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
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.
||• 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
||• Student, Columbia Heights Educational Campus
|Anne Herr (n)
||• Director of School Quality, FOCUS
||• Student, Benjamin Banneker High School
||• Chancellor, DC Public Schools
|Deborah Williams (n)
||• Head of School, Inspired Teaching PCS K-8
||• 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
||• Ward 2 Representative and Vice President, State Board of Education
|Jacque Patterson (n)
||• DC Regional Director, Rocketship Public Schools
||• Parent Engagement Program Coordinator, Washington Lawyers’ Committee
||• Ward 6 Representative, State Board of Education
||• Executive Director, EmpowerK12
|Julie Anne Green
||• Executive Director, New Futures
||• Ward 7 Representative and President, State Board of Education
||• Teacher, H.D. Woodson High School, WTU Board Member
||• Executive Director, Parents Amplifying Voices in Education
||• 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
||• Special Education and Reading Teacher, Calvin Coolidge High School
|Shana Young or designee
||• Chief of Staff, Office of the State Superintendent of Education
||• Parent, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan
||• Founder, Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
||• 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 sboe.dc.gov/essa.
By: Amber Faith, Policy Fellow
SBOE will hold its first High School Graduation Task Force meeting on July 26th and invites the public to observe. The task force is led by State Board members Laura Wilson Phelan (Ward 1) and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8). Together they lead a task force composed of parents, teachers, students, business leaders, school administrators, and education advocates from across the District!
All task force meetings are open to the public. However, individuals and representatives of organizations are not permitted to speak or participate during task force sessions. In an effort to get more of the public involved with the work of the task force, the SBOE has created a forum on Facebook for the public to join. On the task force Facebook page, the public can post questions and comments on the task force’s work and receive updates on task force meetings and progress. To join the page, click on the link below!
SBOE Graduation Requirements Task Force Facebook Page
We also invite your ongoing participation and input in the following ways:
- Attend task force meetings and/or view them online
- Participate in focus groups the task force will convene over the next six months
- Submit written testimony or information for consideration by the task force by emailing email@example.com or by filling out this online form
- Share your thoughts with your elected State Board member or the task force co-chairs, Laura Wilson Phelan (Ward 1) and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8)
We’ve extended the application period for our new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Advisory Task Force! Interested community members may now submit their application until Monday, July 24 at 12:00 noon. To apply to serve on the Task Force, click here.
Under the leadership of Dr. Lannette Woodruff (Ward 4), the ESSA Advisory Task Force will help advise the SBOE over the next two years. To ensure a balance of perspectives, the State Board will choose Task Force members who represent a broad constituency and will contribute meaningfully to education policy recommendations related to the 2017 DC ESSA Plan. In keeping with the SBOE’s commitment to transparency, all applications for the Task Force will be open to public review.
The SBOE will share clear selection criteria, and explain how members were selected. Task Force meetings will begin next month and continue on a monthly basis for the duration of the members’ two-year appointment. For the latest info regarding ESSA, please visit sboe.dc.gov/essa.
By: Maria Salciccioli, Policy Analyst
From June 28 – 30, the Education Commission of the States held its 2017 National Forum on Education Policy in San Diego, California. I had the opportunity to attend and relished the chance to meet education leaders from around the country and learn more about other states’ innovative education policies.
Day one focused on school choice policies, and in the opening plenary session, DC got a shoutout from Fordham Institute president Michael J. Petrilli, who called the city “school choice nirvana” and said that the robust charter sector spurred DC Public Schools to improve. He also noted that charter schools need to provide a great education for students with disabilities and minimize suspensions if they want to serve students well. After the plenary, we moved into small group sessions on school choice, and I chose “Expanding School Choice through Open-Enrollment Policies.” One of the session leaders was a superintendent from a small district in New Mexico. Students in New Mexico are allowed to attend schools outside of their home district, but the size of their large rural counties makes that prohibitive. To maximize choice in a rural state, the superintendent’s strategy as a school leader is to increase options within the district by providing online learning, experiential learning, and other opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting. While DC’s innovative lottery seems to be leaps and bounds beyond what most states offer, the strategies other states used to diversify students’ educational experiences can potentially benefit District students.
The second day had a strong focus on equity, which was much more relevant to the work we do at the State Board. The morning opened with a panel of leaders discussing their states’ biggest achievement gaps and their strategies for addressing them. A panelist from the Alliance for Education asked about the potential impact on a state’s economy if all high school dropouts became high school graduates. I wondered how that logic might resonate in DC, a city with a highly educated workforce where only 69% of students graduate from high school. This marks an improvement over the past several years, but our graduates are not always college- and career-ready, and we need to get them there. I left the session feeling energized about the work our high school graduation requirements task force will do over the next year. I also attended sessions on how Minnesota used data to close attainment and equity gaps and on how Kansas aligned high school education with career opportunities. I took lessons away from both sessions that will certainly inform my policy work here in the city.
The conference ended with some conversations about school finance and a networking lunch that took place steps away from a beautiful beach. It is a testament to the attendees’ commitment to education policy that the indoor sessions were so well attended, considering that the Pacific Ocean was in view of the conference hotel! The State Teachers of the Year, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several US territories, were in attendance and did a wonderful job of representing the educator perspective at the conference, which kept conversations from getting too far into the weeds and away from the students we’re all working to support. Having the opportunity to spend time with them over lunch was a highlight of the week. I left feeling energized about the great work we’re doing for students in DC, and I also felt more motivated than ever to go above and beyond to support our high school graduation task force, as well as our upcoming ESSA task force, as they work to close achievement and attainment gaps across the city and provide all District students with a great education.
Thank you to all who helped us recruit an amazing crop of candidates to serve as the State Board’s new student representatives. Tallya Rhodes from H.D. Woodson High School (Ward 7) and Tatiana Robinson from Ballou High School (Ward 8) were selected as our State Board Student Representatives for 2017-2018.
Student Representatives serve for one school year from September to June. They participate in all SBOE activities and are treated as full members of the State Board. In addition, Student Representatives co-chair the Student Advisory Committee and are responsible for setting the agenda for the Committee. Applicants must be a District of Columbia resident and a sophomore, junior or senior in either a traditional public or public charter high school.
At June’s public meeting, State Board members approved the final version of this year’s Student Advisory Committee (SAC) report presented by SBOE Student Representative Alex Dorosin of Wilson High School. This report is the second annual report presented by the Student Advisory Committee (SAC). 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. Read the report here.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our full Student Advisory Committee (SAC) later this summer. The Committee will be composed of high school students from both DC public schools and public charter schools. To learn more about our Student Representatives, click here.
Today, we proudly announce the opening of the application period for our new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Advisory Task Force! In March of this year, the State Board voted to approve the new state accountability plan drafted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Work on the plan is not completed, however. The plan approved by the SBOE included provisions for the inclusion of additional measures on items like high school academic growth, school climate, and well-rounded education once those measures were fully explored and piloted. Under the leadership of Ward 4 representative Dr. Lannette Woodruff, the ESSA Advisory Task Force will help advise the SBOE over the next two years. 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 will choose 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 will include parents, community leaders, education agency leaders, students, teachers, school leaders, and nonprofit personnel who work in relevant fields. The selection committee will strive to ensure membership is 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 will be open to public review.
To apply to serve on the Task Force, click here. The application period is now open, concluding at midnight on Monday, July 17, 2017. The SBOE will share clear selection criteria, and explain how members were selected. Task Force meetings will begin next month and continue on a monthly basis for the duration of the members’ two-year appointment. For the latest info regarding ESSA, please visit sboe.dc.gov/essa.
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. This 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. The 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.
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.