ESSA Taskforce, Upcoming events at Eastern
I hope you're enjoying the summer break.  Please be careful during the heat and check on any friends or neighbors who lack air conditioning. Encourage those in need to visit a cooling center, spray park or other safe location. Click here or visit to find a listing of emergency centers, spray parks, and other resources.

ESSA Advisory Task Force – Deadline to Apply is July 24 at 12:00 PM

ESSAJoin me on the city’s ESSA Taskforce and help us ensure that our city’s school accountability plan includes strong additional measures for high school academic growth, school climate, and well-rounded education. Please be thorough in your applications.Apply here:


Upcoming Events:

As we begin to gear up for Back to School, Eastern High School is planning a couple of fun events. I’ll post events regularly for all schools in #Ward6 on Twitter @joeweedon or on Facebook.


E Ball Enrollment Extravaganza

​Saturday, August 12 - 11am - 2pm
Coach Kakulu and the Eastern Basketball Team will be scrimmaging. Special guests, including Principal Brown, are expected to take the court! Listen to the Blue and White Marching Machine perform at halftime. And, by enrolling, you can enter a raffle to win a pair of tennis shoes at the end of each quarter.

Stay cool. 


Summer, new principals, mtg with Chancellor

Happy Summer! As our schools close for the summer, I want to take a moment to share a few items about the State Board of Education's work this summer and welcome our new DCPS school leaders to Ward 6. But, first, remember to sign-up and win prizes for reading this summer!


Summer Reading 2017

Summer ReadingThe DC Public Library's Build a Better World Summer Reading challenge encourages all readers to explore books, resources and library services. Register and play online or pickup a game board at your neighborhood library.


Join Chancellor Wilson & Principal Young to discuss their vision for Eliot-Hine June 21 11am at Eliot-Hine MS.

I encourage the Eliot-Hine community to join Chancellor Wilson and Principal Young on Wednesday morning for a conversation about our vision for Eliot-Hine.  While the Chancellor has repeatedly expressed his support for Eliot-Hine and it's IB Middle Years Programme, this year's budget allocation failed to follow DCPS's funding guidelines for IB schools, resulting in a shortage of funds to adhere to the IB programme requirements. I hope to see you there to advocate for a vision for Eliot-Hine that will allow all its students to reach their full potential.


Principal Announcements for School Year 2017-2018

I want to thank Principals Peter Young (Brent), Isamar Vargas (Eliot-Hine) and Dawn Clemens (Stuart-Hobson) for their service to our community and welcome three new leaders to our neighborhood:

Click here to see all the new principal announcements from DCPS.

The high rate of school leader and teacher turnover in our neighborhood schools is alarming. Nearly 38% of DCPS teachers in high poverty schools will not return to the same classroom next year (vs national average of 16%). In the past two years, 10 #Ward6 schools have seen changes in leadership.  I was proud to join my colleagues on the State Board of Education in calling for the Council to hold a hearing on these issues and will continue to push for additional conversations on these issues.  (more here).  Mr. Grosso, the Education Committee Chair, has decided to consider this issue as part of broader conversations about the DCPS strategic plan in the fall.

High School Graduation Task Force

Join the State Board of Education in rethinking the District’s Graduation Requirements:  Learn more and apply to join the task for here:


ESSA Advisory Task Force

Last month, the State Board of Education voted to create an ESSA Advisory Task Force to conduct community roundtables and focus groups to gather input on the remaining ESSA accountability plan measures, pilot studies, and school report cards from essential District education stakeholders. I’m proud to announce that I’ve been nominated by the Board’s president to serve on the Task Force and look forward to ensuring that our city’s ESSA plan includes strong additional measures for high school academic growth, school climate, and well-rounded education.  Look for more information in the coming weeks.


Council Adopts 2018 Budget

Among the highlights of the Council’s budget as passed are:

  • The Universal per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), the keystone metric in schools funding, will increase by 3%, which is double the 1.5% proposed in the Mayor’s budget
  • Concretely, this change will net $11.5 million in additional funds for DC Public Schools and $7.2 million for DC Public Charter Schools.
  • Seven public and charter schools will see their renovations accelerated due to the Council’s proposed budget: Jefferson Middle School, West Education Campus, Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, Anne M. Goding Elementary School, Eaton Elementary School, Shaw Middle School, and the Browne Education Campus.

Check out more:


Have a great summer!

Spring 2017 Update

Good evening –

I hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful Spring weather and has a wonderful Spring Break.  Below are some updates on the work we’ve done at the Board of Education over the past few weeks and information on school budgets and related issues.  As always, #ThankYou for your support.


My_School_DC_logo.PNGEnroll now…

Matched to a school or called off a waitlist? For info on how to enroll your student, visit MySchoolDC or the school you plan to attend. Enrolling early helps schools plan for the upcoming year; please take a few moments to enroll NOW.


Chancellor Wilson @ Eastern Senior HS.

Join me in welcoming Chancellor Wilson to #Ward6 & Eastern Senior High School (1700 East Capitol Street, NE) tomorrow, April 11, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.


Budget_log.PNGCity Budget

Mayor Bowser announced her Fiscal Year 2018 Budget last week (press releasedirect link). While the budget represents the city’s largest investment in public education – over $1.58 billion for DC’s public schools – it includes just a 1.5% increase in the amount spent per student. In a time of record surpluses, I’d hoped for a greater increase and have heard from schools across Ward 6 about cuts and tough funding decisions.

With regard to the School Modernization Budget, available here, I continue to be concerned that the process of developing the city’s modernization priorities is not being done, as recommended by the Deputy Mayor’s Boundary Taskforce, with public input and that we continue to utilize bad data in determining needs. Even for the modernizations that have moved forward, we lack clear enrollment projections and an overall vision for our schools. I strongly believe that the learning conditions impact student performance and will continue to advocate for a transparent process that involves the community.


Make Your Voice Heard!

Read more

ESSA Community Meetings and more...

Please join me on Feb 21 at Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan or on Feb 27 at CHAW to share your thoughts on the District's proposed State Accountability Plan.


ESSA FlyerMake Your Voice Heard: ESSA Community Meetings

The State Board members are co-hosting a series of community meetings this month in all eight wards in the District to collect community input on the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA).

Your feedback is needed to determine how we define quality schools and put ESSA’s requirements into action! 

Ward 6 | Feb. 21 | 6-8 p.m. | Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, 215 G St. NE.  Register here for Feb. 21

Ward 6 | Feb. 27 | 6-8 p.m. | Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh St. SE. Register here for Feb. 27


Flyers: English | Amharic | Chinese | French | Korean | Spanish | Vietnamese

If you can’t join us in #Ward6, please join another conversation. Click here for more information.

Read more

Happy New Year - Maury ES Renovation, ESSA and More

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and that 2017 is off to a wonderful beginning! I’m eager to continue building upon what we’ve accomplished in our schools across #Ward6 as I look forward to the work in front of the State Board in 2017.

Before diving in, I’d like to thank my colleagues Mary Lord (At-Large), Kamili Anderson (Ward 4), and Tierra Jolly (Ward 8) for their work on behalf of our city’s students. It’s been an honor to work with, and learn from, them. I am also excited to welcome Ashley Carter (At-Large), Lannette Woodruff (Ward 4), and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8) to the State Board of Education. And, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Councilmembers and ANC members who took office earlier today. Together, we can move our schools and communities forward, providing great educational opportunities for all students in our city.


News & Announcements:

Modernizations -- Maury ES

DCPS will be meeting with the community on January 12th at 6:00 PM at Maury ES to discuss the expansion of Maury ES and possible changes to the project with the community.  I hope that we can pack the room to show DCPS that our community takes these decisions seriously and wants to be involved.

Read more

ESSA, Residency, New Chancellor, Charter School Rankings & Modernizations

As we near the end of 2016, I want to thank everyone for their input into the work the State Board of Education is doing to develop a new accountability system for our schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and highlight some important decisions that will be made in the coming weeks.

First, I want to thank everyone who provided testimony at the State Board of Education’s November 16 public meeting. The Board heard
loud and clear that the community wants to see our city look beyond test scores as we evaluate our schools under the new ESSA regulations. We look forward to working with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in updating the draft proposal to include more emphasis on individual student growth, a survey of school climate and culture, and other performance measures (in-seat attendance, re-enrollment, etc).

It’s not too late to make your voice heard. Email me at with your thoughts.

There are also a number of other education topics of interest happening in our community.

Read more

Fall Update: PARCC, Residency Verification, Facilities & More…

I hope that everyone has had a great start to the 2016-17 school year. As we’ve kicked off the new school year, the State Board has been hard at work. We’ve begun our work to bring the District into line with new federal accountability rules under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I’ve also renewed my call for the Deputy Mayor of Education to come to #Ward6 to explain how the District’s School Facilities Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was developed and to engage our community in developing a vision and priorities for our schools. I’ve also raised issues with the DC School Lottery about ways to promote enrollment stability. And, the Board is also working with OSSE to update the District’s residency verification procedures and requirements.

Please let me know if you have any question and please MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD on these on other important issues.

Read more


Summer Update: Changes at DCPS, Council Hearings on Modernizations & Food, SBoE Updates

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July Holiday and is enjoying their summer. It’s been a busy summer so far with many changes at DCPS, on-going work by the Council on modernizations and food services.  Please read on to hear about these items as well as the on-going work of the State Board of Education.  And, if you know any high school students who would like to serve the Board as our student representatives next year, please encourage them to apply here.


Changes in DCPS

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson will step down later this year. While the Chancellor and I have not always seen eye-to-eye, I would like to offer my #Thanks to her for her leadership of DCPS. The strongest statement that I can offer is the fact that my children remain enrolled in DCPS schools. Deputy Mayor Niles will be leading the selection process for the next Chancellor, and I look forward to hearing more from both the administration and the community as we go through the search process.

Sah Brown, Eastern PrincipalI would also like to welcome the [many] new DCPS principals to #Ward6, including Eastern HS's new principal, Sah Brown. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with parent and community leaders from each school that went through a principal search this spring. While experiences varied widely, I’m confident that each school was able to find a highly qualified leader that will take their community to the next level.


Education Committee Hearings – Facilities & Modernization

On Monday, July 11, the Committee on Education will hold a Public Hearing on B21-777, "Planning Actively for Comprehensive Education Facilities Amendment Act of 2016." This legislation would require a 10-year Master facilities Plan and amends the requirements for the formulation of the DCPS Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Those who wish to testify may sign-up online at or call the Committee on Education at (202) 724-8061 by 5:00 pm Thursday, July 7.

While, I applaud Councilmember Grosso and the Education Committee for moving to take politics out of the school modernization process, I continue to be concerned that the process of developing the city’s modernization priorities is not being done, as recommended by the Deputy Mayor’s Boundary Taskforce, with public input. This proposal under consideration by the Council seeks to codify a new Capital Improvement Program ranking system that will rely upon faulty assumptions about community needs and desires as well as incomplete or bad data. In short, it will codify a system that will not reflect the priorities of our community or meet the needs of our students.

Read more

2016 Graduation, SBOE Update

Eastern_graduation.jpgAs we wrap up the school year, I wish to thank all of our #Ward6 school staff for their commitment to our students and our community. And, I want to extend a special Thank You to the principals and teachers who not be returning to our communities next year. #Ward6 is losing a number of great school leaders and my thanks go out to the parents, teachers and community members for your efforts to ensure that our schools continue to move forward.


SBOE Update

What do YOU think makes a school successful?

What do YOU think makes a school successful? Is it test scores? Student progress from year to year? Is it that students are engaged in learning? Is it that the school has an arts or music program? Is it a combination of these and other factors? 

The DC State Board of Education is working with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to reframe what success means for schools in the District of Columbia, and we want to hear from you! We are hosting eight events over the next three weeks to begin this process. At these meetings, you will learn more about new rules for school and student success, and how you can help the SBOE shape the vision for schools across the District.

I hope that you can join me at the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization Meeting on Tuesday, June 21 at Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan to learn more and add your voice to the discussion. 

If you can’t make it on June 21, SBoE members are holding discussions across the city. Click here to find out where the meetings are being held. Or you can submit your comments online.
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