New Members of SBOE HS Graduation Requirements Task Force

Today, we announced the new members of our High School Graduation Requirements Task Force! This initiative, announced earlier this month, marks an historic city-wide effort to review, analyze and, as necessary, make thoughtful, implementable recommendations to adjust DC’s high school graduation requirements for all DCPS and public charter school students. The Task Force, under the leadership of Ward 1 representative Laura Wilson Phelan and Ward 8 representative Markus Batchelor, will consist of 26 members who will provide unique insights relevant to high school graduation.

The application period closed at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 23, 2017. Each application was subsequently anonymized to ensure objectivity in selection. The SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee reviewed each application and selected the following members to serve on the task force. To view a list of everyone who applied to the task force, click here.

The SBOE is excited to work with such diverse voices, including representatives from our education governing bodies, on such an important issue. Below are the selected members of the Task Force.

Laura Wilson Phelan (co-chair)
• Ward 1 Representative, SBOE
• Chair, SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee

Markus Batchelor (co-chair)
• Ward 8 Representative, SBOE
• Chair, SBOE Public Engagement & Outreach Committee

Celine Fejeran
• Deputy Director, Raise DC
• Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

Cara Fuller
• Principal, DCPS Ballou Stay High School
• 5 years experience as Principal
• Ward 8 Resident

Carol Randolph
• Chief Operating Officer, DC Students Construction Trades Foundation (Ward 7)
• 16 years working to expand trade skills in District schools
• Ward 4 Resident

Cathy Reilly
• Executive Director, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.)
• Ward 4 Education Alliance, C4DC
• Ward 4 Resident

Cosby Hunt
• Senior Officer of Teaching & Learning, Center for Inspired Teaching
• Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

David Tansey
• Math Teacher, DCPS McKinley Tech High School (Ward 5)
• Math for America, Washington Teacher’s Union (WTU)
• Ward 5 Resident

Dwan Jordon
• Senior Advisor for High School Research, Friendship PCS
• Former Principal, Sousa MS (DCPS); Friendship Collegiate PCHS (Ward 7)
• Ward 4 Resident

Jahari Shelton
• Student, Sidwell Friends School
• Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
• Ward 7 Resident

Jimell Sanders
• Director of Engagement, DC Language Immersion Project
• DCPS Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Julie Camerata
• Executive Director, DC Special Education Cooperative
• Public Charter Middle School Parent
• Ward 1 Resident

Karla Reid-Witt
• Family Dynamics Specialist, JumpStart
• DCPS High School Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Kimberly Martin
• Principal, DCPS Wilson High School
• 15 years experience as High School Principal
• DCPS Parent
• Ward 3 Resident

Larry R. Greenhill, Sr.
• Vice President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26
• 20 years experience with District apprenticeship programs
• Ward 8 Resident

Latisha Chisholm
• Special Education Coordinator, Anacostia High School
• Former English, Science, and Special Education Teacher
• Ward 8 Resident

Sandra Jowers-Barber, Ph.D.
• Director, Division of Humanities, University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC)
• Former History Professor
• Ward 4 Resident

Sanjay K. Mitchell
• Director of College & Alumni Programs, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS
• Former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions
• Ward 7 Resident

Senovia L. Hurtado
• Bilingual School Counselor, School Without Walls
• DCPS High School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

Shenita Ray
• Director of Online Operations, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
• 10 years experience in higher education
• Ward 5 Resident

Tom Brown
• Executive Director, Training Grounds, Inc.
• DCPS / Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Erin Bibo
• Deputy Chief, College & Career Programs, DC Public Schools (DCPS)

Jane Spence
• Deputy Chief, Secondary Schools (MS/HS), DC Public Schools (DCPS)

Justin Tooley
• Special Assistant for Legislation & Policy, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)

Naomi DeVeaux
• Deputy Director, DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB)

SBOE Student Representative
• Member of 2017-2018 Student Advisory Committee, SBOE (TBA)

This task force will examine the following questions and recommend changes to the graduation requirements based on its findings:

  1. What do we as a city want our high school diploma to mean?
  2. How should we measure whether a student has achieved the standards of a diploma?
  3. What changes to DC’s graduation requirements, if any, should be made to ensure our diploma reflects achievement of these standards?

Task force meetings will meet two times per month, starting in July and concluding in Spring 2018. District residents will have many opportunities to stay involved and provide input throughout this process. The SBOE will convene parent focus groups and student focus groups to both generate ideas for the task force to consider and to brainstorm ideas during the course of discussions. The focus groups will be representative of the demographics of students in the city, where half of all DCPS and public charter students reside in Wards 7 and 8. For the latest updates on the work of the task force, please visit sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs.

2nd SAC Report: Graduation Requirements and Hall Sweeps Top Student Concerns

At June’s public meeting, State Board members voted on the final version of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) report presented by SBOE Student Representative Alex Dorosin of Wilson High School. Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 9.56.59 AMThis report is the second annual report presented by the Student Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC met four times over the course of the 2016­-2017 school year and selected seven key topics that the SAC feels can be changed or improved in the DC education system.The proposals submitted by the SAC focused on graduation requirements, security, access to humanities and civic engagement courses, hall sweeps, food and nutrition, grading systems, and student socialization.

Student representatives have been pivotal to the success of the work of the SBOE. Our student representatives and SAC members offer a unique perspective on how policies actually impact the District’s students. SAC Mtg May'17The Student Advisory Committee serves as the voice of students in the State Board’s work. They are consulted on all issues of policy before the State Board. Student Representatives serve as co-chairs of the Student Advisory Committee.  The Committee is composed of a minimum of 15 high school students, one from each of the 10 largest (by student population) high schools in the District and 5 additional members from other high schools.  Read the report here.

Chavez Students Present Policy Solutions at Palooza Fair

By: Amber Faith, Policy Fellow

On Friday June 16th, 9th and 10th grade students attending Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy participated in the school’s annual Palooza Fair to present the results of their Community Action Projects (CAP). As a part of the CAP assignment, Chavez students worked in groups to research a policy issue, identify a problem in their community and create a policy to solve the problem. While working on their projects, students contacted and worked with experts on their topic, created and distributed surveys to community members, and completed 30 hours of community service relating to their topics.

The Palooza Fair was the culmination of the students’ work on these projects. At the fair, students gave presentations on current problems relating to human trafficking, immigration, animal rights and the U.S. military. The students succinctly and clearly presented data and information to show evidence of a problem, identified current policies meant to address the problem, and recommended changes to policy and strategies for their community to address these issues.

The work completed by Chavez 9th and 10th grade students is a requirement by Chavez schools to prepare students for the work the thesis work they will complete as Seniors. Seniors at Chavez are required to complete much more in depth research into policy solutions for current issues and present their research at Chavez’s Annual Symposium. The work completed by Chavez students falls in line with the school’s mission, part of which is to empower students to use public policy to make positive changes in their communities. To learn more about the program at Chavez Schools, visit Chavez Schools.

Can We Bridge the Research-to-Policy Divide?

By: Tara Adam, Policy Fellow

On Thursday, June 15, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, sponsored by the Knowledge Alliance, held a lively panel discussion on the topic: Moderated by the President of the think tank, Michael J Petrilli, discussants included: Dale Chu, VP of Policy and Operations at America Succeeds; Dan Goldhaber, Director, CEDR University of Washington & Director, CALDER & Vice President, AIR; Liz Farley-Ripple, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, University of Delaware; and Nora Gordon, Associate Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University.

The discussion opened with a brief synopsis by Mr. Petrilli discussing the recent movement of policy making power and implementation from the federal to state level, as called for by the Every Student Succeeds Act. He noted that state legislatures are now Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 3.35.22 PM.pngresponsible for being catalysts of policy change driven by sound, empirical evidence. In order to exemplify what type of questions policymakers may be asking when driving such changes, Mr. Petrilli designed an interactive group exercise for panelists entitled, “The Wheel of Policy.” When spun, the wheel landed on the topic of teacher licensure. The group proceeded to brainstorm questions to spur conversation. What was the impact of having fifty different state licensure exams and what was the outcome of having an exam that differs significantly from surrounding states? Given the number of questions, it was clear to the panelists and event attendees that the breadth of teacher licensure is significant and can be broken down into a multitude of subtopics.

From here, the discussion moved to understanding the role politics plays in the dynamic interplay between research and policy. The consensus amongst Mr. Chu and Ms. Farley-Ripple was that as policy analysts, they were more inclined to seek out researchers who produced evidence that support their policy Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 3.34.40 PM.pngclaims and beliefs. This in turn prompted Mr. Goldhaber and Ms. Gordon to rebuke and state that it was imperative that the public understands what type of research was informing said policy claims and where and from whom educational institutions and think tanks receive funding from as there is greater potential for underlying evidential biases.

The event concluded with a brief question and answer session. Attendees talked about the impact of international politics on US policy implementation and whether there should be best practice guides for education policy. During closing remarks, Mr. Goldhaber made mention of and commended the efforts by DC Public Schools (DCPS) on being an exemplary model for other states to follow when creating policy that are clearly rooted in empirical evidence. Mr. Petrilli echoed this sentiment and followed up by stating that this practice was also led by charter school management systems. To learn more about the event and watch the replay, click here.

 

Parents Empowered in Ward 7

By: Marcia Bailey, Policy Intern

On Saturday, May 6, several community members from Ward 7 participated in the most recent Parent Empowerment Kickoff Series held by DC State Board of Education President and Ward 7 representative, Karen Williams and DC Student Advocate, Faith Gibson Hubbard. As overseer of DC’s Ward 7, DC State Board member Karen Williams welcomed all residents at Cesar Chavez PCS Parkside to take part in a Parent Empowerment Summit.Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 3.47.32 PM

The summit began with a breakdown of two phases. Phase one was a panel discussion on how parents can be involved in the public education system in Ward 7. Phase two focused on a hands-on working session in which parents learned from facilitators how they can effectively engage in the advocacy and decision-making processes of the education system.

Board member Karen Williams, guest speakers from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Council office, and many more gave insight to the parents and residents of Ward 7 by providing them knowledge on how they can engage as a community into their schools’ education system. The point of the summit is for community members to come together, be empowered by one another in order to take a stand, and create a foundation for Ward 7’s education system.

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 3.47.17 PMBuilding  strong advocacy as a unit will ensure that the community is pleased with Ward 7 as a whole. The Office of the Student Advocate partnered with Board member Karen Williams in order to show how strong they feel about the ward coming together to learn the importance of advocating for their community.

SBOE Approves New ESSA Task Force

Moves to Include Historically Marginalized Voices

At our May Public Meeting, the SBOE approved the creation of a new ESSA Advisory Task Force! This new task force will help advise the State Board over the next year and will be chaired by our Ward 4 representative, Dr. Lanette Woodruff. The SBOE is committed to involving broad community input in the decision making related to the Every Student Succeeds Act, particularly voices that have been ignored and sidelined historically.

With this new task force, the State Board will conduct community roundtables and focus groups to gather input on the remaining ESSA accountability plan measures, pilot studies, and school report cards from essential District education stakeholders. This task force will consist of two parent reprechildren-progress-in-our-schools (ed.gov)sentatives, two student representatives, two teacher representatives, two ward education group representatives, two District business representatives, two community education advocates, two national education experts, the District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor or designee, one District of Columbia Public Charter School Board designee, an OSSE designee, State Board President or designee, and two SBOE representatives. Read the full resolution HERE.

In the coming months, the SBOE will release to the public a plan of action that will provide a clear and transparent process of engagement on the elements we, as a city, want to see in our school report cards. The SBOE is committed to approving a report card that ensures that parents no longer have to search for essential information across multiple websites and that they provide full stories of each school. The SBOE will also work with the Mayor and Council to ensure that these report cards are accessible and translated into all of the languages required by the Language Access Act.