The District of Columbia is comprised of 167 public schools and learning centers. Serving 65,099 students, the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) System has a school board with 11 members, including 2 students who hold no voting power but speak for the entire student body.
For more information on the DCPS, visit the District of Columbia's Web site.
The DCPS Web site provides information on all upcoming education events and meetings.
DCPS has explicit content standards for each subject area
District assessment tools currently consist of the Stanford-9 and SAT tests. Twice each year, students who attend D.C. Public Schools take the Stanford Achievement Test in reading and mathematics. The fall test is used only as a tool to measure where students are as they begin a new school year. The spring test measures how much they have learned during the year -- where students are doing well and where they need more help in order to meet the system's standards. The SAT-9 also tests educators' performance. (NOTE: The District of Columbia is moving towards creating assessments based on the Massachusetts MCAST system. This new system of assessments in the District of Columbia will be called the DCAST assessments).
This DCPS Web site provides assessment tools as well as access to The District's academic performance database system.
Curriculum and Instruction
In conjunction with their standards, DCPS mandates that classroom instruction in reading/literacy, mathematics, and science focus on the needs of learners specific to each of these content areas.
The District of Columbia has several professional organizations. The links below provide access to associations that offer networking and professional development opportunities, as well as access to many other useful resources.
Regional chapter of the American Center for Physics. Web site posts announcements of professional development and networking events in the Chesapeake region.
This organization is the local chapter of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. DCCTM promotes resources that support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students.
Informal education institutions, such as museums, nature centers, zoos and aquariums, and planetariums, combine classroom learning with hands-on educational experiences. The links below provide access to the many different informal education centers throughout the District.
Museums and Science Centers
The Discovery Creek Children's Museum of Washington strives to provide a national model for environmental education. The organization uses natural and historic settings to create a living laboratory of science, history, and art exploration.
The Marian Koshland Science Museum offers an interactive learning experience specifically designed for teenagers and adults, including supplemental teaching materials, school field trips and adult programs.
Scheduled to open in June 2008, The National Children's Museum seeks to "engage, inform, and delight children and the adults who care about them by providing educational experiences that facilitate their development as individuals, as members of families, as members of communities, and as citizens of our nation and the world."
The National Geographic Museum at Explorer's Hall brings scientific research to life through a wide range of changing exhibitions. The Web site provides a link to National Geographic's free online newsletter.
The National Air and Space Museum's Education Division Web site offers information on the Museum's educational programs. The Albert Einstein Planetarium can also be found at the National Air and Space Museum.
The International Spy Museum offers access to the world's largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. The Museum offers education guides designed to assist middle-, and secondary-level educators preparing for student group visits to the Museum.
Nature Centers, Parks, and Gardens
The Rock Creek Park Nature Center offers guided nature walks and curriculum based environmental education programs.
The United States Botanic Garden, at the foot of the U.S. Capitol, is a living plant museum that offers free science education programs on a variety of subjects.
Zoos, Aquariums, and Aviaries
The "For Educators" section of the Smithsonian National Zoo's Web site offers educational resources, organized by subject area and grade level.
Planetariums and Observatories
The Rock Creek Planetarium serves as an "astronomy laboratory," meant to "foster an interest in the sky and stars."
The USNO frequently offers tours for school groups. The Web site also contains a list of useful educational resources.