: News

Filed Under:

Catholic To Charter School Conversion: One Year Later

Play associated audio

Seven Catholic Schools in D.C. converted to charter schools a year ago because of growing costs and declining enrollment.

Andy Smarick, with the Thomas B. Fordam Institute, who studied the conversion process says the greatest benefit is that the schools remained open. Smarick says one school closed because of under-enrollment. But at each of the other schools, the student population increased by almost 30 percent; one almost doubled in size.

There was also more funding available. Smarick says per pupil spending in the former Catholic schools was less than $5,000. At the new public charter schools that amount was more than $11,000, which meant more money for teacher salaries, books and supplies.

But the conversion was not without challenges. "The students who were coming in, they were often much lower performing than students had been previously, on average they were poorer and they had more special needs," says Smarick. "Both special education numbers went up as did the number of English language learners."

The schools hired Spanish speaking teachers, a special education director and provided additional teacher training.

Kavitha Cardoza reports...

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

'Cup Noodles' Turns 45: A Closer Look At The Revolutionary Ramen Creation

Today instant ramen is consumed in at least 80 countries around the world and even considered popular currency in American prisons.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.