Executive Director Judith Sandalow testified before the DC Council’s Committee on Education regarding the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE) fiscal year 2013 performance. In her testimony, she urges the agency to focus in the coming year on expanding special education capacity in the public schools, improving oversight of special education at the charter schools, and standardizing high school graduation requirements.
- Special education capacity. OSSE should increase its support of two successful programs—the DC Association for Special Education Consortium training model and satellite special education classrooms in city charter schools—and take the lead in ensuring that all city schools provide high quality special education services and that the system provides the range of services necessary to meet students’ diverse needs.
- Oversight of special education at charter schools. Based on problems uncovered at Option Public Charter School, OSSE should revise its policy to allow for more unannounced observations, and the results and school data reviews should be shared in a way that allows parents to use the information to inform their school choices, and OSSE should direct city-funded education groups to spend their performance plan funding to remediate specific deficiencies identified by OSSE.
- Standardize high school graduation requirements. OSSE should consider requiring all city schools to accept comparable credits from other schools even if courses are not exactly the same, and offer partial credit to students who move before completing a course.