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Chancellor - District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)



Open:   June 28, 2018

Close:  Open until filled



Washington, DC has a unique system of government – operating as a city, county and state in one. Under a strong mayor government structure, the Mayor is head of the executive branch and the Council comprises the legislative branch. The Mayor directly oversees all city services, public property, police and fire protection and most public agencies, including the state education agency and local public schools.

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is the local, traditional public school system in Washington, DC serving nearly 49,000 students. DCPS is a system of 109 neighborhood, by-right schools, with some selective school options, and is required to serve all students in Washington, DC. With a team of 7,000 staff members, DCPS is committed to the mission of ensuring that every school guarantees students reach their full potential through rigorous and joyful learning experiences provided in a nurturing environment.

Washington, DC also has a robust charter school system, with 66 non-profit organizations operating 120 charter public schools independently of DCPS. Like traditional public schools, charter public schools are open to all DC residents and receive public funds according to enrollment numbers.

In 2007, control of DCPS was transferred from a school board to the Mayor.  Since then, our public schools have come a long way in preparing DC’s next generation for college and career readiness. In 2017, we announced that for the second consecutive year, our Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) results showed gains across almost all grade levels and subject areas.

This past school year, we faced our challenges head-on, and for the first time in reform history, took on the task of reevaluating our graduation standards. In just the past year, we have ensured that all of DCPS’s neighborhood middle schools offer algebra and other robust programming, added a new cohort at the recently established all-boys Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, and launched Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders, which will be able to expand next school year to an all-girls school, Excel. And after five years with no contract, we reached an agreement with the Washington Teachers Union that significantly increases compensation for DCPS teachers. This year’s budget also continues the Mayor’s commitment to investing in the District’s educational facilities with more than $1.3 billion allocation to continued school modernizations, reaching an additional 31 schools over the next six years.

With historic investments in teachers, programming, and school buildings, Mayor Muriel Bowser and District leaders remain committed to strengthening public education. For additional information on DCPS, please go to



Position Summary

As Chief Executive Officer of DCPS, the Chancellor provides leadership and direction for the development of an educational system that is based on the needs of students, on standards of excellence and equity, and on community goals; demonstrates effective planning and management of the school administration, finances, operations, and human resources; and maintains positive and professional working relationships with partners in government and the community.

The Chancellor works under the administrative direction of the Mayor. In consultation with the Mayor and with oversight from the Council of the District of Columbia, the Chancellor will be expected to undertake the continued work of the five-year strategic plan and solve major issues related to school functions. The Chancellor is responsible for and has authority to direct the activities and operations of DCPS, which includes carrying out program functions within the framework of the Mayor’s vision, the Administration’s overall policies, missions, objectives, and resources. The Chancellor must also work to ensure that DCPS remains in compliance with legislation and regulations.


Duties & Responsibilities

The Chancellor administers the largest local education agency (LEA) of the District of Columbia serving almost 49,000 students in over 100 schools and is responsible for ensuring that every student has a high-quality, by-right school that allows the student to reach their full potential.  The Chancellor carries out the administration and supervision of the schools and central office staff, including the implementation of current reforms and systemic changes in order to affect continued positive improvement in DCPS.

In carrying out the duties of the office, the Chancellor:

  • Evaluates the school program, school curriculum, and pedagogical practices and implements comprehensive program to continuously improve the DCPS school system and outcomes for DCPS students.
  • Recruits and retains excellent teachers, principals, and other staff to achieve the goals of DCPS.
  • Develops and implements policies, procedures, and regulations deemed necessary for the successful operation of DCPS.
  • Prepares and recommends to the Administration an annual budget that reflects priorities of the Administration; establishes sound financial procedures and practices which ensure accountability for all revenues, expenditures, and allocations.
  • Undertakes long-term analysis and projection of staffing needs and availability.
  • Creates and executes sound personnel procedures and practices for initial employment, promotions, assignments and transfers, and termination actions.
  • Develops a comprehensive plan for performance evaluation of all employees, including teachers, principals, and other administrative staff.
  • Through a continuous self-improvement program, keeps abreast of trends and practices in education and proposes and implements promising practices.
  • Acts as the liaison between DCPS and the community, maintaining a cooperative working relationship between the schools and the community.
  • Works cooperatively as assigned by the Mayor on task forces and informally with leadership from Washington, DC’s charter school sector for the benefit of all students.     
  • Establishes uniform procedures for record keeping, accounting and data reporting throughout the DCPS.
  • Attends Cabinet meetings and participates in the workings of the Mayor’s Cabinet.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by the Mayor.
  • Selection Criteria


The Chancellor acts in a position of public trust. As such, candidates for this role must have:

  • A minimum of five years leadership and management experience (ten years preferred);
  • The demonstrated ability to lead colleagues;
  • Cultural competence needed to ensure the success of all students related to race/ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, language acquisition, income, and socioeconomic background;
  • A proven track record of achieving results in a metrics-based environment;
  • A high level of leadership, management, communication, and organizational skills applicable in a senior leadership position; and
  • A proven track record of upholding high ethical standards and acting with integrity.
  • The successful candidate will be:
  • Student-centered and committed to the academic, social, emotional, and physical development of the whole child;
  • Welcoming of parents and successful in building respectful relationships with all key stakeholders including students, parents, families, teachers, school leaders, staff, bargaining units, community members, advocates, foundations, partner organizations, media, and elected officials;
  • Approachable and visible in the schools and the community;
  • Genuinely dedicated to equity and excellence with the belief that all children can achieve.
  • Performance in this role is evaluated on the basis of overall effectiveness in achieving desired objectives and goals. Major guidelines include established policies, procedures, and regulations of the District of Columbia and appropriate federal agencies; Mayor’s Orders; legislation; and specific instructions from the Mayor. To succeed in this position one must:
  • Have the ability to develop and implement meaningful strategic and long-range plans, as well as perform under pressure within strict time frames and to develop and implement short-range plans;
  • Be innovative, outgoing, and collegial, possess exceptional interpersonal skills, and have a reputation for outstanding professional judgment.
  • The ideal candidate will have the majority of the following skills and attributes:
  • Experience in urban education


Strategic focus

  • Proven track record of strong leadership and management skills necessary to ensure mission success
  • Strength in team-building and staff motivation
  • Transparent and highly collaborative internally and externally
  • Ability to see the big picture but also to develop solutions in addressing issues related to school functionality and success
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Outstanding writing, verbal and presentation skills
  • Decisive and calm under pressure
  • Outstanding listening skills


Compensation & Benefits

Compensation will be competitive with the compensation packages offered by other jurisdictions, will reflect the experience of the appointee, and will reflect the high expectations placed upon the Chancellor.  Contracts are submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia for approval.


Domicile Requirement

By law, each new appointee to the Excepted and Executive Service must either: (1) be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment; or (2) establish District domicile within one hundred eighty (180) days of appointment.  The law also requires that Excepted Service employees maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment.  Failure to maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment will result in forfeiture of employment.




To be considered,  all interested candidates must complete this application, and submit required documents.    If additional information is required, please contact Steven Walker, Director, Mayor's Office of Talent and Appointments at (202) 727-6101 or


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