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The Wireless Foundation and DC Public Charter School Board Release Free Mobile App MyDCcharters

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wireless Foundation, DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) and DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the release of the MyDCcharters, a free mobile app that provides detailed information on the city's public charter schools. The app, which was introduced at the 4th annual DC Public Charter School Expo, locates the closest schools and provides information on a school's performance, application deadlines, program offerings and transportation options to help parents make informed decisions about their child's education. Powered by Boopsie, the free app is available for download on Android and BlackBerry platforms and is coming soon to iOS platforms.

MyDCcharters is based entirely on the PCSB's Performance Management Framework (PMF), PCSB's annual tool for assessing and monitoring charter school performance. Users can see lists of high-performing schools and search for schools by type of program, giving parents on-the-go access to school quality information. More than 35,000 students attend DC charter schools, about 43 percent of the city's public school population, and more than 83 percent of the students are African American and more than 72 percent are from economically disadvantaged households.

Research has shown that the average adoption rate of wireless technology is higher among low-income and minority households. According to a December 2012 survey by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, while 45 percent of all Americans own a smartphone, the number increases to more than 47 percent among African-Americans and Hispanics. These smartphone users are also more likely to use their smartphone to access the Internet, with 60 percent of African-Americans and 66 percent of Hispanics compared to 52 percent of Caucasians.

"As a champion of public education, I support giving DC parents the information they need related to their child's education in a format that works for them. Almost everyone has a mobile device, or access to one, and MyDCcharters allows parents across the city to learn more about charter school performance from the palm of their hand," said Mayor Gray.

Brian W. Jones, Chairman of the DC Public Charter School Board, said MyDCcharters reflects the Board's commitment to continue to find creative and innovative ways to empower DC parents with information about charter school options and performance.

"Parents today demand reliable and easily accessible information to make good choices for their children," Jones said. "MyDCcharters gives busy parents useful information about charter school performance in a clear and simple format that's available anytime, anywhere."

Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA and President of The Wireless Foundation, said: "For low income and minority populations, who have historically had limited Internet access, mobile devices and services offer access to the Internet and all of the opportunities associated with anytime and anywhere online services. From education to healthcare, wireless technologies are removing the 'digital divide' and are providing kids and their parents with the necessary information to make the best decisions for their family. The MyDCcharters app is another example of the wireless industry's commitment to helping families as they decide if a charter school is right for their kids."

This is the second national launch of a mobile app for charter school parents. In New Orleans, where roughly 71 percent of students attend charter schools, The Wireless Foundation and New Orleans Parent Organizing Network (NOLA PON), released the "NOLA Parent's Guide" in May 2012, a mobile app for parents and students with information on the city's public and public charter schools.

To download the free MyDCcharters app, please visit http://dcpcsb.boopsie.com.

About The Wireless Foundation
The Wireless Foundation (www.wirelessfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation's innovative programs benefit consumers in areas such as education, healthcare, safety and the environment. As part of its Annual Achievement Awards, the Foundation recognizes VITA™ Wireless Samaritans and honors the best of our nation's leadership, its youth and its scholars. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991.

About DC Public Charter School Board
The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB currently oversees 57 public charter schools 102 campuses serving 35,019 students living in every ward of the city. Learn more at www.dcpcsb.org.

SOURCE The Wireless Foundation

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