DC Charter School Alliance launches to support DC’s robust charter sector; Shannon Hodge named as founding executive director.

Jun 14, 2020

Washington, DC — Today, the DC Charter School Alliance, a new advocacy organization dedicated to supporting and representing the robust charter school sector in our nation’s capital, launched with Shannon Hodge named as the organization’s founding executive director.

The DC Charter School Alliance represents the city’s charter schools and networks and will build an advocacy agenda based on input of DC’s charter schools. Its membership council will steer the organization’s key policy priorities and ensure that the organization is aligned to the needs of DC’s charter schools. 

“As we build a strong future for public schools in our city, the DC Charter School Alliance will work collaboratively to ensure that families who choose a charter school receive the resources and support to be successful in school and life,” said Patricia Brantley, board chair of the DC Charter School Alliance and chief executive officer of Friendship Public Charter School.

“We need a unified voice to continue our strong work as we navigate the global health pandemic and tragedies and protests here in DC and across this country, and what both have meant for DC’s students and families,” continued Brantley.

The DC Charter School Alliance builds off of more than two decades of advocacy work from Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS) and the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools, which merged to form the DC Charter School Alliance in June 2020.

Shannon Hodge, the founding executive director of the DC Charter School Alliance, is the former co-founder and executive director of Kingsman Academy Public Charter School, where she served for more than five years. Prior to founding Kingsman Academy, she was the executive director at a DC charter school, serving students at risk of dropping out of high school. 

“Advocacy for the DC Charter School Alliance will begin with listening to our stakeholders and what they tell us about the needs of our students, families, schools, and communities, all rooted in the idea that families and students who want school options to pursue real opportunities in life can do so,” says Shannon Hodge, founding executive director of the DC Charter School Alliance.

Before becoming a charter school leader, Hodge was an attorney at the law firm of Hogan Lovells. As a lawyer, former high school counselor, and guidance director, she has dedicated her career to fighting for the needs of our most underserved community members. 

Hodge received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University; master’s degrees from Purdue University, Harvard University, and Georgetown University; and a law degree from Stanford University. She has served as a co-chair of the editorial boards of the Harvard Educational Review and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. She lives in the District of Columbia.

Shannon Hodge starts on July 1. 

The Charter School Alliance launches with an 11-member board of directors, including seven current or founding charter school leaders:

  • Patricia Brantley, Friendship PCS, Board Chair
  • Sekou Biddle, UNCF
  • Terry Eakin, EYA
  • Allison Fansler, KIPP DC PCS
  • Ambia Harper, Hogan Lovells
  • Allison Kokkoros, Carlos Rosario PCS
  • Myron Long, The Social Justice School PCS
  • Linda Moore, Founder, Elsie Whitlow Stokes PCS
  • Justin Rydstrom, IDEA PCS
  • Jessica Wodatch, Founder, Two Rivers PCS
  • Gabrielle Wyatt, The City Fund
  • Donald Hense, Founder, Friendship PCS, Emeritus
  • Malcolm (Mike) Peabody, Peabody Theoharis Management, Emeritus

More than 47,000 students attend 123 charter schools in DC, or 46 percent of students who attend public schools, from age 3 to adulthood. Students who attend charter schools live in all eight wards of DC and include students who are at-risk, English Language Learners, and have special education needs. 

Charter schools have increased proficiency on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) since PARCC was first created and on the previous state assessment, showing a strong path of academic progress for more than a decade.

To learn more, sign-up for the DC Charter School Alliance newsletter here.

The DC Charter School Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization that advocates for DC charter schools and their students. Learn more at www.dccharters.org