About the Board Governance Committee (Ad-hoc)
The Board Governance Committee (ad-hoc), chaired by Ward 7 Representative Eboni-Rose Thompson, is charged with research how the District of Columbia's mayoral control education system compares to other localities and survey and document public opinions of our current structure. These responsibilities, and other State Board committees and responsibilities, can be found in SR21-2 On the Establishment of Committees.
Much of this Committee’s work was an extension of an earlier exploration in 2019 on State Board governance structures, authorities, and powers, as well as a review of the District’s Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007 (PERAA).
As of February 17, 2021:
Chair: Eboni-Rose Thompson, Vice President and Ward 7 Representative
Members: Jacque Patterson, At-Large; Ruth Wattenberg, Ward 3; Zachary Parker, Ward 5
Find the joining information for the State Board’s Board Governance committee meetings on our events page.
- September 2022: The "Education Governance Survey Report" and Education Governance Focus Group Report, titled "Education Governance: Parent/Caregiver Focus Groups & Interviews," are published in tandem and presented at the State Board’s September 7, 2022 Working Session.
- August 2022: The Committee commissioned Keisler Social and Behavioral Research to lead a qualitative study related to parents’ and caregivers’ perceptions and experiences with the education governance system in the District. The study and its findings complement the "Education Governance Survey" that the State Board fielded in June – July 2022. The study’s findings were grounded in responses from a total of 22 participants across two focus groups and 8 one-on-one in-depth interviews – with a deep-dive into two overarching questions:
- How do stakeholders experience, navigate, and interact with D.C.’s public education agencies and public school systems?
- How would stakeholders improve the education governance system in D.C.?
- June – July 2022: The Committee released and distributed the "Education Governance Survey" across the District to gather feedback and recommendations from families, students, educators, and D.C. residents on the District’s governance of education and schools. The purpose of this survey was to understand constituents’ experiences with the District’s education system, as well as gather feedback on changes and improvements they would like to see in D.C.’s education governance system.
- A total of 1,132 people completed the 2022 Education Governance Survey
- 61 percent of respondents identified as a parent or guardian of a District student
- 23 percent of respondents identified as District residents
- June 2022: Amber Hewitt, Chief Equity Officer at the Mayor’s Office of Racial Equity (ORE), shared best practices for meaningful community engagement and applying an equity lens to engagement. She noted racial equity is both a process and an outcome. Hewitt introduced the "Meaningful Community Engagement Resource Guide" and each of its eight principles, designed to support D.C. agencies in delivering authentic, community-centered stakeholder engagement:
- Be Clear About Who You Want to Engage, Your Work, and Your Goals
- Understand Racial and Historical Trauma
- Prioritize Trust
- Make Information and Engagement Accessible
- Decision Making is Transparent and Accountable
- Be Aware of Positional Power and Power Sharing
- Build a Consistent and Inclusive Community Presence
- Engage with Cultural Humility and Respect
- April 2022: Dan Davis, Chief Student Advocate for the Office of the Student Advocate, presented on challenges within the current education system structure, including issues that his office has heard from families.
- November – December 2021: During the State Board's 2021 Fall Engagement sessions, Chair Eboni-Rose Thompson engaged with residents by discussing their perceptions of how D.C.'s education system works, their personal experiences, and what changes they would like to see. Prompts included:
- What words or feelings come to mind when you think about D.C.’s education governance system?
- How well do you feel that D.C.’s education system incorporates feedback from you into the decision-making processes?
- What's one issue/concern on which you feel has taken way too much time to address?
- If you could change one thing about our decision-making structure, what would it be?
- How do you define successful governance?
- September 2021: At the committee’s September meeting, members invited Duncan Chaplin, Senior Researcher at Mathematica, to present his report, "Measuring the Impacts of School Reforms in D.C. on Student Achievement." He shared findings on impacts that mayoral control has on educational outcomes compared to other cities, with members learning more about the study’s approach and Chaplin’s perspective on his report’s conclusions about what the data showed.
- July 2021: The Committee commissioned Katie Brennan and Michelle Lake, graduate students at American University, to conduct a literature review comparing State Boards and education governance structures in other cities and states (e.g., Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; New Haven, Connecticut, etc.). Brennan and Lake presented their final review, “Board Governance Model Review,” at the July 2021 committee meeting.
- June 2021: Dr. Heather Harding, Senior Director of Policy & Public Understanding at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, presented to the committee her review of PERAA and offered her expert knowledge on the subject. As the former and founding Executive Director of EdCore at George Washington University, she had conducted an official review of PERAA, providing foundational knowledge of the Act to committee members.
- February 2021: The Board Governance Committee (ad-hoc) was formed and tasked with researching how the District of Columbia’s mayoral control education system compares to other localities, as well as surveying public opinions of and experiences with the District of Columbia’s current education governance structure.