Supporting effective teaching and high achievement in every classroom, in every school in DC Public Schools
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Quality Teachers and Leaders

We believe that investing in the development of quality teachers and leaders is critical to increasing student achievement. DCPS has set a bold agenda to recruit, reward,and retain quality teachers and leaders. The following initiatives have set the bar for excellence and are models for other districts.


IMPACTplus: Creating a Performance-Based Culture

In 2010, DCPS signed aground breaking new contract with the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU), providing the context and environment for DCPS to recruit, reward, and retain the best educators in the country. Utilizing IMPACT, DCPS’ cutting edge performance assessment system, DCPS identifies its strongest performers as Highly Effective. These Highly Effective educators have the opportunity to opt into IMPACTplus, DCPS’ performance-based compensation system that rewards teachers with an accelerated compensation ladder and eligibility for a performance bonus of up to $25,000.


In 2012, DCPS awarded over 700 Highly Effective teachers nearly $7million in bonuses for outstanding performance.


Critical to the success of this program were four national funders who came together in a unique partnership to help DCPSachieve its goals.

  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Robertson Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation


The DC Education Fund provided oversight, advice, and implementation support for this innovative initiative. Starting in School Year 2012-2013, DCPS has successfully transitioned teacher performance pay costs into the DCPS budget.


Align: Improving the Way DCPS Evaluates Its Teachers

In order to create a consistent practice to evaluate teachers across the district, DCPS needed a state-of-the-art online training and standardized platformto train evaluators.


The DC Education Fund worked closelywith the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to secure and manage two grants to support the creation of Align, a training system combining online and in-person support for school administrators and master educators responsible for evaluating DCPS teachers.


The project began training stafffor School Year 2012-2013 and will fully launch its online training component in School Year 2013-2014.


Education Portal+: An Innovative Approach to Professional Development

In August 2012, DCPS celebrated the successful phase one launch of its newEducator Portal+—an online professional development platform for DCPS educators that contains a library of videos, documents, presentations, lesson plans, complete units, and courses. This new website is part of the in-depth support teachers receive under DCPS’ Teaching and Learning Framework (TLF).


The Educator Portal+will serve as an important tool for all those who support teachers, including principals, assistant principals, master educators, instructional coaches, related service providers, and central office employees.


As a result of this system, DCPS will continue to transform the way in which teachers are developed and advance its goal of improving student outcomes.


Support of this platform comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship: Bold Cultivation of New Principals

School leadership is a critical component of DCPS’ reform strategy,which is based on the belief that great school leaders are key to driving dramatic student achievementgains.


In 2012, DCPS created a new leadership development program to cultivate aspiring DCPS principals—the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship. This eighteen-month fellowship prepares cohorts of 10 to 15 assistant principals and other eligible staff to become high-performing DCPS principals.


In partnership with Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and several other nationally respected leadership development consultants, the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship is a rigorous leadership training program designed with targeted guidance and expert input from some of DCPS’ highly respected leaders.


Freddie Mac Foundation, CityBridge Foundation, Gephardt Government Affairs, and The Boeing Company have also provided funding to support design and implementation for the program launch, which took place in January 2013.