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Education Reform

The Federal City Council (FC2) views the improvement of educational outcomes for DC students as one of its foremost priorities. With 90 percent of the District’s school age children in public schools, either in the DC Public Schools or public charter schools, the most important responsibility of the DC government is to administer the District’s education system.

For more than 20 years, FC2’s Trustees have served as trusted partners for education improvement, working closely with local and federal stakeholders to ensure all students, regardless of where they live, are graduating high school prepared for college, career and life.

There have been substantial advancements at DCPS in recent years. In 2003, DC students scored lowest on the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. For the last two years, DC has ranked near the middle and has shown the most improvement among all U.S. cities, changes that have helped DC attract some of the best education leaders and teachers in the nation.

There are many reasons to be hopeful for the District’s students, and FC2 applauds and actively supports recent efforts to investigate best practices and improve students’ readiness for college and the workforce. FC2 Trustees play many civic leadership roles in pursuit of a continuous focus on reform and responsible stewardship of the DC education system. FC2’s support for reform includes:



The District achieved dramatic gains on the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) due to the passage of the DC Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA). Since the 2006-7 school year, the city, both DCPS and public charter schools, has increased its composite proficiency score by 19 points. 


Established more than 30 years ago by the National Academy Foundation (NAF), Career Academies have become a widely used high school reform initiative that aims to keep students engaged in school and prepare them for successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment. Academies are organized as small learning communities, combining academic and technical curricula around a career theme and establishing partnerships with local employers to provide work-based learning opportunities. 


Created in 2015 to increase collaboration between DCPS and public charter schools, the Cross-sector Collaboration Task Force is co-chaired by mayoral-appointees Anthony Williams, CEO and Executive Director of FC2, and Jennie Niles, DC Deputy Mayor for Education. During its expected two-year tenure, the task force will examine cooperative opportunities around facilities, assessment data, communications to parents, mid-year transitions and solutions to issues such as adult and special education that require citywide collaboration. 


The planned 276,000-square-foot Parkside Center for Learning and Career Development, slated for ribbon cutting in late 2017 or early 2018, will integrate basic skills and literacy training, post-secondary education, workforce development programs and supportive services, all in one location in Ward 7. A FC2 priority, the innovative Center will provide District residents with vital services that promote high-quality, stable employment and careers.