Dear Washington DC student:
Great news! Your union-stifled public school is closing its doors due to low expectations. That means that you are now on the road to excellence and innovation, a path that proceeds directly to college and onto an outstanding 21st century job. In other words, you are about to enter an exciting new world of choice™. Did you know that The Brookings Institution recently ranked Washington, DC third in the country for school choice on its Education Choice and Competition Index? No? You’ve obviously got a lot to learn—we’d better get started.
Choosing your choice™
Washington DC is home to 130 charter schools, which means that you’ll have plenty of choice™ to choose from. Scratch that—five new academies of excellence and innovation have opened just while I was typing this. I’d suggest that you start flipping through this 60 page charter school directory pronto. It is only available in English but I’m sure that is no problemo as everyone in Washington DC speaks English.
Now the key to choosing the choice™ that is right for you begins with the brochure. It is a well-known fact that the most innovative and excellent charter schools also have the most outstanding brochures. (Note: glossy paper correlates highly with excellence, as do pictures of minority students engaged in activities other than test taking or test preparation). You’ll want to collect LOTS of these brochures when you attend today’s DC Charter School Expo, hosted by the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools (DCACPS) and Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS). You and your parents should plan on spending the day there as there will be so many choices to choose from.
Have you chosen your choice™ yet?
Now that you’ve got all of the brochures it’s time for you to begin identifying your target schools. This is easy peasie. Start by picking your desired neighborhood from this helpful and easy to navigate map of choice™. Got it? Now we’re going to select your focus. Would you say that you’re more of a character education person? Or maybe college prep is really your thing? How about expeditionary learning? Family-centered? Classical? Technology? Government/political science/pre-law? Math/science? Arts/humanities? Excellent choice™. And don’t forget to specify your performance tier!
Now it’s time to visit all of the schools you think might be right for you. As this helpful Washington Post story explains, your parents will want to spend plenty of time at each of your target schools, “observ[ing] not just how teachers and students interact, but also how the students interact with the principal, aides and everyone on the faculty.” Also, your parents should plan on reaching out to members of the PTOs at your target schools in order to determine whether the choice™ you are choosing is the right choice™ for you. As all of this choosing will take a great deal of time, your parents will need to take off many days from work. If their bosses object, just tell them that this is about choice™ and they will understand.
I’d like to pause for just a moment to remind you how important your choice™ is. In fact, it is so important that it has its own special week devoted to it, and that week itself is so important that it has its own president.That president will now say a few words about how important your choice™ is.
“You should put more research into this than you do into buying a new car,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “It’s the same with a house or anything you’re buying. This is something you’re buying that can’t be replaced after two years if it didn’t work out. You can’t get those two years back.”
Got it? Excellent! Now that you’ve made your choice™ all that’s left for you to do is to fill out a simple application. The application isn’t available yet but it is so simple that anyone can complete it, especially someone who speaks English, which I understand everyone in Washington, DC does. In the meantime, perhaps you’d like to download this cool new MyDCCharters app. Good luck!
Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.