Washington, DC –– Today, the DC Charter School Alliance welcomed Francesca “Franki” McDaniel as its new Director of Organizing. In this role, McDaniel will work across key stakeholder groups to increase and expand engagement and advocacy so that every DC student can choose high-quality public schools that prepare them for lifelong success. She will focus on developing and leading the DC Alliance’s strategies and initiatives to create positive social impact, develop helpful programs, and enlist community support for causes. McDaniel will also develop and deepen relationships with partner organizations; support parents, families, and community members as they work to regularly engage the public and their leaders on behalf of the charter sector; and plan events that build community online and in targeted locations in and around DC.
“We are excited to have Franki join the DC charter school community,” said DC Charter School Alliance Founding Executive Director Shannon Hodge. “As the city celebrates 25 years of charter schools, it’s now more important than ever to build on our success and assure that all stakeholder voices –– including parents, students, and public school leaders –– are heard. Franki’s role in that effort will be pivotal.”
McDaniel brings a wealth of experience to her new DC charter schools role. As the former Director of Community Programs at Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters), she was responsible for designing and implementing the organization’s community engagement strategy, which connected with 5000 stakeholders statewide. She also led the effort to recruit strong leaders to open charter public schools through school incubation fellowships while supporting the charter sector through advocacy and technical assistance and serving as the lead voice and hub for information for a high-quality charter public school sector in Washington state. Her work included leading the execution of WA Charter’s family and community engagement strategies and coordinating parent engagement and advocacy initiatives.
McDaniel previously served two years as the Youth Services Assistant for Seattle Public Schools and as After School Program Counselor for the Torrance-South Bay YMCA, in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
“Homegrown organizing is at the heart of every major social movement in the U.S., and leading the charge has always been women, parents, students, and teachers,” said McDaniel. “The focus of my role leading and shaping our organizing work will be to ensure that remains true in DC’s charter sector and provide stakeholders the platform and resources necessary to make the changes they wish to see in their communities and schools.”
In her spare time, McDaniel has volunteered for the ACLU of Southern California and on behalf of a range of civil rights and social action causes. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Seattle Pacific University.