Your Monthly Update from Markus Batchelor
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The Next Leg
Since we took office, we've been fighting for the common-sense solutions that we know will make our school system more equitable, more transparent, more accountable and more responsive to the needs of our most vulnerable students and families.

This month, because of our advocacy and collective efforts, we began to see significant progress toward those goals and are working on how we take our efforts to the next level. Our community and our government are beginning to take action on issues from community schools and high school graduation, to public oversight and accountability, but there are still many battles ahead to ensure our system is providing the quality of education and support every student and family needs and deserves.

We're entered the critical next leg of this journey on so many important issues and I'll need you now more than ever to help ensure that they become a permanent part of how we do education in our city. 

Markus Batchelor
News You Can Use

Find Your DCPS School's FY19 Budget

As the Council ends oversight hearings and nears markup on the FY19 budget season, families and stakeholders are taking a hard look at the budgets for their school communities next year and giving feedback to our education leaders and elected officials. Now is the time for you to weigh in!

Interested in what's in your neighborhood school's budget for School Year 18-19?

Take a look at DCPS's Interactive Data Center

MySchoolDC Enrollment Deadline: May 1st

SY2018-19 lottery results are now available in your My School DC account. If you were matched to a school, you have until May 1 to enroll or you may lose your seat. Remember: Enrolling at your matched school does not remove you off any waitlists.

Missed the lottery deadlines? You can still apply to public schools! Submit your post-lottery application today
#DCGradReqs Task Force To Submit Final Recommendations to State Board
Our SBOE #DCGradReqs Task Force held its 13th and final meeting on Wednesday, April 25. Catch up on all of the action by watching the replay here.

Members made final recommendations regarding personalized learning plans, community service hours and mastery in math and foreign language and reviewing the format and timeline of our final recommendations report.

To close the meeting, Laura and I thanked members for their participation and for bringing their unique perspectives. Over the next few weeks, members will review and edit the final version of the recommendations report to ensure it is inclusive of the majority and minority opinions that emerged during the course of the task force.

The draft report will be presented to the State Board this Wednesday, May 2, at our working session. At the Board’s May 16 public meeting, SBOE members will vote on a formal resolution to adopt the report. If the resolution is passed by the SBOE in May, the Board will request that OSSE transform the recommendations into regulatory language to make the thoughtful recommendations of this representative group of stakeholders a lasting part of the way we support students toward graduation and life after high school.

We urge you to continue making your voice heard by emailing or by filling out our online form here. We also encourage you to join our Facebook discussion group here to share your voice with the community. For the latest updates, please visit
A Stronger Commitment to Community Schools
Representative Batchelor joins advocates for Community Schools at the DC Council OSSE Budget Oversight Hearing, April 24th.
On April 24, I stopped by the Council’s Education Committee budget oversight hearing for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to echo all the advocates asking for a strong commitment to the Community Schools strategy in DC.

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Community schools offer a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.

Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results: Children are ready to enter school; students attend school consistently; students are actively involved in learning and their community; families are increasingly involved with their children's education; schools are engaged with families and communities; students succeed academically; students are healthy - physically, socially, and emotionally; students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment, and communities are desirable places to live.

The Community Schools strategy is working around the country. The results are improved achievement, closing gaps, growing equity, supported families and strong communities. I joined advocates in telling the Council's education committee today that it's time for DC to get on board and fully invest in what works for students and families facing systemic barriers to success. Last fall, I joined a group of advocates working on a recommended strategy for a lasting and robust community schools strategy across the city and have been encouraged that DC Public Schools has begun thinking of ways to support the strategy at school communities in need.

We asked for the Council to find the funds to hold Mayor Bowser to her promise to double the number of Community Schools by the end of her term, evaluate them and push the city to commit to the strategy with the resources. 
Ward 8 Welcomes Interim Deputy Mayor for Education at 'Meet Up with Markus'
Thanks to all the parents, students, educators, community partners and stakeholders who joined us for our 3rd Meet Up With Markus Event with Interim Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith. Just close to a month on the job, our Deputy Mayor joined us on a weekend to have a candid and intimate conversation about the future of public education in Ward 8 and across the District of Columbia.

We had great conversations about providing each student and family with the tools they need to be successful inside and outside the classroom. The Deputy Mayor and I gave updates on the work we’re doing and learned so much from the residents who joined us for this conversation.

Thanks to the #OurLivesMatter Teen Campaign for hosting us at the FBR Branch Boys & Girls Club in Shippley Terrace and for engaging in the conversation!
Taking First Steps to Expand Transparency; Accountability in DC Education
Long before the torrent of scandals hit our public schools system this fall, many of us in the community and on the State Board have called for mechanisms that make our system more accountable to communities and families. There are very few issues more critical than how we collect, analyze, report and use data. Historically, data has been spun, manipulated and altered for political purposes.

For months, I've  joined some of my colleagues on the board in advocating for an independent body that would take a hard look at our data, report it honestly and give recommendations on the best way forward for our students furthest behind. I am encouraged that Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and a majority of the Council are supporting an effort to make data more open and useful for schools, families and policymakers. Here are some excerpts from a Washington Post story on the proposed District of Columbia Education Research Advisory Board and Collaborative.

"A research advisory board would analyze data from the District’s traditional public and charter schools, including an audit of education data from the past 20 years.

Cheh’s proposal follows a city-commissioned report released this year that found one in three D.C. high school graduates in 2017 did not meet city requirements to earn their diplomas.

Cheh said that if the board she is proposing had existed, it would have flagged inconsistencies between poor student attendance rates and rising graduation numbers.

Nine of 13 D.C. Council members — enough votes to pass the legislation and override a potential mayoral veto — have endorsed the legislation.

The research board would reside within the Office of the D.C. Auditor, which operates independently from the mayor. That would be a stark difference from other education figures in the city: The chancellor of the traditional public school system and the executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board report to the mayor’s office. The city’s superintendent of schools — a position intended to help hold the traditional and charter school sectors accountable — also reports to the mayor.

The review board that council members are proposing would have subpoena power, according to the legislation. Cheh said there would be a paid executive director and staff members conducting research.

The mayor would appoint four representatives to the board. The D.C. Council would appoint 10 members, and the State Board of Education would have two representatives."
From the Dais | This Month at the State Board of Education

Focus on Credit Recovery at April Public Meeting

The DC State Board of Education held its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. State Board members convened a panel to discuss the current state of credit recovery policies here in the District. The panel included Dr. Jordan Rickles, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research and Jennifer Zinth, High School & STEM Director, Education Commission of the States. Members we presented with and asked questions about best practices regarding credit recovery around the country and how we ensure that it is being used in the best way here in the District of Columbia. 

Acknowledging the widespread misuse of credit recovery options in the past, both the State Board of Education and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education have expressed interest in creating statewide guidelines for credit recovery and will begin working on that together this spring.

Parks and Rec; Libraries Reps Preview Summer Opportunities

During our April Meeting, the SBOE welcomed Themba Masimini, Deputy Director of Programs from the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Kimberly Zablud, Director of Public Services and Ellen Riordan, Assistant Director, Youth & Family Services, from the District of Columbia Public Libraries to provide an update on summer activity offerings across the District.

Want to learn more about enriching summer opportunities for your young person at DC recreation centers and local libraries? Visit,, or the Summer Strong DC website at

Apply Now: Seeking SBOE 2018-19 Student Representatives

The DC State Board of Education (SBOE) seeks motivated students in the District to serve as Student Representatives on the State Board and as members of our Student Advisory Committee (SAC) next year. Applications are now being accepted from students who are passionate about serving their local community. Students will have the opportunity to represent their peers in the decision-making process for education policy in the District. Interested students can apply online at The application is due by Thursday, May 31, 2018.

This application is for prospective Student Representatives and members of the Student Advisory Committee. The State Board of Education (SBOE) will choose two Student Representatives who will serve from September 2018 - June 2019. If a student is not selected for the Student Representative position, he/she will be automatically considered for a position on the SAC.

The Student Advisory Committee serves as the voice of students in the State Board’s work. They are consulted on all issues of policy before the Board. The Student Advisory Committee meets at least once per month. Each year, the Committee sends the SBOE a report on a matter of importance to District students, providing recommended next steps.

All applicants must be a District of Columbia resident and a sophomore, junior or senior in either a traditional public or public charter high school. For more information, please visit

Weigh in on the Design of Your School Report Card

A school report card is an informational tool that should provide you with information that you’d like to know about a school overall, and help you understand how well a school is doing or where it needs more support. Right now, families get their information from many places like word of mouth and websites like Learn DC and My School DC, or even from schools directly. Having so many options can be confusing but by December 2018, OSSE has to produce ONE report card for ALL schools (district and charter), in ONE place, to make it easier for parents to access information. Report cards aren’t just for parents and families. They can also prompt conversations between educators about what is working across the city as well.

The report card is mandated by a law called the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. But, even though it’s mandated, DC is taking the opportunity to build the best, most useful report card it can for families. OSSE has launched a city-wide public engagement effort to hear from families and the community about what they would want to know about schools so we can build a report card that is useful, accessible, and easy to navigate.

The first draft of the tool has been released and we want your feedback. Please take the time to take this quick online survey!

Submit your feedback via survey by May 4, 2018!

Wendt Center; DCPS Ski Program Honored at April Meeting

The State Board recognized District mental health professionals and grief counselors from the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing with a ceremonial resolution. State Board members understand that mental health is an important priority for educators and policymakers across the District of Columbia and the nation. The Wendt Center provides on-site responses to schools, agencies, and other institutions following violence, trauma, and death of staff, students, or others, as well as consultation to schools, hospitals, and other institutions to design and develop programs in anticipation of traumatic events.

In 2018, over 100 students in grades 4 through 12 representing eighteen schools competed in this year’s District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) ski championships at Liberty Mountain Resort in southern Pennsylvania. The SBOE honored this year’s winners in their age and skill divisions.

Congratulations and thank you!

In Other News..

The State Board of Education released official statements on the following issues this month:
Photos of the Month
From top to bottom, left to right: With members of the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute at the 50th Anniversary Observance of Dr. King's Assassination (4/4/18); Addressing DC's Future Business Leaders of America Chapter (4/13/18); With Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at the unveiling of Essence Magazine's Woke 100 feature of Black Female Mayors (4/25/18); Working hard at the final meeting of the DC High School Graduation Requirements Task Force (4/25/18); Celebrating DCGradReqs student member, Jerome Foster II on his acceptance into a Iceland Expedition this summer (4/25/18); Joining teachers and students at Anacostia High School during a walkout in protest of subpar building conditions (4/4/18); Former Secretaries Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Janet Napolitano at the Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) (4/12/18); SBOE Working Session (4/4/18); A conversation with Interim Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith at our 3rd Meet Up with Markus (4/28/18).
Upcoming Events
Tue. May 1, 2018
My School DC Enrollment Deadline
Wed. May 2, 2018
SBOE Working Session
5:00PM | 441 4th Street NW, Room 1114
May 7-11, 2018
Teacher Appreciation Week
Wed. May 16, 2018
SBOE Public Meeting
5:30PM | 441 4th Street NW, Old Council Chambers
Follow Us and Engage Online
Copyright © 2018 Markus Batchelor, DC State Board of Education | Ward 8, All rights reserved.

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