While some DC schools and students have experienced modest academic gains in recent years, “there continues to be a major achievement gap that has left far too many of our kids behind--especially those from economically disadvantaged families,” said Washington Teachers Union Local 6 president Elizabeth Davis, responding to D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s recent "State Of Our Schools" address. “The top-down reforms advanced by DCPS leadership have done little to address this inequity."
"Teachers in the District are being victimized by a broken evaluation system that is designed to punish teachers rather than help them become better at their craft,” said Davis. “This has led to low teacher morale and high teacher turnover, which has been a key factor in the lack of student progress that we're seeing in many of our city's schools. This will remain a problem until DCPS moves from a policy of 'test and punish' to one of 'support and improve.' "
"The Washington Teachers' Union and its community partners will be advocating for a significant increase in the number of community schools here in the District of Columbia. Community schools, which have helped to improve student success in cities such as Cincinnati, Baltimore and New York, give children and their families access to wraparound services aimed at meeting their social, emotional and health needs. Community schools also create an opportunity for parents, educators, community organizations, social services agencies and the school district to collaborate on behalf of our schools and our students."