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.

SBOE Kicks Off the First Meeting of the #DCGradReqs Task Force!

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 sboe@dc.gov 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)

New Student Representatives for SY2017-2018

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.

SBOE Announces #ESSA Task Force Application

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.

 

New Members of SBOE HS Graduation Requirements Task Force

Today, we announced the new members of our High School Graduation Requirements Task Force! This initiative, announced earlier this month, marks an historic city-wide effort to review, analyze and, as necessary, make thoughtful, implementable recommendations to adjust DC’s high school graduation requirements for all DCPS and public charter school students. The Task Force, under the leadership of Ward 1 representative Laura Wilson Phelan and Ward 8 representative Markus Batchelor, will consist of 26 members who will provide unique insights relevant to high school graduation.

The application period closed at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 23, 2017. Each application was subsequently anonymized to ensure objectivity in selection. The SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee reviewed each application and selected the following members to serve on the task force. To view a list of everyone who applied to the task force, click here.

The SBOE is excited to work with such diverse voices, including representatives from our education governing bodies, on such an important issue. Below are the selected members of the Task Force.

Laura Wilson Phelan (co-chair)
• Ward 1 Representative, SBOE
• Chair, SBOE Educational Excellence & Equity Committee

Markus Batchelor (co-chair)
• Ward 8 Representative, SBOE
• Chair, SBOE Public Engagement & Outreach Committee

Celine Fejeran
• Deputy Director, Raise DC
• Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

Cara Fuller
• Principal, DCPS Ballou Stay High School
• 5 years experience as Principal
• Ward 8 Resident

Carol Randolph
• Chief Operating Officer, DC Students Construction Trades Foundation (Ward 7)
• 16 years working to expand trade skills in District schools
• Ward 4 Resident

Cathy Reilly
• Executive Director, Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators (S.H.A.P.P.E.)
• Ward 4 Education Alliance, C4DC
• Ward 4 Resident

Cosby Hunt
• Senior Officer of Teaching & Learning, Center for Inspired Teaching
• Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

David Tansey
• Math Teacher, DCPS McKinley Tech High School (Ward 5)
• Math for America, Washington Teacher’s Union (WTU)
• Ward 5 Resident

Dwan Jordon
• Senior Advisor for High School Research, Friendship PCS
• Former Principal, Sousa MS (DCPS); Friendship Collegiate PCHS (Ward 7)
• Ward 4 Resident

Jahari Shelton
• Student, Sidwell Friends School
• Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
• Ward 7 Resident

Jimell Sanders
• Director of Engagement, DC Language Immersion Project
• DCPS Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Julie Camerata
• Executive Director, DC Special Education Cooperative
• Public Charter Middle School Parent
• Ward 1 Resident

Karla Reid-Witt
• Family Dynamics Specialist, JumpStart
• DCPS High School Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Kimberly Martin
• Principal, DCPS Wilson High School
• 15 years experience as High School Principal
• DCPS Parent
• Ward 3 Resident

Larry R. Greenhill, Sr.
• Vice President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26
• 20 years experience with District apprenticeship programs
• Ward 8 Resident

Latisha Chisholm
• Special Education Coordinator, Anacostia High School
• Former English, Science, and Special Education Teacher
• Ward 8 Resident

Sandra Jowers-Barber, Ph.D.
• Director, Division of Humanities, University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC)
• Former History Professor
• Ward 4 Resident

Sanjay K. Mitchell
• Director of College & Alumni Programs, Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS
• Former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions
• Ward 7 Resident

Senovia L. Hurtado
• Bilingual School Counselor, School Without Walls
• DCPS High School Parent
• Ward 5 Resident

Shenita Ray
• Director of Online Operations, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
• 10 years experience in higher education
• Ward 5 Resident

Tom Brown
• Executive Director, Training Grounds, Inc.
• DCPS / Public Charter School Parent
• Ward 7 Resident

Erin Bibo
• Deputy Chief, College & Career Programs, DC Public Schools (DCPS)

Jane Spence
• Deputy Chief, Secondary Schools (MS/HS), DC Public Schools (DCPS)

Justin Tooley
• Special Assistant for Legislation & Policy, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)

Naomi DeVeaux
• Deputy Director, DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB)

SBOE Student Representative
• Member of 2017-2018 Student Advisory Committee, SBOE (TBA)

This task force will examine the following questions and recommend changes to the graduation requirements based on its findings:

  1. What do we as a city want our high school diploma to mean?
  2. How should we measure whether a student has achieved the standards of a diploma?
  3. What changes to DC’s graduation requirements, if any, should be made to ensure our diploma reflects achievement of these standards?

Task force meetings will meet two times per month, starting in July and concluding in Spring 2018. District residents will have many opportunities to stay involved and provide input throughout this process. The SBOE will convene parent focus groups and student focus groups to both generate ideas for the task force to consider and to brainstorm ideas during the course of discussions. The focus groups will be representative of the demographics of students in the city, where half of all DCPS and public charter students reside in Wards 7 and 8. For the latest updates on the work of the task force, please visit sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs.