How parents in Washington DC navigate school choice: Charter School Expo, mobile app, and more

Last Saturday, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board held the DC Charter School Expo.

For many moms and dads staring down aisle upon aisle of booths — each representing a different school with a different curriculum, a different teaching philosophy, a different set of extracurricular activities and after-care arrangements — the day was as daunting as it was exciting.

“Thousands attend D.C. charter school expo”, Emma Brown, Washington Post, January 5, 2013.

Parents can now also use a mobile app, MyDCCharters, to research charter schools. “The Wireless Foundation and DC Public Charter School Board Release Free Mobile App MyDCcharters”, District of Columbia Public Charter School Board news release, January 5, 2013.

The DC charter school app is modeled on the one from New Orleans. Here is my earlier post about the Recovery School District‘s combined charter application, called OneApp,  and efforts by the Arnold Foundation to make New Orleans parents more aware of school choice options. More coverage about OneApp: “New Orleans school officials push holdout charters to join single-application process”, Andrew Vanacore, New Orleans Times-Picayune, September 26, 2012; “RSD’s OneApp program continues to be controversial”, Mason Harrison, Louisiana Weekly, October 1, 2012.

In Houston, Families Empowered (mentioned in this earlier post), held an expo in November 2012. “Houston nonprofit helps empower parents shopping for schools”, Ericka Mellon, Houston Chronicle, November 16, 2012 (interview with Matthew Barnes, executive director of Families Empowered).

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A nonprofit that helps parents to research school options and become advocates for high quality education.