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The Bowser Administration Celebrates More than a Decade of OSSE

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
OSSE reflects on more than 10 years of service and outlines plans for the future in its newly released 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

Media Contact: Fred Lewis (202) 412-2167

Today, the Bowser Administration celebrated DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and its more than 10 years of service to students and families across the city. A celebratory event was held at OSSE headquarters and featured testimonials from long-serving staff members and current and former District education leaders who have seen the state education agency evolve since its creation in 2007. The agency reflected on the last 10+ years and set forth a bold new agenda in its newly released 2019-2023 Strategic Plan.
“We have made remarkable progress as an agency and that wouldn’t have been possible without the talented and dedicated team here at OSSE, along with our stakeholders and partners who have engaged with us and pushed us along the way to do more and better,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “We understand that we still have a long way to go, and I’m proud to say our new Strategic Plan will guide us in building upon our success and move us closer to ensuring every student across the city has access to better opportunity and the high quality education they deserve.”

OSSE was designed to facilitate bold changes in the District and after more than 10 years, it has contributed to significant progress in supporting public schools and teachers across the city; providing clear, consistent, and actionable data to families, schools, and communities; improving services to Students with Disabilities; increasing access to high-quality education for the District’s most vulnerable populations; expanding high-quality child care; and helping students prepare for college and career.
Today, students, families, teachers and school leaders in the District have an unprecedented amount of information about our schools through improved data systems and the DC School Report Card; the District continues to make academic progress on the National Assessment of Educational (NAEP) compared to other states, and students across the city are showing steady gains on statewide  assessments for math and reading; the District’s unprecedented investments in early childhood education consistently outranks other states; enrollment District-wide continues to increase, from an all-time low of 70,919 in 2008 to that of more than 92,000 in the 2017-18 school year, reflecting students’ and families’ growing confidence in the quality of education in DC; and the District remains committed to providing high-quality public transportation services to more than 3,000 students with disabilities.
Under the leadership of State Superintendent Kang and guided by the clear tenets outlined in OSSE’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, the agency worked closely with education stakeholders throughout the city to develop DC’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan and launched the new DC School Report Card that for the first time, gives families the opportunity to learn about the performance of every public school in the District of Columbia. OSSE also provided local education agencies and schools a wealth of information and resources through its Start of School Campaign, which transformed the way schools experience the beginning of the school year and helped them get off to a great start with their students.
OSSE’s newly released 2019–2013 Strategic Plan sets forth a vision that states: DC will close the achievement gap and ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are prepared to succeed in school and in life. The new plan will serve as a guide for OSSE to work urgently and purposefully, in partnership with education and related systems, to sustain, accelerate, and deepen progress for DC students.
“In the last decade, I have seen OSSE grow into a dynamic agency that serves a vital role in the education of DC residents from infants and toddlers to adult learners,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “State Superintendent Hanseul Kang has provided great stability to the agency that has built a strong foundation for OSSE to improve efficiencies related to work streams it inherited and to move forward in bold new directions to improve the quality of public education in the District.”  

The ambitious goals included in the new strategic plan state that by 2023, OSSE aims to have 6,700 more students meet or exceed expectations on state assessments while also closing the achievement gaps, 1,500 more vulnerable infants and toddlers accessing quality child care, 4,100 more students in high-quality pre-K classrooms, and 1,100 more students enrolling in higher education, on a path to complete a two- or four-year degree.
OSSE also outlines four pillars that will form the foundation of OSSE’s work as an agency: set high expectations, share and use actionable data, build ecosystem capacity, and maximize the agency’s impact through specific focus in early childhood education and in improving outcomes for students with disabilities.
“I came to DC to join OSSE in 2008 invigorated by the possibilities of creating a new state education agency from the ground up - one that would be responsive to school and family needs,” said Amy Maisterra, DCPS Deputy Chancellor for Innovation and Systems Improvement and former OSSE interim state superintendent. “It is exciting to see how far OSSE has come, and the important role it plays in accelerating outcomes for DC students.”
OSSE was created through the Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA).The 2007 law established OSSE as DC’s state education agency (SEA), among other changes, with a state superintendent appointed by the mayor to improve efficiency and accountability, and gave OSSE state-level functions comparable to those assumed by other state education agencies as well as other responsibilities that previously lived in other parts of DC government.