Not Your Typical Government Bureaucracy

By Junior Associate: Kristiana Kim

DCPS is a whirlwind of new initiatives, pilot programs, and change. As someone so aptly put it, DCPS feels more like a startup than your typical governmental bureaucracy. The work culture is vibrant, employees are innovative and ridiculously well-educated, and every person believes wholeheartedly in the mission of DCPS. Every person is driven by a sense of purpose and urgency.

Just to give an example of the type of dedication employees have here at the Central Office have, I want to talk a little about my supervisor Mary Balla. Mary and I work on the Teacher Recruitment and Selection team which, as the title suggests, focuses on recruiting and then selecting the most qualified and competent teacher candidates for DCPS schools. The DCPS teacher selection model strikes a good balance between standardizing new teacher quality across the district and maintaining the autonomy of individual schools and principals. While our team screens candidates into an “approved pool” by requiring them to submit a basic application, essays, and video audition, and to undergo a phone interview and background check, principals are still the ultimate hiring managers for their school. They have their pick of any of the candidates who entered the approved pool and even of candidates who did not undergo our screening process, and they—not Central Office employees—select the teachers for hire. Continue reading “Not Your Typical Government Bureaucracy”


Meet Grace Lee

Junior Associate Grace Lee
Junior Associate Grace Lee

Hometown: Buena Park, California
School: Claremont McKenna College            
UELIP Committee Project: Grace organizes school visits and volunteering opportunities.
DCPS Office: Office of the Chief of Schools, Academic Scheduling and Support Team
Project: Grace is working under the supervision of Kia Jones, the director of the Academic Scheduling and Support Team. Grace is analyzing data to evaluate the effectiveness of Summer Bridge and the summer credit recovery program for DCPS by examining factors such as attendance and credit capture of students who completed the program. Continue reading “Meet Grace Lee”