Farewell from Ward 5 Representative Zachary Parker

As my time ends on the D.C. State Board of Education, I am proud to reflect on the tremendous impact the State Board has had on the D.C. education landscape in recent years. In my first year on the State Board, I authored a resolution calling on more robust support for students with learning disabilities, and since, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) launched a virtual resource hub and is now preparing a brick-and-mortar location.

I was proud to serve as a member of the Social Studies Committee and support the State Board’s work updating our social studies standards for the first time in 14 years. I joined colleagues in pushing back on the ways D.C.’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan and D.C. School Report Card reinforced inequities, perpetuated segregation within our schools, and harmed schools with high numbers of students designated at-risk. I am proud of the State Board’s work to update D.C.’s ESSA Plan and Report Card, which now does a better job of rewarding schools’ growth and holding schools accountable to its most vulnerable students. We also eliminated the problematic STAR Framework.

Most of all, I’m proud of the work I led to strengthen the State Board’s institutional foundations. In addition to authoring the State Board’s Equity Framework, it was under my leadership and through my proposal that the State Board:

  1. Expanded the number of Student Representatives from 2 to 4, now requiring one student representative who lives east of the river;
  2. Created Standing Committees, which standardized the State Board’s work;
  3. Updated and modernized the State Board’s website, making it more accessible to families; and 
  4. Expanded the budget, allowing the State Board to hire more staff to facilitate our work. 

While my time is ending on the State Board, I look forward to championing educational equity on the D.C. Council and in my beloved Ward 5 community.

Published by DC State Board of Education

The DC State Board of Education is the District's elected voice on educational issues and advocates for a world-class education for D.C. students.

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