First #ESSA Task Force Meeting a Success

The ESSA Task Force held its first meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at 6 p.m. at 441 4th St. NW in Room 1114. The 29 members of the task force began their important work of devising education policy recommendations related to the District’s implementation of ESSA. Representatives from DC Public Schools, the Public Charter School Board, LearnDC, My School DC, and GreatSchools made detailed presentations showcasing the existing school report cards here in the District.

Task force members relished the opportunity to get to know each other and offer their viewpoints on must haves and a wish list for a future template of a school report card. Under the leadership of Ward 4 representative Dr. Lannette Woodruff, the task force will advise the SBOE over the next two years on implementation of DC’s ESSA plan. Task force members include parents, community leaders, education agency leaders, students, teachers, school leaders, and nonprofit personnel who work in relevant fields. The task force will divide into four subcommittees that will address school report cards, access and opportunity measures, high school growth measures, and school climate pilots. The next task force meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. For updated information regarding ESSA, please visit

Proposed: New DCPS Teacher Contract

Yesterday, Mayor Muriel Bowser welcomed back DC Public Schools (DCPS) teachers for School Year 2017-2018 with a huge announcement. DCPS teachers are finally close to getting a new contract. At Bunker Hill Elementary School in Ward 5 with several education leaders at her side, Mayor Bowser unveiled a new teacher contract proposal that, if approved, will yield a 9% raise for DCPS teachers. Mayor Bowser was joined by City Administrator Rashad Young, Councilmember David Grosso, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennie Niles, DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson, Washington Teachers Union President Liz Davis, and Bunker Hill Elementary School Principal Kara Kuchemba to announce the news.

Under the proposed contract, educators will receive:

  • salary increases, including a 4 percent retroactive increase in Fiscal Year 2017, a 3 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2018, and a 2 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2019;
  • additional benefits; and
  • structured collaborative engagement between DCPS and the WTU on various issues, including extended-year schools.

Over the last school year, DC Public Schools employed more than 4,000 teachers who served approximately 50,000 students across 115 schools. Teachers have not received a base salary raise since 2012. DC Public School teachers enjoy the highest first-year teacher salary nationwide at $53,000 currently.

The nearly 4,500 members of the Washington Teachers Union are now tasked with voting on the proposal over the next two weeks. Eleven extended-year schools began school yesterday and the remaining schools will start the school year on Monday, August 21.

Mayor’s Press Release
Mayor Bowser’s Facebook Live Announcement – Recording
Councilmember Grosso applauds tentative new teacher contract
Tentative Contract

SBOE in the Community: August 2017

This week, members of the SBOE went into the community to help students get ready for back to school. On Friday, August 4th, Ward 3 representativDGZdFWyW0AILkede Ruth Wattenberg accompanied Councilmember Mary Cheh on her annual tour of Ward 3 schools. The purpose of Cheh’s visits is to assess school needs, such as broken air conditioners or new textbooks. This year’s tour had a more specific focus – addressing issues resulting from overcrowding in classrooms. WTOP quoted Ms. Cheh as saying there school building functioning has improved immensely. Both Ms. Wattenberg and Councilmember Cheh have also been advocating for the restoration of staff positions at Wilson High School and other Ward 3 schools. When DCPS releases its final budget, the public will know more about how DCPS plans to address this issue. Learn more about the school tour:

Later in the week, Markus Batchelor worked to stay up-to-date on issues impacting his constituents in Ward 8. On Tuesday, August 8th, Mr. Batchelor attended an ANC 8A meeting to hear DC Attorney General Karl Racine discuss affordable housing and the Alternatives to Court Experience Program (ACE), which Mr. Racine piloted to divert juveniles away from the school to prison pipeline. So far the program has an 80% success rate for preventing juvenile re-arrests. More information about the ACE program can be found here:

DG5ms-SXkAAmSylOn Thursday, August 10th, Ashley Carter, At-Large representative for the SBOE, helped out with back-to-school preparations by packing backpacks for United Way DC’s Stuff the Bus Project. This project helps provide students in need with school supplies and personal care items. For information on how to get involved:

Meet Our #ESSA Task Force Members!

Today, the DC State Board of Education proudly announced the members of its new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Task Force. Under the leadership of Ward 4 representative Dr. Lannette Woodruff, the ESSA Task Force will help advise the SBOE over the next two years on implementation of DC’s ESSA plan. The SBOE is committed to continuing to involve broad community input in the decision making related to the Every Student Succeeds Act.

To ensure a balance of perspectives, the State Board has chosen task force members who represent a broad constituency and will contribute meaningfully to education policy recommendations related to the 2017 DC ESSA Plan. Task Force members include parents, community leaders, education agency leaders, students, teachers, school leaders, and nonprofit personnel who work in relevant fields.

The SBOE is excited to work with such a tremendous group of diverse voices. Below are the selected members of the Task Force.

Name Affiliation
Lannette Woodruff • Ward 4 Representative, State Board of Education
• Chair, ESSA Task Force
Alexander Rose-Henig (n) • Dean of Students, BASIS DC
Allyson Criner Brown • Associate Director, Teaching for Change, Ward 7 Education Council
Amon Payne • Student, Columbia Heights Educational Campus
Anne Herr (n) • Director of School Quality, FOCUS
Daniel Rodriguez • Student, Benjamin Banneker High School
DCPS designee • Chancellor, DC Public Schools
Deborah Williams (n) • Head of School, Inspired Teaching PCS K-8
Donald Hense • Chairman, Friendship Public Charter Schools
Elizabeth V. Primas • Program Manager ESSA, National Newspaper Publishers Association
Erica Hwang (n) • Instructional Coach – Math, Brightwood Education Campus
Faith Hubbard (n) • Chief Student Advocate, State Board of Education
Jack Jacobson • Ward 2 Representative and Vice President, State Board of Education
Jacque Patterson (n) • DC Regional Director, Rocketship Public Schools
Jhonna Turner • Parent Engagement Program Coordinator, Washington Lawyers’ Committee
Joe Weedon • Ward 6 Representative, State Board of Education
Josh Boots • Executive Director, EmpowerK12
Julie Anne Green • Executive Director, New Futures
Karen Williams • Ward 7 Representative and President, State Board of Education
Laura Fuchs • Teacher, H.D. Woodson High School, WTU Board Member
Maya Martin • Executive Director, Parents Amplifying Voices in Education
PCSB designee • Chair, Public Charter School Board
Ramona Edelin (n) • Executive Director, DC Association of Chartered Public Schools
Richard Pohlman (n) • Executive Director, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS
Samantha Brown • Special Education and Reading Teacher, Calvin Coolidge High School
Shana Young or designee • Chief of Staff, Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Sheila Strain-Clark • Parent, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan
Suzanne Wells • Founder, Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Yolanda Corbett • Co-Chair, Parent Advocate Leaders Group

Total: 21 voting, 8 non-voting

The application period closed at noon on Monday, July 24, 2017. Each application was anonymized to ensure objectivity in selection. A panel appointed by Dr. Woodruff reviewed each application and strived to ensure membership was proportionately representative to the backgrounds of the students here in the District. In keeping with the SBOE’s commitment to transparency, all applications for the Task Force were open to public review. To view a list of task force applicants, click here.

Over the course of two years, four subcommittees will address school report cards, an access and opportunity measure, a high school growth measure, and school climate pilots. Task force meetings begin later this month and will continue on a monthly basis for the duration of the members’ two-year commitment. For updated information regarding ESSA, please visit