When I was younger, my mother would make an hour-long trip via bus to pick me up from Hearst Elementary. Together we would make an hour-long journey back home. She made this daily odyssey across the District so that I wouldn’t have to attend our poorly performing neighborhood school – a school so flailing it was closed by the District. No parent should ever have to trek across the city in hopes of granting their child a good public school education.
I believe that a great public school education is the right of every child in the District of Columbia – which is why I’m running for the At-Large seat on the State Board of Education.
As you next State Board of Education member, I will:
- Increase College Preparedness
Raising high school graduation rates from the District’s 64% towards the record-high national average of 80% isn’t enough, one-third of DC high school students are unprepared for entry-level college courses. The average DCPS student who attends UDC has to take remedial courses. That’s why Walter Deleon will:
- Push OSSE to Expand Access to Early College Credit. The District of Columbia should support innovative efforts to better prepare high schoolers for college, like expanded accelerated learning and dual-enrollment programs. Programs like these allow students to earn college credits in high school and save families money.
- Expand Access to Quality College Counseling. Better access to counseling for high schoolers is critical to helping lower-income and first-generation students apply for, navigate, and graduate from college, increasing college enrollment and graduation rates overall. Walter will push the DC Council to dismantle the DC Film Incentive Fund and funnel that money into hiring more college counselors.
- Increase Transparency
Walter Deleon will push the DC Council and Mayor to fund a data warehouse system for DC schools by Fiscal Year ’19. Such a system is recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
- A Place for Unified Information about Every DC School. A data warehouse system will make stats and other information about every DC Public School available to the general public — from parents to researchers.
- Strengthen High School Curriculums
A high school education should prepare students for college and the jobs of the 21st Century. As your next At-Large member of the State Board of Education, Walter Deleon will push to raise our graduation rates from 64% and work to improve our schools through more than just building modernization.
- Comprehensive Sex Education. To combat the second highest rate of unplanned pregnancies in the country (62%), and a sharp rise in HIV contraction among young people in the District of Columbia, Walter will push for the creation of a comprehensive sex education curriculum that will be made available to all public schools in the District. Currently, DC schools do not have any form of comprehensive sex education standards.
- Coding as a Language Option. Walter Deleon will fight to make sure OSSE establishes coding as a language option for high school students. HTML, CSS, & C are the universal languages of the 21st Century and give students a competitive edge in the digital workforce.
Real School Choice
Walter Deleon believes that if families’ only choice for a high-quality school is either a charter school or forces them to trek across the city to a higher-performing public school, then they don’t have “school choice.” Walter Deleon will fight for high-quality neighborhood schools that families can depend on.
- Push the DC Council to create a 10 Year plan to modernize ALL public schools. It is obscene that there are some schools in the District with elevated levels of lead in their water. Walter Deleon will work with the DC Council to ensure that a 6 to 10 year plan is established to fund the remodelling of the remainder of the District’s schools.
Now more than ever, DC students need a fighter. And I want to be that fighter.