By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist
At this month’s working session held this past Wednesday, Interim Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) Ahnna Smith spoke to State Board members about the ongoing search for the new District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor. Mayor Bowser launched the search process earlier this summer, appointing the Our Schools Leadership Committee (OSLC) to advise her on the selection and hold community meetings to gather information from residents. Deputy Mayor Smith shared feedback from the recently conducted Chancellor search community forums and asked State Board members for their thoughts on the process and the qualities needed in a successful Chancellor candidate. The goal of the OSLC is to serve as an advisory body that ensures that the feedback the mayor receives from the community is collected in a balanced, thorough, and equitable way. You can watch the lively discussion on our YouTube page.
Two out of the three scheduled forums have already taken place, at Cardozo Education Campus and Savoy Elementary School. Ms. Smith said that approximately 300 diverse stakeholders of students, parents, educators, and community members registered to attend the two events, and there are over 100 RSVPs for next week’s third and final forum at Brookland Middle School on September 11. During these community forums, people are being asked directly about how they feel about the current direction of DCPS, both positive and negative. The goal is to receive direct and frank feedback in order to make the best choice possible.
The Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments (MOTA), which is spearheading the search process, has officially posted the Chancellor position. On strong advisement from the OSLC, MOTA will be bringing on an executive search firm to assist in the process.
The OSLC so far has identified 3 top priorities:
- Commitment to Ethics
- Willingness to Listen
State Board members then engaged with Ms. Smith in an active Q&A on the search and ideas around what will make the search successful for the community. Ms. Smith said she welcomed any questions, recommendations, or suggestions State Board members might have.
Meeting notes and video recordings from community meetings and forums for the Chancellor search are now online at the Our Schools website. Community members are encouraged to attend the last forum in-person or submit feedback through an online survey. Ms. Smith noted that a report from the OSLC is expected to be released by late October.