Regarding the June 6 Metro article “Monument Academy’s board votes to close”:
I am not a fan of charter schools by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe that, if we have to endure them in the District, they ought to be of the order of this one — created to serve students the traditional public schools are unable to serve effectively.
As Diane Ravitch asserted in her book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” charters were created to complement the traditional public schools, not compete with them. Yet the charter school movement touts “choice” and “competition” to distinguish itself from the traditional public schools, often offering the same curriculum in the same neighborhood with no innovation that addresses needs of the communities, which they are supposed to do.
A tragic thing about these charter schools is that they have no allegiance to the community and can disappear from the landscape just as suddenly as they appeared, causing deeper disruption to the already fragile system that preceded them.
Stories regarding sudden closures and substandard performance justify a moratorium on establishing charter schools in this city. I do not know what information could be more damning. It’s time to have an open discussion about how to cease the proliferation of charter schools in the city and, instead, devise approaches to strengthening the schools we already have and that are the anchors of our communities.
Venola M. Rolle, Washington
The writer, a teacher in D.C. Public Schools, is vice chair of the Ward 7 Education Council.