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Gray Continues Push For Charter School Expansion in D.C.

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credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Fresh off the heels of his education reform speech that was met with some protest Thursday, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray continues to push for changing the educational landscape in the District.

Gray used his weekly Sunday radio address heard exclusively on All-News 99.1 WNEW to once again lay out his plans for education reform, a key portion of which, Gray says, is striking a balance between charter and public schools.

He believes an expansion of charter schools will be beneficial to D.C.’s youth — and the time to act is now.

“I think you’ve got to move ahead,” Gray says. “I don’t think we have time to have meeting after meeting, month after month or year after year of discussion.”

Gray’s push for expanding charter schools in the District has been met with backlash from some residents.

“The perception that charters are really on a mission to get rid of D.C. public schools” is not true, Gray says. “We need to start looking at this as one approach to education over two different governing systems (D.C. Public Schools and Public Charters).”

Gray knows the most effective tool in convincing people that charter schools are a positive for the city’s education system will be results.

“A lot of the convincing comes from people seeing results, and those results will come as the result of the changes that we make,” Gray says.

More importantly, he says, people need to consider what is best for the city’s children.

“The convincing that we’ve got to do, I think, is to help people understand that the most important thing we should focus on is getting the best possible outcomes for our children,” he says.

In addition to a common, simplified lottery system for D.C. residents, Gray also is happy the school boundaries finally have been redrawn.

“The boundaries have not been really comprehensibly redrawn in four decades,” Gray says.

Listen to Gray’s weekly radio address in its entirety:

The mayor’s weekly radio address can be heard at 10:05 a.m. every Sunday exclusively on All-News 99.1 WNEW and streamed online.

WNEW’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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