A Policymaker’s Playbook for Transforming Teaching

District of Columbia Public Schools has been a source of some sensational headlines over the past decade, from an on-camera firing of a school principal to recent revelations of watered-down diplomas.

But the school district arguably has done more to modernize public school teaching than any other in the nation. It is powerful work, yielding compelling results and important lessons for educators and policymakers nationwide.

In the report,  A Policymaker’s Playbook:  Transforming Public School Teaching in the Nation’s Capital, FutureEd explores how DCPS has transformed teaching into a performance-based profession over the past decade.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with past and present DCPS leaders, staff, principals, teachers, union officials, and researchers, the report analyzes in depth the school system’s abandonment of teaching’s traditional policies and practices in pursuit of a paradigm for public school teaching.

After providing a complete history of DC’s path, author Thomas Toch provides a lists of questions to help state and local education policymakers and practitioners analyze the District of Columbia Public Schools’ human capital reforms, providing insights into what it would take to introduce the reforms successfully in their own states, districts, and schools. Questions are posed in the following categories:

  • Disruption
  • Talent
  • Performance
  • Career
  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Improvement
  • Catalysts

For more, see https://www.future-ed.org/a-policymakers-playbook-for-transforming-teaching/