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Is it time for a charter school hiatus?

Charter advocates are wary of any plan that would limit new schools. (Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

What is to be done about D.C.’s public education system? It’s a question whose urgency has been renewed by the latest enrollment figures, showing strong charter school growth, and the likelihood that national charter chain Rocketship Education will open as many as eight schools here in the coming years. The Post’s Emma Brown reports that District political leaders are starting to grapple more openly with where all of this is headed. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) has ordered his education officials to develop a “road map for public education” that, he explained in an interview, should preserve competition between the D.C. Public Schools and charters: “I don’t believe in monopolies,” he said. And D.C. Council education chair David A. Catania (I-At Large) is floating the idea of a charter hiatus to allow DCPS a chance to up its game. “Right now we have schools that pop up everywhere,” he said. “I think we have a responsibility to help manage this process.” Charter advocates, natch, are not fond of this notion.

In other news:

Vincent Gray: It’s time to rethink the independent CFO (Post)

Man who died after waiting a half-hour for a New Year’s Eve ambulance is billed for the ride (WRC-TV)

Gray is still dealing with Adrian Fenty’s shadow (AP)

How two inspectors generals failed to get to the bottom of DCPS cheating allegations (Post column)

Is Gray’s D.C. big league or bush league? (Post column)

Six hundred children are living in the D.C. General homeless shelter (Post column)

At least 11 defendants awaiting trial committed violent crimes in the past year while under electronic monitoring (Post)

D.C. housing department buys more time from feds to produce Skyland records (Examiner)

Being David Alpert (Post)

Annual New Year’s parade is key part of strategy to keep the China in Chinatown (Post)

DDOT starts master transportation plan process; Gray says a London-style congestion fee is on the table but not likely (WRC-TVWTOP)

DDOT Director Terry Bellamy gives a “very reserved yes” when asked if streetcars will roll this year (WTOP)

What’s wrong with D.C.’s plans to discourage driving (Post op-ed)

Time to end the restaurant-worker exemption in D.C.’s sick-leave law (Post op-ed)

Council members question new ethics board’s first big move (Examiner)

Booze board publishes draft rules on beer and wine sales at drug stores (ExaminerDCist)

Convicted murdered screams at prosecutors during sentencing (Crime Scene)

Seventy years for man who shot his daughter in the head (Crime Scene)

Michelle Rhee says she could have communicated with teachers better, says Kaya Henderson is an “extraordinary leader” (Post)

Her new book, on the other hand, Rhee carries “no whiff of regret” (Post review)

Gray says it’s time to get moving on campaign finance reform (WAMU-FMWRC-TV)

Kenyan McDuffie says he’ll get to it, sooner or later (Post)

Tort reform group warns nurse-staffing bill could lead to surge of litigation (Post letter)

AAA says Jim Graham car alarm bill is batty (Examiner)

Eleanor Holmes Norton joins latest push for Capitol Power Plant coal ban (Utility Products)

Two stabbed Saturday night at 14th and U streets (WJLA-TV)

Another 15 years on the bench for Superior Court Judge Melvin Wright (Legal Times)

Could the Post land in NoMa? (Washingtonian)

Chuck Brown Park designer discusses his design (WAMU-FM)

Jim Vance’s powerful case for renaming the Washington football team (WRC-TV)

Congrats to former council candidate/current council chief of staff Charles Wilson, who proposed to his longtime girlfriend at the Washington Auto Show (YouTube)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.



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Mike DeBonis · February 8, 2013

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