DC City Council Performance Oversight Hearing
Committee of the Whole
March 9, 2021
I am Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers’ Union. The Washington Teacher’s Union represents over 5,000 active and retired teachers. We are dedicated to social and educational justice for the students of the District of Columbia and to improving the quality of support, resources, compensation and working conditions for the public servants and proud teachers who educate our students. I am a DC teacher and DC resident.
At last year’s public oversight hearing, my testimony included the following:
Citywide, 62.9% of those who took the English language portion of the PARCC exam did not achieve proficiency. In math, 69.5% citywide did not reach proficiency. Large achievement gaps persist between students of color, particularly African Americans, and their white counterparts. The barriers our students face are real and the resulting achievement gaps that are present in the District of Columbia are striking.
Unfortunately not much has changed since I wrote those words a year ago. In fact, due to the pandemic, we can expect that gaps have increased further. It is time for our city to embark on bold reforms to ensure that every single student in the District receives the education that he or she deserves. Our return to in-person learning cannot simply be a return to what was. We must return to a system that has learned and improved; that is changing its practices.