podcastED: SUFS president Doug Tuthill interviews Friendship Public Charter School CEO Patricia Brantley

On this episode, Tuthill talks with the leader of a cohort of 16 charter schools in the Washington, D.C., area that primarily educate families of color. The two discuss how Friendship, which serves more than 4,500 students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, has adapted its education delivery in the wake of the global pandemic.

 Brantley observes that one of her biggest surprises has been feedback from families of students with special needs who say their children are less distracted, learning more, and getting better personalized feedback from their teachers in digital or hybrid learning environments. She discusses with Tuthill the unbundling of education services to provide families with more flexibility and options, the growing trend of families creating small “pod” schools in their homes, and the necessity of providing internet access to all children to ensure educational equity.

“Adults need to think differently, and they need to catch up with kids … (Families in pods) are getting an amazing education. But that education is owed to all our children regardless of their parents’ resources. We need to figure out how we’re going to get it delivered to them.”


·       What Friendship has learned over the past two semesters of innovation and how it plans to improve for the future

·       Creating a robust professional development system for Friendship’s teachers and staff

·       Strengths of the digital environment and how technological advancements can personalize education

·       The benefits of unbundling education services and the ways entrenched systems may react and adapt