Media Contact: Patience Peabody at [email protected] or (202) 654-6120
Today, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles and State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang announced a new Districtwide partnership between the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and Hope Street Group, to support and equip teachers to engage school, district, and local administrators, and other elected officials in education policy development.
“As a former teacher and school leader, I know how critical it is for educators to have a seat at the table as we make policy decisions that impact their work, and most importantly, the students they teach every single day,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles. “I’m proud that our Administration recognizes that teachers are a driving force behind our progress. Any opportunity to further support our educators is one we welcome, and I know the teachers involved, along with our entire city, will benefit from the professional development and support the program provides.”
The Local Teacher Fellowship program will launch in January 2018 and is designed to connect educators to policymakers in the District. The two-year fellowship will provide teachers from both DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools with training, resources, and support to interact with policymakers and inform policy decisions that impact the teaching and learning conditions in the District’s public schools.
The collaborative program is an initiative of Hope Street Group, a national organization known for its influential teacher engagement work. The fellows program has already been successfully implemented in Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. Fellows have informed the implementation of the science standards in Hawaii, impacted the statewide teacher evaluation system in Kentucky, and helped develop a framework for formalizing teacher leadership roles in Tennessee. Hope Street Group most recently added the Commonwealth of Virginia to its list of statewide partners.
“What we know from teachers in the other state programs is that the opportunities for them to engage with decision makers and develop their teacher leadership skills is undoubtedly the biggest benefit to teachers in the fellows program” said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. “We look forward to the program being equally successful here in DC.”
A diverse group of Local Teacher Fellows (LTFs) are selected after a rigorous application and selection process. The recruitment of teachers to apply to serve as LTFs will begin shortly after the 2018 launch. DC’s fellows will join a network of more than 50,000 teachers across the country in engaging their communities and shaping local education policy and practice.
“This marks a huge milestone in Hope Street Group’s growth as this will be the first school district to host a fellows' program” said Dan Cruce of Hope Street Group. “We think DC is an ideal district to work in because of its strong commitment to supporting teachers and their track record of human capital innovation.”
In August, Mayor Bowser announced that after five years, DCPS and the Washington Teacher’s Union (WTU) reached an agreement on a new contract that was supported by more than 90% of WTU members and passed unanimously by the DC Council. In her Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, the Mayor invested $1.74 billion in public education, an increase of $121 million over last year’s budget and the largest investment in public education in the city’s history. The teachers’ contract will provide an additional $110.5 million to DCPS and an additional $92.6 million to public charter schools from FY2017 to FY2021.
The contract builds on DCPS’s strong system of teacher support by providing teachers with additional professional compensation and benefits. It also ensures structured, collaborative engagement between DCPS and the WTU on various issues. OSSE’s new partnership with Hope Street Group will create another vehicle for both DCPS and public charter school teachers to engage on citywide education issues and policies.
Hope Street Group is a not-for-profit focused on ensuring every American has access to economic opportunity through education and a career path that offers advancement and income growth.