Accelerating the pace of education reform in the District


February 3, 2016 | Volume 2, Issue 4


We all know that the pathway to the middle class begins with a great education.  Here in the District, our public schools are on the up and up.  High school graduation rates are increasing, student satisfaction is improving, and enrollment is growing. 

As your Mayor, I am committed to building on our progress – ramping up education reform.  All this week, I have been highlighting new programs and policies that will strengthen our schools.  We are retaining top-notch principals and teachers. We are giving parents and students the ability to find the best school for them through the My School DC lottery. We are launching new academies to prepare our students for the good-paying jobs of the future. We are giving families resources to help their youngest children get a jump start, through ‘Books from Birth.’  And we are recruiting mentors to help our young men of color, who are most at risk of falling behind. 

We are also making sure that every minute students spend in school counts.  This morning, I announced that District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) will extend the school year for ten schools in the 2016/2017 school year. Research suggests that the ‘summer slide’ contributes to the achievement gap – when disadvantaged kids tend to lose the gains they made during the school year.  With this extended year, we will take another big step toward reducing the achievement gap.

Together, we will ensure that children in all 8 wards have a fair shot to live up to their enormous potential.



Muriel Bowser

2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Yesterday, Mayor Bowser and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt released the District’s 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is the 19th consecutive year in which the District received a clean audit opinion. For the first time, the audit found no Material Weaknesses or Significant Deficiencies in the central government. This report confirms that the District’s finances are strong – and are getting stronger. Read more here.

The District weathered a historic storm – with nearly 3.5 billion cubic feet of snow falling on our city.  That’s roughly the weight of 163 Washington Monuments and 2,109 U.S. Capitol domes! I want to thank all of our residents who really stepped up to the plate to help us with the big ‘dig out.’ It was an ‘all hands on deck’ effort, but we did it!

While this was this winter’s first major snowfall, it’s likely not the last. Next time it snows, we’ll need your help clearing sidewalks and curb-cuts for elderly and disabled residents. Will you volunteer with the District’s Resident Snow Team? Visit to sign up. 

Snow Graphic

One Resident’s Story

We’ve been inspired by the messages that have come in from across the city during last week’s storm, about neighbors helping neighbors. Thanks to Judy and Gary Kopff for sharing the following story, and thank you so much to “B” and the 3,000+ volunteers who volunteered their time and muscle to help their neighbors.  #DCProud

More than a year ago, my husband, Gary, and I enrolled in the DC Office on Aging’s program to receive free snow shoveling help for seniors and people with disabilities. Although we did not receive any offers of assistance during last year’s snow storms, we were surprised and thrilled early this afternoon when a young woman in her late 30s rang our bell and said that she was here to shovel our walkways for free.

Our wonderful volunteer from the DC Resident Snow Team was Biljana (known as “B”) Milenkovic, who told me that she lives one block away from us. “B” also works for Marion Wright Edelman (our neighbor) as Manager of Social Media and Video Production of the Children’s Defense Fund.

“B” told me that she has volunteered often for various DC Government programs since she arrived here from Serbia a few years ago. When I asked why she signed up to help seniors and disabled people with their snow shoveling and snow removal needs, she said something to the effect of, “How could I NOT sign up?” We need more people like “B” in this world!

“B” spent more than 90 minutes shoveling our walkways in the front and back of our house and spreading our ice melt on our back patio. She was enthusiastic, industrious, and happy to help. I gave her in return a container of my homemade lentil soup, plus a big hug.

Because I learned on LinkedIn that “B” is a seasoned storyteller in addition to her other talents, I asked if she would be willing to join Gary and me some time in our volunteer performances as clowns at local hospitals and for various non-profits, and of course, she answered yes.

Many thanks to “B” Milenkovic and the DC Office on Aging for a job well done.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to sign-up for the next time it snows, call Serve DC at 202-727-7925.

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