District of Columbia: College and Career Policies

DC updated the Health and Physical Education standards in 2016.

In doing so, the District of Columbia joined 42 other states in formally signing on to the state-led initiative, which was coordinated by the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

DC has additional requirements for graduation, including credit in: World Language, art, music, health, and physical education, and other electives.

All students must also complete 100 hours of community service to receive a high school diploma.

4 credits of math are required to graduate in DC.

200 contact hours of professional development activities are required to renew an administrator certificate.

The District of Colombia has not adopted any professional development standards.

DC updated the Arts standards in 2008.

DC updated the Science standards in 2011.

The DC State Department of Education has full authority to adopt assessments.

4 credits of science are required (including 3 lab sciences).

DC updated the Early Learning standards in 2008.

DC updated the Social Studies standards in 2011.

IMPACT is the evaluation system for the nearly 6,500 school-based personnel in the DC Public Schools. DC Public Charter Schools are responsible for their own evaluation systems.

4 credits of social studies are required to graduate in DC.

First introduced in 2009, IMPACT (DC Public Schools only) is designed to help staff become more effective by: Clarifying Expectations – IMPACT outlines clear performance expectations that are tailored to staff members’ specific job responsibilities. Providing Feedback and Support – Quality feedback is a key element to the improvement process, which is why IMPACT provides staff members with multiple opportunities to engage in conversations with their managers about strengths and areas for growth. IMPACT also provides data that helps instructional coaches, mentors, and other support personnel be more effective in their work. Retaining Great People – Having highly effective staff members in our schools helps everyone improve.

The State Board of Education has full authority to adopt standards. The State Board of Education, pursuant to DC Official Code § 38-2652, granted the SBOE full power to adopt standards.

Teaching licenses/credentials issued by OSSE authorize the holder to serve in an instructional, school leadership or support personnel capacity in a District of Columbia public, private or public charter school. (Note: Public charter and private school teachers and administrators are not mandated by DC law to hold a state license; however, local education agencies (LEAs) may opt to require state licensure for employment).

Teachers are required to have accumulated 90 clock hours of professional development or completing six credit hours from a post-secondary institution, or a combination of both.

In order to receive a basic teaching certificate, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and passed the Praxis I and II exams.

DC updated the Technology standards in 2009.

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) approves preparation programs.

DC updated the World Languages standards in 2011.

The State Superintendent of Education shall develop policies or directives setting forth objective and verifiable standards for the approval, renewal, and revocation of approval by the OSSE of teacher preparation and practicing teacher programs in the District of Columbia that qualify candidates to earn a Regular Teaching Credential.

The State Board of Education has authority over the adoption of Career and Technical Education Standards.

DC adopted the English Language Arts standards in 2010. The standards are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

4 credits of English are required to graduate in DC.

PARCC is required to be administered for grades 3-8 and English 2 (typically 10th grade).