WASHINGTON — For the 20 Democratic candidates who tussled onstage in Detroit last week for their party’s nomination, the debates were a chance to goose poll numbers, undercut rivals and wring donations from potential voters.
For the nearly 200 students who attended a summer debate program last week run by the Washington Urban Debate League, the contests were something else: a lesson plan.
The program, a two-week boot camp for middle and high schoolers held at the Washington Latin Public Charter School, enrolls mostly minority students from underserved backgrounds. The presidential debates offered a teachable moment, said David Trigaux, the league’s program director.
“We always try to find ways to connect to what’s going on in the public discussion,” he said. “The timing of the debates couldn’t be better to provide examples of some things to do and some things not to do.”
The standardized test scores at Washington Latin Public Charter School are among the best in the District. The waiting list of families clamoring to enroll in the middle and high school clocks in at more than 1,500 students. And the school, which educates about 700 children and boasts a rigorous classical curriculum, sends its graduates to the nation’s most prestigious universities.
But when Washington Latin sought permission from the city to double in size and open a second campus, it was not a slam-dunk decision.
Two of seven members on the D.C. Public Charter School Board — the oversight panel that decides which charters open and close — voted against the school’s application. Other board members expressed their reluctance. And while the board voted in July to allow Washington Latin to establish a second campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, board members made school leaders agree to more than a half-dozen conditions. READ MORE
Reporter Kidd O’Shea dropped by to appreciate our teachers on Thursday of Teacher Appreciation Week. He brought coffee and breakfast, we shared why we teach. A few early-rising students also shared what they love about teachers at Latin. Diana Smith also introduced our Jazz Band and the juniors’ field trip with veterans to the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville, PA with The 9:57 Project. Watch online!
Q&A: At D.C.’s Washington Latin Public Charter School, ‘the Greatest Success Is the Culture’
By Emily Langhorne, Reinventing America’s Schools
Diana Smith, principal of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., received a lot of press this summer when her No-Tech Tuesday Challengecaught the interest of the media, educators, and parents. Read more…
Upper school Arabic teacher Joe Hamd was interviewed on Al Jazeera Arabic in a live TV broadcast around the globe. He spoke about Qatar Foundation International and teaching Arabic in the United States. He had the chance to speak about the work that QFI does to enhance Washington Latin’s foreign language program and teach about modern cultures.