The DC State Board of Education President Robert Bobb called for "transparency, strong, meaningful, and constant community engagement from start to finish" with the efforts to turn around chronically low-performing schools. This was one of four recommendations and five policy and program options on state support and intervention for chronically low performing schools made in its advisory role to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
The recommendations distill research, experience from other school districts, and public comments received at a January 10 DC State Board of Education hearing on school restructuring. Comments from teachers, students, and other members of the public ranged from what works to barriers to improvement in schools. The State Board approved the recommendations at its monthly meeting on February 27.
View the recommendations*
The State Board of Education recommended the following:
- Transparency and strong, meaningful, and constant involvement and input from parents, students, teachers, administrators and community partners;
- That all proposed restructuring plans be based on complete sufficient, and accurate data that show how the plan will improve low-performing schools;
- Encouraging Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to include alternative assessments and innovative benchmarks that could reveal improvement in areas such as school climate, truancy and dropout rates;
- That the State Superintendent considers all five options under No Child Left Behind, and strongly supports tailoring specific turnaround plans to each of the schools slated for restructuring.
The State Board also recommends that the Superintendent of Education develop policy and program options to assist in the adoption of any of the five options available under the No Child Left Behind legislation which include: Charter School Conversions; Reconstitution by Replacing All or Most Staff; Contracting with an Outside Entity (Education Management Organization); State Takeover; and other options that can provide flexibility in relevant areas. The recommendations are posted on sboe.dc.gov.