This week, Mayor Muriel Bowser named Dr. Lewis Ferebee as the next chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools.
We at the Progressive Policy Institute have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Dr. Ferebee on several occasions. When working on his book, Reinventing America’s Schools Project Director David Osborne interviewed Dr. Ferebee, and Dr. Ferebee recently joined us as a panelist for our 21st century school system workshops in Baton Rouge and Memphis.
For the last five years, Dr. Ferebee’s work as superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools has served as an inspiration for those dedicated to empowering educators, expanding options for families and students, and closing the achievement gap. Throughout his tenure as superintendent, Dr. Ferebee pushed decision-making authority down to the schools and championed innovation. He ended the acrimony between the district and the city’s charter schools; created 20 “innovation network schools,” with full autonomy and accountability; expanded decision-making authority for all other district schools; created exciting new choices for families; and supported the implementation of a unified enrollment system for most district, innovation, and charter schools, to give all families an equal shot at quality schools. This fall voters rewarded his leadership by passing a $272 million tax package, the first in a decade.
Welcome to Washington D.C., Dr. Ferebee! We at the Progressive Policy Institute are excited to see what you and your staff can do to increase the number of quality public schools in D.C., particularly in the city’s poorest wards, where they are so desperately needed.