– I always knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was young. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love math, I always have. I’m definitely a math nerd. (laughter) Urban education is at this crossroads where our students are not performing to the level that they should be. You want to close the achievement gap but is what we’re doing enough? Is what we’re doing the right thing? There is a lot of people who are very anti common core. And I think some of that comes from the roll out being a little choppy. But it was definitely time for a change. – When I became Chancellor, one of the first things that I took on was establishing a common core aligned curriculum for the entire school system. – One thing that I really like they actually did give teachers input. They gave us the standard and said go. Really focusing on having kids explain their thought process. There might be variations school to school but we are all on the same path. – It’s one of the reasons why we’ve been able to see such significant
academic progress. Enrollment is up after 40 consecutive years of decline. Our graduation rates are up. Our test scores are up. Every piece of data is going up. Families in the city are choosing the public school system. – [Voiceover] Our roles
are expanding and I’ll be able to actually observe classrooms and coach teachers on a more individualized basis. – We definitely rely on
teacher leadership to effect many of the awesome experiences that we want to create for students. – [Voiceover] And so
now, the best teachers from across the country want to come and teach in DC public schools. – [Voiceover] I definitely
set the bar high with all of my students. This is the last chance
we have before they are adults. I don’t want to send my students out into the world without feeling like they have a good education. We’re all here to be a positive influence and help them see the potential in themselves. Education really is the key.