Filed under DCPS


There are a number of principals leaving DCPS, as the District is replacing 18 of its public school principals, most of whom were hired by former Chancellor Michelle Rhee. DC Public Schools spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz declined to say how many of the 18 principals were retiring, resigning or being fired. The Washington Examiner reported the number of principals turning over in the school system.

  • 2008, 43 principals
  • 2009, 26 principals
  • 2010, 20 principals
  • 2011, 24 principals

A number of the schools facing new principals had their 2011 standardized tests lower compared with the previous year. Full Washington Examiner article here.

*If you are a DCPS teacher, please be sure to complete our principal evaluation form. All ID numbers will remain confidential and entries anonymous.*

Where principals are being replaced next school year
Aiton Elementary School
Ballou STAY High School
Brookland Education Campus at Bunker Hill*
Browne Education Campus*
Cardozo Senior High School
Alice Deal Middle School**
Garfield Elementary School
Garrison Elementary School
Langdon Education Campus*
Moten Elementary School
Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School
Prospect Learning Center
Seaton Elementary School
Shaw Middle School
Walker-Jones Education Campus
Washington Metropolitan High School
Winston Education Campus
H.D. Woodson Senior High School
Note: Current as of 6/5/12
*Ward 5 middle schools are being restructured, but changes are not expected until the 2013-2014 school year. It’s not clear if principal turnover at these schools is related to the new plan.
**Deal’s principal resigned midyear. It is possible the interim principal will continue into next year, so Deal could be removed from the turnover list.

Read more current education news in our Short Reads.

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By Bill Turque

It took nearly two years, but it appears that DCPS is finally prepared to comply with the early retirement provision of the contract it signed with the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The 2010 collective bargaining agreement says that teachers with good evaluations and 20 years of service who lose their jobs in the annual “excessing” process are eligible for early retirement with full benefits.

But when eligible teachers tried to exercise the option, they were told that DCPS didn’t have the money. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M Gandhi said that was not true. In any event, WTU announced late last week that it reached an agreement with DCPS that will allocate $10.2 million over the next five years to fund early retirement benefits for excessed teachers.

Earlier this month, DCPS delivered excessing notices to 333 teachers, meaning that their jobs have been eliminated because of enrollment declines, budget reductions or program changes. Officials expect about 60 percent of those impacted to find other jobs in the school system.


New DCPS reform plan lacks ‘candid assessment’ of student needs

By: Nathan A. Saunders

D.C. public schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson recently unveiled a five-year action plan to transform and reinvigorate the District’s public education landscape. Among its goals, the plan aims to increase enrollment, improve struggling schools, raise math and reading proficiency to 70 percent, and increase the high school graduation rate to 75 percent.

Unquestionably, the chancellor’s plan is another ambitious government attempt at education reform. But one must observe that overly ambitious policy statements are easier to voice than execute with meaningful results.

Clearly, the time has come for the Gray administration to make a candid assessment and holistically resolve the issues facing schools. A comprehensive approach encompasses diverse methods of measuring student progress, increased family involvement, more stakeholder collaboration, thoughtful resource allocation and a thorough plan to address socioeconomic disparities.

Each day, many students travel to schools from some of the most economically challenged communities. We must acknowledge that learning and school readiness extend far beyond the walls of the classroom and into students’ homes and communities. With 30 percent of District children living in poverty — and more than half of those children in extreme poverty — it is imperative that school leaders and policymakers consider the role and challenges high rates of homelessness, unemployment and poor health care present in education reform.

The socioeconomic disparities in the District have a profound and undeniable influence on student academic achievement.

According to the National Association of Education Progress, D.C. public schools have the largest gap in academic achievement between minority students and their white counterparts.

Education reform efforts can no longer afford to treat all schools and students as if they are beginning at the same place, both academically and socioeconomically.  The DCPS five-year action plan must address communities’ present conditions. A holistic approach requires that we begin the process of making thoughtful school funding allocations and channeling resources to low-performing schools with the most need. By doing so, we improve struggling schools, increase student success and bridge the achievement gap.

Although teachers play a vital role in educating students, parents also have a pivotal part in determining the educational success of their children. In a recent Gates Foundation survey of 10,000 teachers nationwide, 98 percent said family involvement and support have a strong or very strong impact on improving academic achievement.

Parents must attend parent-teacher conferences and extra-curricular events to monitor student progress and express concerns. They must also reinforce teacher directives about homework and studying. Teachers, parents, school leaders and public officials must collaborate and act in a concerted effort to fulfill our mutual commitment to educate our students.

Finally, we must realize that teaching the information necessary to receive a proficient score on the D.C. CAS or any other high-stakes exam does not mean that the student has learned the critical thinking skills necessary for success in higher education or the job market.

D.C. public school teachers stand ready to work with the mayor and chancellor to create the outcomes our students deserve. Despite the challenges we face, public education stakeholders must renew our commitment to create a school system that honors and respects children’s natural curiosity while capturing their full potential.

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Join over 100 committed parents, education advocates, and teachers on Monday, April 9 at 12:00 p.m. on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building to express concerns to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. City Council members about the FY 2013 Budget for Public Education that will reduce special education services, increase class sizes and seriously undermine the academic achievements of students in D.C. Public Schools.

Throughout the rally, parents, education advocates, and teachers will urge local legislators to revisit special education, library and media services and public safety issues and exercise their authority to challenge decreases in services for students in D.C. Public Schools.

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WTU President Nathan A. Saunders Speaks Out On The FY 2013 Public Education Budget

There are concerns about the D.C. Public Schools FY 2013 School Budget that will reduce special education services, increase class sizes and seriously undermine the academic achievements of D.C. public school students.

Listen to Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan A. Saunders discuss changes to special education in D.C. Public Schools on The Mary & Melissa Talk Show.

What can you do to make a difference? Take action for special education and write your local legislators—using both your home and school zip code—to urge legislators to revisit these critical issues and exercise their authority to challenge decreases in services for special education students in D.C. Public Schools.

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