other Americans because of the conduct of some of their local officials” (Post letter)

Why budget autonomy will survive: “[I]t would take a groundswell of bipartisan opposition to block it, and there’s very little of that for anything” (WAMU-FM)

Can failing charter schools be “restarted” rather than closed outright? (GGW)

New budget pledges possible Internet sales tax revenue to Metro projects (Dr. Gridlock)

Bummer that the National Aquarium is closing (Post op-ed)

Kathryn Oberly, D.C. Court of Appeals judge announces retirement, days after death of husband Haynes Johnson (Legal Times)

Phil Mendelson’s favorite lunch destination has closed (WBJ)

In this year’s Post Hunt, only one man could win (Post)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | May 31, 2013