Catholic To Charter School Conversion: One Year Later | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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...

NPR

Not My Job: We Ask 'Real Housewives' Producer Andy Cohen About House Flies

Andy Cohen is host of Watch What Happens Live and also the Bravo producer responsible for the Real Housewives franchise. He'll play a game called "Bzzz ... bzzz ... bzzz."
NPR

Need A New Sweet Potato Recipe For Your Thanksgiving Table? Try Gnocchi

Because some cooks like to mix it up for Thanksgiving, we offer a Found Recipe from our archives: Julia Della Croce's purple sweet potato gnocchi.
NPR

In Las Vegas, Obama Sells His Immigration Plan

President Obama has begun to try to sell the American public on his controversial executive action on immigration. He started Friday, with a visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.
NPR

Terrible Video Game, Great Fundraiser: Meet Desert Bus For Hope

Desert Bus, a parody game invented by magicians Penn and Teller, consists of driving a bus on a featureless road for hours. A comedy troupe in Canada has turned that monotony into money for charity.

Leave a Comment

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