A Path Forward for DC Schools

DC is in an opportune position to double down on school quality and equity for all of the city’s students.

Our public school enrollment continues to grow and our elected and district officials are committed to improving our schools with support from funders and community advocates. Through a dedicated focus on growing high-quality, equitable public schools, DC can become a national model as the first city to guarantee every student access to an excellent education.

During our first five years, Education Forward DC is working to double the number of underserved students in DC who are college and career ready. We provide funding and strategic support to high-impact leaders aligned with the following strategies to help us reach our ambitious goal:

A Great Public School for Every Student in DC

To accelerate innovation and improvement in DC’s education system, we support public schools designed to serve at-risk and special education students well. To implement this vision, we provide funding and strategic support to:

  • Start new public schools where they are needed
  • Help restart and redesign existing public schools to better meet student needs
  • Help successful local charter and district schools grow and expand

Public Schools Led By Excellent Principals and Teachers

Students thrive with great school leaders who can recruit and develop talented teachers. We support efforts to:

  • Recruit, train, and retain high-quality teachers
  • Develop and support great leaders to sustain and grow high-performing public schools
  • Improve practices at public schools to increase retention and development of teachers and leaders

A Public School System Designed for DC Families

DC schools should reflect the citywide diversity of students’ needs and interests so that every student can grow and learn in a setting that works for them. We are focused on ensuring a better match between the needs of families and the city’s public schools by investing in organizations that:

  • Support and amplify the voice of students and families to inform school decisions
  • Strengthen the work of public schools and government to engage with families and the community
  • Gather and share information to support policy decisions and planning efforts, as well as families’ school choice decisions

Policies that Sustain DC’s Progress

Great public schools can only open and grow when policies are in place that support the conditions for their success. Our advocacy investments are focused on supporting efforts to:

  • Create the efficient and equitable allocation of resources
  • Promote strong accountability in public schools
  • Strengthen school autonomy and equity in district and charter schools