Paper Example. Washington D.C. Public Schools

Published: 2023-04-09
Paper Example. Washington D.C. Public Schools
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  School Personal leadership Leadership style
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1772 words
15 min read

The public schools in Washington, D.C., were characterized by minimal transformation for a very long time. Most citizens agitated for tremendous modification, but none of the leaders seems to be interested. The entry of Chancellor Michelle Rhee brought some desirable changes within the public schools even though some individuals were against her policies. She spends three years rebuilding the public schools which were in the worst state, before stepping down from her post. Although people lament that some of her policies were worst, she made a significant positive contribution in all public schools (Jones, 2017).

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Her reign was marked by a large enrollment of students in schools, unlike in the past. Secondly, the set targets that were never achieved before could be attained, and the quality of teaching was high. The factors that made Chancellor Michelle Rhee to thrive in her reforms include her tactics of gifting the most outstanding teachers, sacking inefficient instructors, and making them to be accountable in areas pertaining to learners' progress. These three factors introduced by Chancellor Michelle Rhee served as the benchmark for other schools. The other schools in the country adopted these measures to guide them in enhancing transformations (Jones, 2017).

The chancellor altered the rules and regulations that guide the employment of staff, rendered jobless non-performing personnel, and closing some schools. These changes were achieved due to her bold leadership. The contributions of Michelle Rhee have been applauded by most reformers in education and integrated into the government school reform competition, which is estimated to be $4.3 billion. The competition is aimed at enhancing that schools adhere to their commitments in transforming their institution before being awarded with the price. Subsequent leaders have vowed to continue championing Rhee's reform blueprint by maintaining her whole management team in the place (Jones, 2017).

DCPS Organization


The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) refers to the local, traditional public school system operated in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The schools are different from other schools which are operated DC public charter schools (DCPCS) within Washington. The organization is committed to achieving excellence in everything they are doing at every stage of their work. The organization demands to move to greater strides by demanding more from the students, educators, and other workers. The institution is comprised of 51000 learners with the intention of completing their high school and being well prepared to further their learning in colleges and universities (, 2015).

The teaching workforce is made up of 4000 teachers committed to ensuring that every student achieves the best. The role of the principals is to lay down strategic factors to promote positive school communities which entirely stressed on academic progression. These roles are dedicated to 109 principals. The learners are given a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment by a population of 2900 custodians, counselors, social workers, classroom aides, and other support personnel. The expansive family and community individuals motivate the students and strive to provide an advanced education system for them. The organization is also made up of thousands of volunteers and community organizations who aides the learners and staff in their journey of pursuing excellence. The people and leaders residing in Washington DC are aware that a robust school system with high achieving learners is dependent a lot by the government and from the future highly skilled members of the city (, 2015).

Roles of the Organization

The objective of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) is to make sure that every school gives learners the ability to attain their maximum potential by ensuring that they participate in extremely thorough and careful and enjoyable learning experiences given in a nurturing environment. The services that the DCPS provides are running schools that offer a strong foundation in academics, challenging themes and programs, and overwhelming support for social and emotional services. Secondly, it recruits, develops, and rewards aids, principals, teachers, and other staff. Moreover, its designs and implement academic programs that endowed all learners with meaningful alternatives for life. They also offer data and offer policymakers the correct information concerning how the students and the school district are getting in their performance. Lastly, the institution gives schools the administrative and operational aid required to promote student achievement and develops forums for interaction and prolonged dialogue between its community stakeholders and DCPS (, 2019).

Reforms Made By DCPS Organization

On matters of educational transformation, washing DC has received more praise and controversies for the past years. The reforms were initiated by Mayor Adrian Fenty, who advocated for centralization in matters involving decision-making and also dissolves the local school board. The changes were performed by building a variety of schools, reducing power conferred to teacher unions, and designing an upcoming new accountability structure. The new accountability arrangement involved rewarding teachers inform of pay based on their performance. Moreover, student test scores form the basis of evaluating teachers. Most people perceived these measures as the best way to achieve educational reforms (Cohen, 2017).

When the organization put these measures in place, higher-scoring teachers who eventually improved students' performance were employed to replace those who went out of the district after getting low marks in the teacher's evaluation system. Additionally, there was an improvement in D.C. scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The improvement in D.C was faster as compared to the learners in other districts. Students improved significantly in their learning which proved that educational reforms have positive impacts. The reforms brought about increase in students enrollment in the schools (Cohen, 2017).

The other changes put in place in DC schools include maintaining old teachers in the teaching workforce. Teachers who had not attained a minimum of ten years' experience in teaching within the system were rendered jobless. Teachers signed a dreadful contract. The contract limits the teacher's time and the testability the administrators used to determine the weight of the evaluation. The contract was extremely rigid to the extent of not evaluating teachers outside the school system. The principals were so strict to the extent that any documents not filled correctly were discarded (Cohen, 2017).

D.C.'s new ranking system rank teachers in the form of ineffective, minimally effective, developing, effective, and highly effective, which most people stated that it demotivates the teachers. Other changes that were put in place include drafting new curriculum standards, lengthening the school day, and closing and rehabilitating schools. (Cohen, 2017).

Drivers of the Change in DCPS Organization

The drivers of the change were categorized into internal and external factors. The organization management initiated the internal considerations for change. For instance, when the mayor appointed Michelle Rhee, she closed approximately two dozen schools, specifically those with low enrollment and old buildings. Rhee furthermore developed an IMPACT, which was the latest teacher evaluation system that measured teacher performance by assessing in portion on how much their students have gained through learning. The chancellor acquired a new union contract that attached teacher pay along with their individual evaluation ratings. Rhee gave the go-ahead for teachers who earned most low ratings to be rendered jobless, and offer hefty packages to those who received higher ratings. The IMPACT was proved to raise the quality of the teaching workforce in DCPS since it made the non-performers to exit the system and excellent performers to be retained to boost performance (Sara Mead , 2017).

Level of Change in DCPS Organization

The level of change in DCPS organization was categorized as individual, group and entire organizational change. For instance, there was an increase in population groups within DC. New families entered into the city, increasing the population in excess of 74000 between the year 2010 to 2013. The increase in population is transforming the public schools by increasing the enrollment of students. The organizational change was marked by tremendous expansion in preschool slots and prekindergarten. The change enables students to have a variety of choices in their school enrollment because they could apply to join any school. The individual change was characterized by an increase in demand among higher educated families. The rise in the birth rate among the educated families necessitated an increase in demand for education of their kids. Highly trained parents usually yearn for better education for their kids; this increased pressure on D.C to improve the schools (Our changing city: Housing, n.d.).

Current Leader of the DCPS Organization

The current chancellor of DCPS is Dr Lewis D. Ferebee he was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and originated from Indianapolis. The chancellor has tremendous experience in leading public education sector. He has served as a classroom teacher and a principal heading an institution with an estimated number of students beyond 30000. Dr Lewis D. Ferebee has been instrumental in the creation of programs and partnerships to expand college and career readiness. He also worked to develop internships and apprenticeships in conformity to the state's current and future workforce requirement. Although he has initiated some developments, the events driving the change happens when he was not in the office (, 2018).

Transformational Leadership Of Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee

Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee is a transformational leader who has value-driven for young children. He is a bold leader and can wrestle for complicated change if it is meant to boost the results for students. Dr. Lewis has achieved a lot from the time he was a school principal and recently as a superintendent in Indianapolis. He built one of the most advanced equitable school access in the nation. Dr. Lewis oversaw the transformation of elementary and secondary schools characterized by low student achievement. When he was a regional superintendent in Guilford County, North Carolina, Dr. Lewis oversaw the underperforming schools, eventually leading his group of schools to the greatest upsurge in academic progress among the five regions in the district (Magee, 2019).

Dr. Lewis goes beyond the effort of transforming specific schools. He desires to make what is working to be more valuable and useful and modify it in a way that increases the helpful results to the children in the area. Lewis has devised the most performing programs, for instance, during his reign in Guilford County, he was tasked in leading the state in most middle schools meetings. During his tenure, no individual young child left behind significant yearly progress achievements in the entire North Carolina for two consecutive years. Furthermore, he was given the role of reorganizing central services aid in both Durham and Guilford counties, where he increases service delivery and resource allocation. Lewis is famously known for the development of Indianapolis's Innovation Network Schools that have changed the city public education landscape, raising quality by instilling the decision-making power in the hands of school management (Magee, 2019).

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