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State Board Releases Education Governance Report

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

(Washington, DC) — The D.C. State Board of Education (State Board) releases the Education Governance Report. The core duty of the State Board is to listen to community members and advocate for equity and excellence in education.

Over the last two years, the State Board has sought to learn about the D.C. education system's strengths and areas of improvement through research, community engagement, and outreach with education governance experts, families, and other stakeholders.

The State Board considered ways to address the challenges and concerns raised through this process and created a report that provides recommendations intended to transform the current education system into a more accountable, transparent, and easy-to-navigate system that will improve how all stakeholders experience and interact with it.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Authorize the State Board to initiate policy in the areas where it currently has statutory approval authority as enumerated under D.C. Code § 38–2652 and to amend policies brought to the State Board by the OSSE.
  • Provide the State Board with a “great weight” similar to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs)—where the State Board can elevate education-related issues and concerns, be notified of proposed decisions to make educational changes in D.C. and receive a written explanation from education agencies that choose to comply (or not to comply) with State Board requests.
  • Create a centralized website or education governance hub and community hotline that maps, tracks, and closes community members’ education issues under the auspices of the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate.
  • Expand the State Board’s authority to obtain data upon request from D.C.’s education agencies (e.g., the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), D.C. Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB), and D.C. Public Schools (DCPS)) in a timely way.
  • Authorize the State Board to approve schools’ opening, closing, and siting.
  • Create a citywide board that oversees DCPS operations and facilities.

The full report summarizes two (2) years of robust information gathering, provides insights into the needs and concerns raised by members of the community, and details the six (6) recommendations and topics the State Board believes will build capacity within agencies and create new governance structures to transform the D.C. education system.

The State Board transmitted the report to the DME, OSSE, DCPS, and DC PCSB for their feedback.

Eboni-Rose Thompson, President of the State Board, has led the efforts of this report—a product of the now sunset Board Governance Committee—and is available for comment upon request.