The first Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy in Washington, DC was founded in September 1998 with the vision of developing young people who will make our country a better place by influencing the public policies that affect their communities.
At Chavez, we have two core elements that permeate everything we do: prepare students to succeed in college and teach them to make a difference in the world. As a school for public policy, we are looking for teachers who understand and fully support our mission.
The study of public policy is a way of investigating how the government, organized groups and individuals can establish justice and secure liberty for our community. Students use public policy as a lens to view the world. We focus on ideas and investigation rather than fact memorization as a way of teaching civic dispositions or beliefs. Public policy instruction is experiential, project-based, and centered on controversial issues.
Through a cycle of constant understanding, taking action, and reflecting on attitudes and growth, our students build the character traits most conducive to our democracy. All teachers work with our public policy staff on incorporating civic lessons into their courses through course-specific unit projects and inter-disciplinary projects. Teachers of all content areas also lead our students through our signature public policy experiences such as our end of the year Capstone, Community Action Project and Fellowship. These experiences lead students through real-world problems as they investigate the problems, perform community service to address the problems directly, and advocate to the public and government officials on the best solutions for these problems.