The DC State Board of Education: Why Now?

 In Washington, DC

There’s a shift underway in DC education, with the potential for more power in the hands of the elected State Board of Education and less in the hands of the Mayor. Our endorsed candidates strongly support students, parents, and teachers in all our public schools.

In this year’s race, money from outside the District is pouring into candidates’ coffers, often from charter school lobbying organizations. Depending on who wins in November, the State Board could be a strong voice on behalf of our schools, or a rubber stamp for whatever the Mayor decides.

Our Endorsed Candidates

Emily Gasoi (Ward 1) has over 20 years of significant and relevant experience standing with students, parents, and teachers, including as a classroom teacher and teacher mentor. She is running to strengthen our neighborhood schools so that families have a real choice about where to send their children. Emily has smart ideas to engage constituents and leverage the State Board of Education’s power.

Over the past four years, Ruth Wattenberg (Ward 3) has been a proven advocate for equity in education, including strengthening DC public schools, demanding transparency from the Mayor, and minimizing the use of test scores in school ratings. She knows that test score statistics reflect whether students come from rich or poor families, not their abilities or their teachers’ performance — and that relying on test scores narrows what we allow children to learn.

Zachary Parker (Ward 5) has fought education inequity for the last 10 years as a teacher and as a coach for principals and other administrators. He knows that our broken teacher evaluation system is forcing out some of our most effective teachers by measuring the wrong things. Zachary wants to make sure that proposed charter schools are thoroughly vetted before we turn our children over to them.

Joe Weedon (Ward 6) helped establish Serve Your City, supporting after school programming for students across DC, and is the only State Board of Education member with kids currently in a neighborhood public school. Along with Ruth and Ward 8 member Markus Batchelor, Joe stands up to the administration’s PR spin about how quickly our schools are improving.

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