Hello. My name is Karen Williams and I am the current Ward 7 representative on the D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE), a 5th generation Washingtonian who is a proud product of D.C. Public Schools (Go Ballou Knights!), and a former educator in the DCPS system.
Working at Stanton Elementary School in Ward 8, helping children East of the River faced with many social and emotional obstacles, fueled my desire to serve on the State Board of Education. Creating equitable educational opportunities for all DCPS students, providing early intervention services for at-risk students and creating opportunities for D.C. children to succeed has been the primary focus of my entire educational career.
My experience in education policy, public safety, and community organizing are vitally important on the Board of Education. As Vice President and President of the State Board, I put students first, launching our Student Advisory Committee, giving students a bigger voice in Board discussions and operations, and initiating the Board’s District-wide initiative on the retention of qualified teachers.
My legislative work on the State Board includes collaborating with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on the development of the “No Child Left Behind” waivers and graduation requirements, and working with members of SBOE on credit flexibility regulations, as well as the development of the State Diploma for students completing the GED or NEPD programs.
COVID-19 has shown us our first priority should be to promote the need for DC students and teachers to have safe and well-equipped school environments – clean and well-maintained physical structures, complete staffing and the necessary tools for learning.
To me, quality education is a right all of our students deserve, and I have the relationships to ensure continued change provides opportunities to underserved and at-risk students.