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Mayor Gray Announces Nine Career Academies in Partnership with the National Academy Foundation

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Academies Aim to Prepare DCPS and PCS students for DC’s Thriving Career Sectors

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Interim State Superintendent of Education Emily Durso today announced the approval of nine applications for career academies in the District by the National Academy Foundation (NAF). The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson, DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) Chairman John H. “Skip” McKoy, PCSB Executive Director Scott Pearson, Friendship Public Charter Schools Chairman and Founder Donald Hense, Workforce Investment Council (WIC) Executive Director Allison Gerber, University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC) Dean of Workforce Readiness Kim R. Ford, members of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Task Force and industry partners.

“The approval of the nine career academy applications serves as a fantastic start toward implementing a nationally recognized model for career and technical education here in the District,” Mayor Gray said. The collaboration between workforce and education partners is critical for developing these career academies to help prepare our students for high-demand, high-wage opportunities.”

The Gray Administration is supporting this opportunity with $2.8 million to fund the nine NAF career academies at six DCPS campuses and two public charter schools in the District, with the goal of preparing students in three of the District’s most vital and fast-growing career sectors: information technology, engineering and hospitality. The schools will immediately begin a year of planning in preparation for the academies’ start in the 2014-2015 school year and will include efforts to reach out to middle-school students about exploring pathways to college and career.

“It is exciting to begin the process of providing high-quality career and college preparation for our youth,” said Interim State Superintendent of Education Emily Durso. “And I am particularly grateful to the task force members and community stakeholders for their time and commitment to equipping DC students for the DC careers of the future.”

The nine career academies with their respective programming for school year 2014-2015 are:



School Name

Academy Type




Cardozo Education Campus


Tanya Roane



Columbia Heights Education Campus


Maria Tukeva



Dunbar Senior High School


Steven Jackson



McKinley Technology High School


Louise Jones



McKinley Technology High School


Louise Jones



Phelps ACE High School


Willie Jackson



Wilson Senior High School


Peter Cahall



Friendship Collegiate Academy


Peggy Jones



Friendship Tech Prep High School


Doranna Tindle

“To meet the demands of an ever-changing economy, our students need access to rigorous academics and the skills to compete in a range of careers. High-quality CTE programming is a critical component in preparing our students for success in college, career and life,” said Chancellor Henderson. “These schools worked incredibly hard to create thoughtful, strategic career academy proposals. I’m so proud of our principals and their teams, and most importantly, I’m so excited for the students who will benefit from joining these academies.”

“It’s great to shine a spotlight on career and technical education. This is an essential field. Just as the demands of our economy and workforce are shifting, so must our education options to DC students,” said Chairman McKoy. “Innovative initiatives like career academies are the reason why programs at Friendship Collegiate Academy and Friendship Tech Prep High School are successful. These programs equip students with college and career readiness skills and they also prepare them to meet the job demands in this city and in our globally competitive economy.”

The career and technical education initiatives stem from the “Career and Technical Education Plan Establishment Emergency Act of 2012,” which called for OSSE to convene and facilitate a CTE Task Force with three broad mandates. The Task Force’s first mandate was to analyze and evaluate the CTE programs being offered by public and public charter high schools and the community college, including an assessment of these programs’ outcomes and the extent to which they prepare their students to succeed in college and the District’s most promising career sectors. The task force’s second mandate was to produce a comprehensive city-wide CTE strategic plan recommending strategies that will ensure that the District’s CTE programs offer high-quality curricula, instruction and assessment and are linked to the business community in ways that promote real-world experiences and state-of-the-art learning. The third mandate was to provide funding for the year of planning for the nine career academies.

The Task Force was Chaired by OSSE, and included representatives from DME, DCPS, PCSB, WIC, UDC-CC as well as the Chair of the DC Council’s Economic Development Committee and Committee on Jobs & Workforce Development. The CTE Task Force submitted the Strategic Plan to the Mayor and the Council in December 2012, which included a comprehensive strategy to ensure that District residents pursuing CTE are prepared to succeed in the District’s high-wage and high-demand careers.

Concurrently, in a critical step to couple DC students with the digital-literacy skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all District high schools in this school year will be able to offer Microsoft IT courses along with certificates of completion reflecting course competency. The District is the third state in the nation, following Washington and North Carolina, to offer Microsoft IT courses to high-school students.

“Our priority is to ensure that all students are college- and career-ready, and this takes us one step closer to this goal,” said Deputy Mayor Smith. “This is a great example of how the city works together – across sectors and with the business community – to ensure that students have access to quality programming that will open doors to career opportunities in thriving industries.”

“It’s great to kick off this school year by extending Microsoft’s partnership with District of Columbia schools to provide IT skills and industry-recognized certifications to DC’s youth and adult learners,” said Margo Day, Vice President of US Education at Microsoft. “We are committed to growing talent right here in the nation’s capital, helping D.C.’s citizens prepare for the demands of today’s job market and shaping college and workforce-ready learners!”

The plan to expand the course offerings began with H.D. Woodson Senior High School two years ago, and expanded to 10 high schools last year. Those schools are:

  • Benjamin Banneker Senior High School (Ward 1)
  • Booker T. Washington PCS (Ward 1)
  • Coolidge Senior High School (Ward 4)
  • Roosevelt Senior High School (Ward 4)
  • Luke C. Moore Senior High School (Ward 5)
  • Dunbar Senior High School (Ward 5)
  • Options PCS (Ward 6)
  • Woodson Senior High School (Ward 7)
  • Friendship Collegiate Academy PCS (Ward 7)
  • Integrated Design & Electronic Academy PCS (IDEA) (Ward 7)


The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is a leader in the movement to prepare young people for college and career success. For 30 years, NAF has refined a proven educational model which includes industry-focused curricula, work-based learning experiences, and business partner expertise from five themes: Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. Employees of more than 2,500 companies volunteer in classrooms, act as mentors, engage NAF students in paid internships and serve on local Advisory Boards.