Empowered

When Teachers Lead, Our Students Succeed

Washington, DC   |  www.weareempowered.org

Mission

EmpowerEd elevates the voices of diverse DC teacher leaders to promote a more equitable education system for all DC kids.

Ruling year info

2017

Principal Officer

Scott Goldstein

Main address

3814 Kansas Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20011 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-0972266

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Washington, D.C. has among the highest teacher turnover rates in the country, far surpassing the teacher attrition rates in comparable urban settings. 25 % of teachers leave their school each year in both sectors, with 70 % leaving DCPS schools within five years. These rates are even worse in our highest-poverty, lowest-performing schools where 33 % of teachers leave each year on average, with many schools surpassing 40 %, especially in the charter sector. In particular, D.C. schools have seen a decrease in the number of teachers of color working in our schools in the past decade since reform efforts were implemented in 2007 and new evaluation policies were implemented in 2009. Without a consistent and diverse workforce, student achievement and growth suffer and we cannot sustain progress.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Teacher Change Teams

Our teacher leaders work with their principal and key staff members by engaging in a series of workshops and continuing work to build relational trust and teacher leadership in their schools

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Our broad and diverse teacher council brings together teachers from across Washington D.C. schools- across sector (public, charter and private) to work together to devise strategies to build relational trust and teacher empowerment in D.C. schools by listening to and acting upon common area of concerns and need areas specific to each sector and school. They work to create programs, engage in advocacy and bring together teachers and leaders.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Working with DC schools to improve teacher retention through building relational trust and shared leadership practices.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Teachers

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Work status and occupations

Related Program

EmpowerEd Teacher Council

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of stories successfully placed in the media

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Work status and occupations, Social and economic status

Related Program

EmpowerEd Teacher Council

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of community events or trainings held and attendance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Social and economic status, Work status and occupations

Related Program

Teacher Change Teams

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Attendance at community events we host

Dollars donated to support advocacy efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Work status and occupations, Social and economic status

Related Program

EmpowerEd Teacher Council

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We elevate the voices of Washington, DC teachers to ensure that more conversations and decisions about education in the District are informed by its primary practitioners. Teachers’ on-the-ground experiences are particularly important to informing much-needed conversations about equity in our schools. We cannot expect our teachers to excel in the classroom, lead within their schools, and continue teaching in DC when they don’t feel their voices are being heard or valued. Amplifying teacher voices will therefore not only lead to policies and practices that better enable teachers to support student success, but help improve teacher morale and promote teacher leadership, supporting better retention. We don’t elevate teacher voice for the sake of it, but rather because teacher retention is the foundation and critical factor in whether all other initiatives succeed or fail.

● Work with schools directly to positively impact teacher retention by building relational trust and shared leadership
● Through our innovative workshops, teachers and school leaders work together to identify and communicate their personal and professional needs, examine how school systems either help or harm adult school culture and explore solutions to distribute leadership and ensure staff feel heard and supported in their work.
○ EmpowerEd in Schools Four Steps to Success:
♣ Self-Care and the Work-Life Relationship
♣ Relational Trust: Building Teacher-Administrator Trust
♣ Social-Emotional Competency: Communication That Builds Trust
♣ Professional Authority and Teacher Leadership

● Training and supporting DC teachers in making their voices heard through avenues like writing for publication, organization grassroots support campaigns, testifying and presenting at public forums and speaking with local officials and the media.


● Teachers embark on a year-long campaign to implement solutions they have researched and developed relevant to their issue areas on the Inquiry to Action Groups (ITAG) model successfully implemented among educators in other states. In the 2020 school year, focus groups are focusing on recruiting/retaining teachers of color; teacher turnover, Covid-response and Equity and Justice.


● Our Teacher Council is also made available as an ongoing focus group for policymakers and stakeholders to engage with questions. Researchers have already taken advantage of our monthly teacher council meetings to seek broad and diverse input that is informed by educator voice.
Activities:

Founded in 2016, EmpowerEd has built a broad and diverse coalition of DC public and charter school teachers to take on the toughest challenges in DC education and build a more equitable education system for all DC students. After ten years of progress and national recognition, a series of damaging reports in 2017 revealing graduation and attendance inflation and new reports about troubling transparency and frequent closures in the charter sector reveal how far we have to go to build an education system that works for all. EmpowerEd has taken on this challenge through focused, sustained work at the school and district-level with a core belief- when teachers lead, students succeed.

EmpowerEd is unique in our work in several ways- the coalition we have built, our structure for successful equity work, and the unique connections we make between teachers and the education infrastructure. While others, be it the Washington Teacher’s Union or outside non-profits work directly with teachers, we are unique in working to elevate teacher voice across both sectors. Second, while most groups working to elevate teacher voice are national organizations, EmpowerEd is a homegrown effort by our own D.C. teachers. This provides us a unique perspective and ability to manifest appropriate and sustainable solutions that advance the interests of D.C.’s students.

We are led by 18 teacher fellows who organize in each of DC's 8 wards and lead issue advocacy groups. We support them with organizing and advocacy training and ongoing support.

- We've put teacher turnover and retention on the map in DC and forced elected officials to address the crisis. We’ve partnered with the State Board of Education to bring together stakeholders in solving our teacher and principal retention challenges. We partnered with SBOE to welcome nearly 100 teachers, principals, community members, and policymakers to a public forum on teacher and principal retention in November 2018. This was followed up with an online feedback platform launched in December 2018 soliciting feedback on the potential solutions raised at the forum. This platform was viewed by over 450 unique visitors who provided more than 200 votes on the solutions. In January 2019, the SBOE released a memo outlining resulting recommendations for next steps under the themes of data and research, logistics and human resources, empowerment and distributed leadership, and reducing emphasis on high-stakes testing. We’re currently continuing this partnership to advance policies with all relevant agencies to ensure progress in teacher and principal retention.
- We successfully campaigned to bring more transparency to all of our schools- advocating for and achieving through legislation- open meetings for all DC schools.
- We led a groundbreaking campaign on recruiting, supporting and retaining Latinx educators in DC where there is a sizable gap between the growing student population and their teacher counterparts. As a result of our campaign we have already gotten the school system to begin paying for immigrant teacher visas, among other wins. This campaign continues.
- Our landmark Teacher Voice Summit brought together 100 change-makers in DC education and advanced agenda items like school diversity and teacher retention through conversations with the Deputy Mayor for Education and members of the DC City Council. City leaders engaged with our teachers on teacher-led solutions to a broad range of challenges and have since met many times with our teacher groups to follow through on how their work might be incorporated into new policy and/or oversight efforts.
- EmpowerEd has planned and begun piloting school-based workshops to build a sustainable, diverse and empowered teacher workforce. We have begun using survey and data work combined with powerful community building workshops to drive better retention at DC schools.
- Our advocacy has helped shape the D.C. Council’s response to the attendance and grading policy investigations, the new Education Research-Practice Partnership, the DCPS Chancellor selection, and school transparency policy among other issues. Our teachers continue to advise as new events drive the education conversation in DC, ensuring a teacher perspective- efforts council members, state board members and others have found incredibly valuable. In the past year EmpowerEd’s work has been highlighted by WAMU, NPR, The Washington Post, Education Week, WUSA and many other news outlets for our teacher-centered solutions.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Based on surveys from our workshops with schools we have regularly adjusted and made changes. Recently, we made several changes to our work with schools based on feedback to integrate our work with existing work they are doing to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all school practices. We also have, based on feedback, tailored our traditional shared leadership work to narrow cohorts of schools and ensure deep participation by all.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Empowered
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Empowered

Board of directors
as of 12/2/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Goldstein

Mark Simon

Amita Lathigra

Rhonda Ferguson

Any Shallall

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/02/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/02/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.