D.C. charter advocate reaches national hall of fame


The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is inducting longtime D.C. charter school advocate Malcolm “Mike” Peabody into its Hall of Fame.

Peabody founded Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS) as a local advocacy group in 1996. It “quickly became one of the most visible and aggressive voices in the city’s burgeoning charter school movement … advocating for equal funding and fair access to city-owned buildings,” according to the national alliance.

Today, nearly half of D.C. public school students attend a charter school, the alliance says. At FOCUS, Peabody is now board member emeritus after serving as the group’s longtime board chair.

The alliance’s Charter School Hall of Fame recognizes innovation, inspiration and long-term commitment to the growth of charter schools, according to its website. Peabody is one of three honorees for 2017.

In addition to the honor from the national alliance, Peabody was inducted into the D.C. Charter Hall of Fame at its inaugural year in 2016, according to a release from FOCUS. This year he will welcome three new inductees: Robert Cane, the former executive director of FOCUS; Irasema Salcido, founder of Cesar Chavez Public Charter School; and the late Cassandra Pinkney, founder of Eagle Academy Public Charter School.

The inductees were honored at the annual FOCUS gala on May 11 at D.C.’s Longview Gallery.