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Investing in Our Teachers

DCPS knows that recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers is at the core of our work to provide an excellent and equitable education to all students. We are proud that our district continues to attract and retain world-class teachers as evidenced by the record 3,000+ teacher applications we received for School Year 2019-2020. Amazing teachers across the district like Alysha Butler, the National History Teacher of the Year, and Lakeisha Brown, the DCPS Teacher of the Year, continue to choose to return to DCPS year after year to support the success of our students. Across the district, close to 70 percent of our teachers have six or more years of experience.

In School Year 2019-2020, 76 percent of our teachers returned to the same school where they taught the previous school year, a nearly 8 percentage point increase in retention from 10 years ago. We have seen schools across all wards retain more than 85 percent of their educators at their school including:

  • Burroughs Elementary School (Ward 5)
  • Stoddert Elementary School (Ward 3)
  • Brent Elementary School (Ward 6)
  • Sousa Middle School (Ward 7)
  • Hardy Middle School (Ward 2)
  • Hart Middle School (Ward 8)
  • Banneker High School (Ward 1)
  • Roosevelt STAY High School (Ward 4)

Our district continues to focus on ensuring there are high-quality educators in every classroom and we are proud to retain more than 90 percent of our effective and highly effective teachers. We are also proud to recruit and retain educators of color at rates far above the national average as a result of investments including the Male Educators of Color Collaborative. Last school year, 14.1 percent of DCPS teachers self-identified as Black or Latino/Hispanic males, far surpassing the national average of 4 percent.

Over the past decade, we have seen our retention rate rise by nearly 8 percentage points due to an emphasis on:

  • Helping teachers become experts in teaching Common Core-aligned curriculum through LEAP, content-specific professional learning communities that are led by content experts at their school;
  • Compensating our teachers for their outstanding contributions to our community with an average teacher salary of $86,815, more than $25,000 higher than the national average;
  • Building partnerships with local schools of education and programs to develop strong teacher pipelines and attract strong teachers who are committed to our District;
  • Restructuring central office supports to provide aligned support across content areas;
  • Implementing the Leadership Initiative for Teacher (LIFT), which provides high-performing teachers opportunities for advancement inside the classroom, along with additional responsibility, recognition, and compensation; and
  • Partnering with educators in the instructional design and development process for our ongoing areas of focus including technology integration and social-emotional learning.