DC Charter School Alliance Announces New Series on History of Chartering in Washington, DC to Kick off National Charter Schools Week

May 5, 2021

“Living History” Premieres May 10 at 7:30pm on DCTV

Washington, DC – Today, DC Charter School Alliance, an advocacy organization that supports and represents the robust charter school sector in our nation’s capital, announced a new series exploring the history of Washington, DC’s public charter schools. The Living History series, hosted by DC Charter School Alliance Senior Advisor Dr. Ramona Edelin, creates an oral history archive with leaders of the city’s public charter school movement. The first episode premieres May 10 at 7:30pm on DCTV.

“For nearly 30 years, Washington, DC’s public school system has included diverse and dynamic chartered public schools. Today, nearly half of all public school students in the District choose to attend a chartered public school,” said Dr. Ramona Edelin, DC Charter School Alliance Senior Advisor and Living History host. “The Living History series documents the vital oral history of the charter school movement, featuring its renowned leaders whose work forever changed public education and student success in our city.”

WATCH: Living History Series DCTV Promo

The five part Living History series will air every Monday at 7:30pm on DCTV and rebroadcast on Friday at 12:00pm, beginning this Monday, May 10 through Friday, June 11. Following each episode’s premiere on DCTV, it will also be available to the public on the DC Charter School Alliance’s YouTube channel. DCTV can be found on Comcast (channel 95), RCN (channel 10), Verizon (channel 10), or livestreaming on DCTV.org. See below for more information on each episode, include air dates and participants:

  • May 10 and May 14: Reflecting on DC’s Public Charter Schools with Josephine Baker, the first chair and executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board.
  • May 17 and May 21: The Founding of Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, with founder Linda Moore.
  • May 24 and May 28: The Founding of AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, with founder Jack McCarthy.
  • May 31 and June 4: Examining Community-driven Change in DC’s Public Education System, with renowned community organization CentroNía founder BB Otero.
  • June 7 and June 11: The Founding of Friendship Public Charter Schools, with founder Donald Hense.

Monday’s Living History series premiere kicks off National Charter Schools Week (May 10-14), celebrating the nearly 7,500 public charter schools and campuses across the nation, including the schools that serve more than 40,000 students in DC. This year’s national celebration marks the 30th anniversary of the nation’s first charter school law. In recognition of the national public charter school movement’s history and future, this year’s theme is National Charter Schools Week 2021: 30 Years Strong.

“As we celebrate 30 years of tremendous success in the charter school sector nationwide and the more than 40,000 students who choose a charter school in DC, we are reflecting on our successes, spotlighting the leaders who brought us here, and looking forward to the next 30 years,” said Shannon Hodge, founding Executive Director of the DC Charter School Alliance. “We are humbled and inspired by the work of DC’s public charter school movement leaders. We look forward to the opportunity to learn from their remarkable successes through the Living History series as we continue building a truly equitable education system in our city.”