|>About the group (.pdf) |
To join the Public Education Working Group or learn more, e-mail Erica Pressman.
Promoting awareness and action around public education; positioning grantmakers to play a role in influencing education policy; focusing primarily on teacher/leadership development, and advocacy/organizing.
PEWG Meets with Public School Officials from Around the Region
In September, funders heard from Dr. Joshua Starr, who started in his position as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) this past summer. Dr. Starr spoke about his top priorities for the first months of his transition, including developing strong professional development opportunities for all teachers and identifying ways to deal effectively with issues of race and equity in MCPS. Recognizing that MCPS is already one of the strongest school systems in the country, and that the county is rapidly becoming more socially and economically diverse, Dr. Starr is determined to build on MCPS’ solid foundation to continue strengthening schools and avoid the risk of stagnation. There are many opportunities for local funders to help ensure MCPS’ continued improvement. At a big picture level, Dr. Starr emphasized his hope to partner with the philanthropic community to look deeply at what works in education reform and to serve as a thought partner on strategically aligning all aspects of the MCPS system to be as effective as possible.
Earlier this year, PEWG met with Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and Superintendent William Hite about reform efforts under way in that county, particularly focusing on improving teacher effectiveness, implementing rigorous standards for secondary schools, and improving performance management across the 198 schools in the system. Mr. Baker, highlighting his commitment to having a long-term impact on education reform in the county despite any short-term political risks, emphasized the critical role that having a strong public education system plays in promoting economic growth and creating jobs in the county.
DC Public Education Learning Series Kicks Off 2011-12 Year
After kicking–off the D.C. Public Education Learning Series in September with a briefing featuring DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright, State Superintendent for Education Hosana Mahaley, and D.C. Public Charter School Board member Darren Woodruff, the 2011-2012 series is now underway. In October, 25 local funders boarded a bus for the first EduTour, "Fostering Excellence in School Leadership.” Participants visited the newly-renovated Wilson High School in Tenleytown, DCPS' largest high school, as well as Chavez Prep, a public charter middle school in Columbia Heights. Funders heard from principals and other leaders about how the definition of school leadership has expanded from a principal and assistant principal to a multi-layered team of professionals in designated leadership or management positions, and how these structural changes drive teacher effectiveness and improve student achievement. Participants also heard from DCPS Chief of Schools John Davis about the training initiatives the District is building to strengthen the pipeline of school leaders, and from Shawn Hardnett, Director of Charter Leadership Development for New Leaders for New Schools, about the challenges and opportunities unique to the charter sector in training and retaining excellent school leaders and building strong leadership teams.
The DC Public Education Learning Series is hosted by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, the Banyan Tree Foundation, the CityBridge Foundation, and the DC Public Education Fund.