State Board Continues to Look Into Reading Education

Friday, January 10, 2020
Highlights the Importance of Reading in Early Grades

Washington, DC - The D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE) will hold its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 5:30 pm in the Old Council Chambers at 441 Fourth St. NW.

First on the State Board’s agenda will be the election of officers for the State Board. In accordance with D.C. Official Code, the State Board elects officers at its first public meeting each calendar year.

The State Board continues to focus on the teaching of reading in DC public schools. President Wattenberg noted in the December public meeting her personal connection to this issue and its importance for a student’s academic success. In 2000, the National Reading Panel constituted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development released a report “to assess the status of research-based knowledge, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read.“ Twenty years later, results on state and national assessments show that students are still struggling with reading. As a continuation of its December 2019 panel on this subject, the State Board will hear testimony from the following experts:

  • Mary Clayman, Director, DCPS Reading Clinic
  • Katrina Hilliard, Director of Elementary School, Sela PCS
  • Ellen O’Neill, Executive Director, Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center
  • Robin Barr, Senior Instructor, Washington Literacy Center

The State Board will also welcome public comment on the proposed closure of Washington Metropolitan High School at the end of the 2019–20 school year. DCPS officials in a November announcement cited low enrollment and attendance rates as factors in the decision. It would become the first DCPS school to close in over seven years. Additional public witnesses will speak on other issues.

The State Board will also discuss three proposed resolutions: a ceremonial resolution recognizing National School Choice Week and two resolutions addressing underage tobacco use and funding the Birth-to-Three For All DC Act.

Public Testimony

All students, parents, educators, and community members are invited to provide testimony at public meetings. Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to comment at a public meeting are asked to notify Board staff in advance by phone at (202) 741-0888 or by email at [email protected] no later than 48 hours in advance of the meeting. An electronic copy of testimony must be received no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting. Individuals are asked to furnish their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and organizational affiliation, if any. Individuals must also bring at least fifteen (15) copies of their written statements with them to the meeting.

Public Meeting Draft Agenda

Please note that the agenda may be altered, modified, or updated without notice.

I.      Call to Order
II.     Announcement of a Quorum
III.    Leadership Election
IV.    Approval of the Agenda & Minutes
V.     Comments from the President of the D.C. State Board of Education
VI.    Comments from the State Superintendent of Education
VII.   Ceremonial Resolutions (VOTE)
         i. CR20-1 Recognizing National School Choice Week
VIII.  Public Comment
IX.   Teaching Reading in District Schools
X.    Administrative Items (VOTE)
        i. 2019 Annual Report
        ii. SR20-1 Youth Anti-Tobacco
        iii. SR20-2 Birth to Three Act
XI.   New Business
XXI. Adjournment

About the SBOE

The DC State Board of Education is an independent agency within the Government of the District of Columbia that advises the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District’s state education agency. The State Board is comprised of nine elected representatives, each representing their respective wards, with one member representing DC at large, and two appointed student representatives. The State Board approves statewide education policies and sets academic standards, while OSSE oversees education within the District and manages federal education funding. More information about the SBOE can be found at