Op-eds and Articles

Langhorne for Reinventing America’s Schools at The 74, “Q&A: At D.C.’s Washington Latin Public Charter School, ‘the Greatest Success Is the Culture’”

By / 9.22.2017

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.

At the end of the last school year, Smith challenged the 160 eighth and ninth grade students at WLPCS to stay off of their screens, including televisions, all day every Tuesday during the summer — from June 13 to August 22, 2017. She promised to give each successful student $100 out of her own pocket.

Last week, when WLPCS opened for the new school year, Smith awarded $3,400 dollars to 34 of the 38 successful students.  (Four students declined the momentary reward, but all students gained something).

WLPCS is a Classics-based school with a clear mission and impressive reputation. A Tier 1 public charter school, the school uses a classical approach to education to help students distinguish between information and knowledge, to engage in public forums and socratic seminars, and to develop character, which WLPCS defines as the intersection of intellectual and moral development.

And, yes, each student must take Latin.

The success of the school comes from the hard work of many educators and involved parents, but no one can overlook the role that Smith — imbued with creativity and sense of purpose like her No Tech Tuesday Challenge — and her strong leadership plays in the school’s achievements.

Reinventing Schools’ Emily Langhorne recently spoke with Smith to discuss what makes WLPCS unique.

Read the interview here.