D.C.’s Education Leaders Put Aside Differences to Improve Schools

According to Jessica Towhey of the online publication Real Clear Education, Washington D.C. education officials voted 6-3 to approve the District's plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The vote came as a surprise to those who frequently vote "no" on politically challenging proposals. Instead of resistance, those who had opposed the plan came together and pledged to work for the schools’ and students' success.

“This is our plan, and we’re committed to moving forward and supporting it,” said Joe Weedon, a member of the District’s Board of Education who was one of the three opposing votes. Weedon doesn’t see the plan as carved in stone and said he hopes the community and local education agencies can continue voicing concerns and make recommendations for improvement.

“We still have some work to do,” he said. “We have to develop a measure for a well-rounded curriculum and ensure that it’s implemented in the best way.”

In an era of political polarization, the District's level of cooperation moving forward is notable, especially for a plan that will bring some substantial changes to the way D.C. public schools, teachers and students will be assessed and held accountable. Read more here.