Teachers in DC Partner in the Pursuit of Excellence

Monday, July 14, 2014

This week in Washington, President Obama turned the spotlight on teacher quality and access by introducing the "Excellent Educators for All" initiative. I hope the plan brings renewed focus to the critical task of supporting teachers and providing opportunities to nurture excellence. As the President said on Monday, "We are not doing enough to put our teachers in a position to succeed." 
Our lawmakers may not be doing enough, but teachers across Washington, DC have taken matters into their own hands, partnering to build a new model for professional development. 

"An ambitious, transformative plan"
What started as a peer network has grown to become the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teaching (WISSIT).

The inaugural session kicks off August 11 and connects DC educators to the work of Harvard's Project Zero. 
The week-long conference convenes teachers from public, charter, parochial and private schools across the city. Building on Washington International School's decade-long relationship with Project Zero, WISSIT is the school's response to the "call nationwide for public-private partnership," says Head Clayton Lewis. Relationships and networks built during the August session are strengthened throughout the school year with workshops, gatherings and online discussion, says Jim Reese, Director of WISSIT. (Watch video above to learn more.)

Support for the program has been enormous and, in the words of one teacher, a chance to reframe the conversation about education in the nation's capital: "DC education isn't just about politics; it's extraordinarily child-focused." 

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