New SBOE Leadership for 2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

At this month’s public meeting, the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) elected Ms. Karen Williams of Ward 7 as President and Mr. Jack Jacobson of Ward 2 as Vice President. Both members served in these roles during 2017 and both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles.

Additionally, the SBOE formally adopted a structure for upcoming policy, governance, and engagement committees to help achieve the goals of increasing equity and academic excellence in District public schools. The Board looks forward to continuing its work on the ambitious goals laid out in the SBOE strategic plan.

Below are the 2018 SBOE Committee assignments:

Administration & Budget – This committee monitors and oversees the State Board’s budget, personnel and governance.

  • Chair: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2
  • Members: Mark Jones, Ward 5; Lannette Woodruff, Ward 4; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Student Advisory – The Student Advisory committee ensures the voice of students is heard in improving education in the District.

  • Co-Chairs: Tallya Rhodes & Tatiana Robinson
  • Members: Students, Karen Williams (ex officio)

Educational Excellence & Equity – Regulations & Laws – This committee will focus on conducting high-quality policy research and analysis to support the State Board’s role in approving District education regulations.

  • Chair: Laura Wilson Phelan, Ward 1
  • Members: Ashley Carter, At-Large; Markus Batchelor, Ward 8; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Educational Excellence & Equity – Educational Standards – This committee will focus on reviewing and analyzing District educational standards.

  • Co-Chairs: Ruth Wattenberg, Ward 3; Mark Jones, Ward 5
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Karen Williams (ex officio)

ESSA Task Force – ESSA implementation began during the 2017-18 school year. The task force will work diligently with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to continue gathering input from diverse stakeholders on the design and development of the new accountability system for the District.

  • Chair: Lannette Woodruff, Ward 4
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Joe Weedon, Ward 6; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Public Engagement & Outreach – This committee is tasked with ensuring that all voices are heard on key education policy issues. Priorities will include developing a community engagement strategy that includes diverse stakeholders and expanding the breadth of participation at SBOE community meetings, forums, and roundtables around the District.

  • Co-Chairs: Markus Batchelor, Ward 8; Ashley Carter, At-Large
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Make Your Voice Heard on the ESSA School Report Card

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

The DC State Board of Education (SBOE) will hold its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in the Old Council Chambers at 441 4th Street NW. The SBOE wants to hear the community’s thoughts on the proposed content of a new school report card that will provide the same information about every public and public charter school in the District. The school report card will contain two kinds of data: information that is required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and information that is important to the residents of the District. The public may sign up online to testify at this month’s SBOE Public meeting about the school report card. The deadline to sign up is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2017. Residents who testify will have three minutes to provide their input and recommendations to the SBOE.

At Tuesday night’s SBOE ESSA Task Force meeting, representatives from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) outlined updates to their content and format proposal for the new report card. Task force members reviewed the proposal and provided comments and recommendations. This proposal was based on feedback from State Board members, community members, and the members of the ESSA Task Force. Over the next few weeks, OSSE will work with the SBOE to finalize the content proposal with the intention that the State Board will vote on the proposal at its February public meeting.

Community Engagement at EdFest 2017

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Rain, sleet and snow did not stop the SBOE from heading to EdFEST17 on Saturday, December 9th! Members from the State Board and the Office of the Ombudsman and Student Advocate joined a number of DC public schools and public charter schools to showcase the city’s public school options (PK3-12) for the upcoming school year at DC Armory.

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The common lottery application is now officially open! Parents may start filling out applications here ahead of the February 1st high school and March 1st PK3-8 application deadlines.

EdFEST featured many free services and fun activities for the whole family:

  • Lottery application information and guidance from the My School DC team. Immunizations for youth and adults, health screenings for kids and teens, and lots more family fun, games and entertainment brought to you by the DC Department of Health and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital  
  • Recreational activities for all ages brought to you by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Story time with DC Public Library

#ESSATaskForce Hears #DCReportCard Parent Feedback

By Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist 

The SBOE Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Task Force met on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 to discuss the new version of DC’s school report card. Maya Martin, Executive Director of Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE), Josh Boots, Executive Director of EmpowerK12, and representatives from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provided task force members with an overview of recently held parent feedback sessions on the DC school report card.

PAVE held meetings with each of its Parent Leaders in Education (PLE) Boards in Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Parents were asked to rank the top five things they looked for when they chose a school for their student. Parents then examined PCSB’s Performance Management Framework Reports, DC Public School’s Scorecards, and the LEARN DC profiles, and discussed the pros and cons of each. In addition, PAVE canvassed and collected surveys from 51 total parents. 85% of parents who attended sessions said “Student Performance by Subgroup” and “Teacher Quality” were the most important factors needed on a DC school report card. Re-enrollment, School Funding, and Attendance were also rated highly. Parents want one source where they can get data, and one that helps them interpret quality more easily.

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Center City PCS-Congress Heights Hosts First Fridays

On Friday, November 3rd, Center City Public Charter School in Congress Heights hosted community members and education advocates for this month’s First Fridays tour. In one of the most engaging parts of the day, students welcomed and engaged in small group discussions with attendees prior to the start of the presentation giving some true insight into what it’s like to be a student.

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Principal Ms. Niya White gave opening comments before attendees broke up into tour groups. Guests relished the opportunity to drop in and observe classes throughout the building. Ms. White said that teachers and administrators focus on “what we teach and how we teach” in order to ensure students are successful. Center City PCS Congress Heights offers constant opportunities for students to learn, with math, reading, and writing lessons posted on walls throughout the school’s hallways and stairwells.

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SBOE Welcomes New Student Representatives

By: Paul Negron, Communications & Public Engagement

Late last month, the State Board of Education proudly held swearing-in ceremonies for its two new student representatives, Tallya Rhodes (HD Woodson HS, Ward 7) and Tatiana Robinson (Ballou HS, Ward 8). State Board President Karen Williams was joined by Ashley Carter (At-Large) and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8) at both high schools as our newest student representatives were sworn in with proud teachers, classmates, and family members cheering them on!

Tallya Rhodes Swearing-In

Tallya Rhodes’ Swearing-In Ceremony at HD Woodson High School

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State Board in the Community

The DC State Board of Education is comprised of 9 board members, one representing each of Washington’s eight wards and one at-large member. Our board members strive to represent the interests of their community members by engaging with teachers, administrators, parents, and students throughout the District. In the coming weeks and months, we will feature highlights from the Board’s community engagement efforts. 

Markus Batchelor (Ward 8) attended the Hart Middle School Outdoor Classroom Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on September 16th.


Lannette Woodruff (Ward 4) spoke at the opening of the new Health Sciences Academy at Coolidge Senior High School on September 1st.


Joe Weedon (Ward 6) attended Maury Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association meeting on September 14th.

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 sboe.dc.gov/essa.

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.

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

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 sboe.dc.gov/essa.