Results (142)

D.C. Voices: Safe Passage program and student commutes

A recent increase in violent crimes across the District has amplified concerns about community safety, including for students on their commutes to school. To improve student safety on their way to and from school, the Safe Passage Program places trusted adults from the community along specific routes. Mayor Bowser’s office allocated more than $4.3 million to community organizations to hire 215 Safe Passage workers during Fiscal Year 2022. We asked students, businesses, and administrators about their perceptions of safety for students during their commutes, and what experiences they have had with the Safe Passage program.

September 28, 2022 | Aniyha Brown

Chart of the week: Federal recovery spending likely increased school-level spending by an average of 2 percent in school year 2020-21

The federal government has provided three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) grants to help schools with pandemic recovery. In D.C., the three rounds of ESSER funding added up to $540 million to be spent locally by the end of FY2024. This is the equivalent of about $1,307 per student per year.

September 23, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

Testimony to D.C. SBOE on ESSER funds and the future of school finance in the District

The three rounds of ESSER funding mean $540 million allocated to schools to be spent by the end of fiscal year 2024 (September 30, 2024). This means approximately $1,307 in additional funding per student across five school years between 2019-20 and 2023-24 for the 48 LEAs receiving ESSER funds, assuming constant enrollment from last school year. ESSER funds are therefore about 10 percent the size of the foundation level of funding per pupil for school year 2022-23, making it important to take stock of how these funds are spent along the way and what may happen when funds expire.

September 21, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

What experts say needs to be done to disrupt historic patterns of segregation in DC’s schools | Greater Greater Washington

While a 2018 study found that giving at-risk students a higher priority would improve outcomes for just 8.2% of at-risk participants, a 2020 study by DC Policy Center was much more promising. They looked specifically at charter schools with long waitlists that had just 15% of at-risk students enrolled (city-wide, 45% of students are at-risk). At these schools, given the preference siblings get in the lottery, it was hard for at-risk students to snag a coveted spot.

September 19, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Testimony on the Schools First in Budgeting Amendment Act of 2021

Three of the concerns we expressed in January – implementing an inflationary adjustment in a high inflation year, baking the existing inequities into the system, and basing calculations on proposed budgets and not actual spending — remain under this staff draft. We also have two additional concerns, related to new language and stemming from new information.

September 16, 2022 | Yesim Sayin

The ripple effects of how – and if – kids are able to commute safely to school | Greater Greater Washington

Research by the DC Policy Center found that in 2021 almost 80% of people lived within half a mile of a homicide (which are on the rise in DC) occurring that year. Black residents, however, are 19 percentage points more likely than their white peers to live within that radius.

September 15, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

D.C. launches grant program to expand early child care facilities | Axios DC

According to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, early childhood educators, who are predominantly Black and brown, earn a median annual income of approximately $31,950 — barely above minimum wage and not on par with public school teachers. The median teacher pay in D.C. is just over $81,000, says the D.C. Policy Center.

September 13, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Chart of the week: School districts are struggling to retain and recruit teachers

In the 2021-2022 school year, D.C. public and public charter schools retained an average of 74 percent of their teachers, compared to a national average of 84 percent. However, some areas of D.C. have faced lower teacher retention than others, with greater shares of teachers in Wards 6, 7, and 8 choosing to leave their schools.

September 9, 2022 | James Treuthardt

How school boundaries and feeder patterns shape DC’s housing and education inequalities | Greater Greater Washington

At-risk kids are also less likely to get into their lottery choices. A major reason is that the lottery gives preference to siblings, according to research by the D.C. Policy Center, which tends to maintain school demographics rather than disrupt them.

September 2, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Q&A: Tackling the achievement gap with Chelsea Coffin, director of Education Policy at D.C. Policy Center | The Afro

Chelsea Coffin joined the D.C. Policy Center in 2017 as the Director of the Education Policy Initiative, which seeks to use new data and information to improve outcomes for District students— especially, those that are underprivileged. The AFRO connected with Coffin to learn more about tackling the achievement gap and the importance of diversity in the classroom. The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity. 

August 5, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

D.C. Schools Face Major Substitute Teacher Shortage: Analysis | Washington Informer

On August 3, 2022, the D.C. Policy Center’s Chart of the week, Ongoing substitute teacher shortages affect schools’ ability to function, was cited by the Washington Informer: D.C. Public Schools may face a huge shortage of substitute teachers in the upcoming academic year, which could have an impact on classrooms and school…

August 4, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Nationals Fans Have Lost Hope. Here’s Why They Shouldn’t | City Cast DC

Meanwhile, with three weeks to go until school starts back up, DC Public Schools is facing a serious shortage of substitute teachers. The number of subs has dropped by 50 percent in the past two years, according to a new D.C. Policy Center report. A lot teachers say they’re quitting because of low pay, lack of benefits, and COVID concerns.

August 4, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

DC Substitute Teachers Cite Low Pay, Lack of Benefits for ‘Mass Exodus’ | NBC 4

According to a recent analysis from local research group D.C. Policy Center, the number of substitutes on the DCPS payroll has gone down from 987 at the start of 2020 to 501 in the first quarter of 2022. It’s not known exactly how many substitutes there are going into the upcoming school year, as D.C.’s public employee salary database has yet to update with the most recent quarter’s data.

August 2, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Chart of the week: Ongoing substitute teacher shortages affect schools’ ability to function

D.C. has not escaped the national substitute shortage facing districts across the country. According to public salary data published by District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), the number of substitute teachers on the payroll has dropped from a peak of 987 in the first quarter of 2020, to 501 in the first quarter of 2022 (data are not available for public charter schools). While enrollment has shrunk in DCPS schools by four percent since 2019, the decrease in substitutes has outpaced that.

July 29, 2022 | James Treuthardt

D.C.’s changing public school enrollment: Trends by ward

How do and enrollment trends differ across different areas of D.C.? While the number of births decreased across all wards, some wards have seen larger declines than others. These declines have varying levels of significance for enrollment trends as the relationship between the number of births and where students live and where they enroll in school varies across the city. While we can look to births and cohort retention ratios to project future public school enrollment by grade, it is very challenging to do so by ward.

July 28, 2022 | Julie Rubin, Chelsea Coffin

Chart of the week: The majority of teachers in the District are rent burdened

The increasing cost of renting an apartment in the District of Columbia is making it more difficult for essential community workers (teachers, nurses, police officers etc.) to live in or near the communities they serve. Given the current salaries teachers receive, how affordable is the city for the median teacher? Comparing the…

July 22, 2022 | Robert Newman

D.C.’s changing public school enrollment: Trends by race and grade band

in recent years, the share of students who are Black enrolled in D.C.’s public schools has declined across all grade bands – due in part to fewer births to mothers who are Black and weaker preferences for pre-kindergarten during the pandemic.

July 21, 2022 | Julie Rubin

Report shows enrollment in DC schools is down and projected to continue to decline | WJLA

A report by the DC Policy Center shows enrollment growth stalled in D.C. schools during the pandemic and if the trend continues, an enrollment that currently stands at 87,000 could decline to 81,000 by 2026.

July 18, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

D.C. school enrollment expected to drop after years of increases | Washington Post

Enrollment in D.C.’s traditional public and charter schools is expected to drop over the next five years, a disappointing turn for a city that had celebrated more than a decade of growth in its public schools. The current enrollment stagnation and anticipated decrease in the coming years — according to a study released Wednesday by the local research group D.C. Policy Center — was propelled by declining birthrates and adults leaving the city or pulling their children out of public schools during the pandemic.

July 14, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Study reveals decline in DC school enrollment, what’s expected in coming years | WTOP

School enrollment numbers in D.C. are projected to decline, the latest shift after years of growth in its public and charter schools.

July 14, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Declining births and lower demand: Charting the future of public school enrollment in D.C.

The two main drivers of enrollment growth (births in D.C. and preference of families to live in D.C. and choose public schools) have both been on the decline in recent years. This report analyzes how changing trends will impact future enrollment projections for D.C.’s public schools.

July 13, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin, Julie Rubin

Chart of the week: Students’ use of public transit remains at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels

As of January 2022, student ridership on public transit, as measured by Kids Ride Free trips, was 11 percent of pre-pandemic levels (September 2019), according to data from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Performance Oversight data for FY21 and FY20.

July 8, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. bypasses national public school enrollment drop | Axios DC

D.C.’s high school graduation rate was on the decline for years, D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative director Chelsea Coffin tells Axios. But it increased during the pandemic as some graduation requirements were relaxed or waived. What to watch: Coffin says the decrease in D.C. births will impact public school enrollment in the future, especially for younger students.

June 1, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Chart of the week: Pandemic enrollment in postsecondary institutions has been more stable in D.C. than across the country

Nationally, enrollment across public and private/not-for-profit postsecondary institutions (including undergraduate, graduate, two-year, and four-year programs) declined by 3.6 percent from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020. D.C.’s enrollment likewise declined, but to a lesser extent.

May 27, 2022 | Julie Rubin

Charts of the week: The impact of new at-risk concentration funding at the school level 

This week, the Council of the District of Columbia added a subtitle to the FY23 budget with two additional weights to the student funding formula, which would provide additional funds to schools where 40 percent or more of the student population is designated as at-risk, and to schools where 70 percent or…

May 13, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: D.C. schools ramped up mental health resources during the pandemic. How well do these services address student needs?

While schools invested in supports like hiring additional staff and providing social-emotional integration trainings during the 2020-21 school year, many students and families reported challenges when trying to access mental health resources. In this latest installment in our D.C. Voices series, we hear directly from students, researchers, and administrators to learn more about the barriers students may face when accessing services and how available mental health services currently meet needs.

April 20, 2022 | Julie Rubin

Chart of the week: Equitable access seat matches in D.C.’s common lottery for school enrollment

kindergarten, at a public charter school, or at a DCPS school aside from their in-boundary option. Last week, applicants to the common lottery received their results, which for the first time included an equitable access priority for students who are identified as “at-risk” with 400 applicants matching in this category.

April 15, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

Groups call on D.C. to classify more kids as at-risk for academic failure | Washington Post

The D.C. Policy Center, a local research group, crunched the numbers and determined that expanding the eligibility for at-risk funds could cost the city anywhere between $20 and $33 million each year. Analysts figured that many children who would fall under these new categories already qualify for at-risk funding because their families qualify for food stamps.

April 9, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Mendelson Taps Ex-D.C. Mayor Williams to Lead Tax Commission | Washington Informer

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced he has appointed former Mayor Anthony Williams as chairman of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission, as well as five other members… the appointees to the commission are Rahsaan G. Bernard, president of Building Bridges Across the River; Erica Williams, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute; Yesim Taylor, executive director of the DC Policy Center…

April 5, 2022 |

FY23 Budget Oversight Hearing: Committee of the Whole (Education Agencies)

The FY23 budget includes substantial investments in academics, with a historic increase of 5.87 percent to the UPSFF foundation level and $14 million for high impact tutoring, among others. These resources intended to boost learning outcomes are essential for success in school year 2022-23, but there is a need to focus more on the expected results. OSSE’s Annual Performance Plan has FY22 targets of 43.2 percent of students being college and career ready in English Language Arts (ELA) and 40.1 percent in Math, which indicate an increase of 6.2 percentage points in ELA and 9.1 percentage points in Math from 2018-19.

March 28, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

State of D.C. Schools, 2020-21

State of D.C. Schools is an annual systemwide overview of public education in the District of Columbia. The report’s main purpose is to give D.C. residents, parents, caregivers, policymakers, and other stakeholders a snapshot of the overall performance of the District’s public schools. This report captures school year 2020-21 and how it continued to be impacted by COVID-19, with most students learning virtually for the entire school year. It also provides an update on 2021-22, when in-person learning resumed with the Herculean tasks of keeping students and teachers safe while making up for the unfinished learning from previous pandemic years.

March 10, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin, Julie Rubin

Testimony for Performance Oversight Hearing: Committee of the Whole – Education Agencies

Likely because of the economic impacts of the pandemic, there was an increase in the percentage of students designated as at-risk to 45 percent, two percentage points higher than the previous year (see Figure 1). This was mostly driven by an increase in the number of students who were eligible for SNAP – the numbers of students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or overage decreased.

March 2, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

Chart of the week: In-person learning in the 2020-21 school year

DCPS and public charter schools returned to full-time in-person learning in August 2021, which was a huge shift from the previous school year. At the start of school year 2020-21, 99 percent of students were learning virtually for five days a week, followed by a gradual re-introduction to in-person learning for some students according to D.C. School Report Card data.

February 18, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin, Julie Rubin

State Board of Education testimony on COVID recovery data collection

One of the biggest changes in school year 2020-21 was that there was likely less instructional time and less content covered. At the start of the school year, 99 percent of students were learning virtually for five days a week (many with one day of asynchronous learning), and 79 percent of students were still doing so by the year’s end.

February 16, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

Charts of the week: Public school enrollment for older students grew slightly, while elementary and pre-kindergarten declined

Newly released audited enrollment data for the District’s public schools (both DCPS and public charter) for school year 2021-22 show that enrollment stands at 94,532 students: almost the same as last year. Enrollment in high school is up by 7 percent, while adult learner enrollment rebounded from last year’s dip, growing by 8 percent. Enrollment in early grades (pre-kindergarten and elementary) declined, continuing last year’s trend.

February 4, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Council testimony on school budget bills 24-570 and 24-571

Bill 24-571, “The Schools Full Budgeting Amendment Act of 2021” aims to prove schools budget stability by ensuring that schools will have at least the same budget as they got in the previous year unless the school loses a grade level, is poised for closure or must absorb students from a school poised for closure, or there is a systemwide shock that reduces total DCPS formula funding by more than 5 percent.

January 20, 2022 | Yesim Sayin

State Board of Education testimony on SR20-11: Resolution on Improving the STAR Framework

On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin testified at the public meeting of the D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE) on SR20-11: State Board of Education Resolution On Improving the School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) Framework.

December 15, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: Using information on early career outcomes

Survey data suggest that students with access during high school to career supports such as connections to employers, exposure to careers, and professional counseling tend to earn wages 20 percent higher than their peers—and such access could have lasting impacts. In this latest installment in our D.C. Voices series, we hear directly from students and counselors about the implications better early career outcomes data could have as students make their postsecondary education and career choices.

December 15, 2021 | Julie Rubin

‘At-risk’ D.C. students to get priority in pre-K lottery | Washington Post

A 2020 study conducted by the D.C. Policy Center found that prioritizing at-risk students had the potential to improve their chance “to match at a school they have ranked and to increase socioeconomic diversity, especially at a subset of schools that serve low percentages of students who are at-risk.” The study said sibling preference preserved schools’ preexisting demographics by making it harder for students without siblings at a school to get in.

December 11, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Enrollment In D.C. Public Schools Drops For Second Year In A Row | DCist

Most students who left their schools at the end of last year did not transfer to another campus within the city but moved out of the District entirely, according to city officials. It is hard to pinpoint exactly how many of those departures are because of the pandemic. Chelsea Coffin, who directs education research at the D.C. Policy Center, said birth rates in the District have declined since 2016, a possible indicator that fewer students can be expected to enroll in school.

December 1, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Measuring early career outcomes in D.C.

Quick links Download this report in the original PDF format here. Access the 1-page report summary here. Access the launch event page and event program here. Chapter 1. The importance of tracking early career outcomes D.C.’s public schools, serving students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, strive to prepare students to succeed as young…

November 17, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin, Julie Rubin

Oyé Palaver Hut Brings African Culture, Conflict Resolution East of the River | Washington Informer

Earlier this year, the D.C. Policy Center collected data showing that isolation and increased economic hardship during the pandemic further primed young people for socioemotional challenges. In anticipation of months of unresolved trauma spilling into the classroom, Yaa-Anna participated in workshops about trauma-informed instruction.

November 10, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

How feeder patterns influence school decisions in D.C.

Many of D.C.’s public school students change schools at some point between pre-kindergarten and grade 12, transferring into a different feeder pattern. At the final transition point, which is between 8th and 9th grade, the most popular school-to-school feeder pattern in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system is Wilson High…

November 4, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

District Links: Robert White makes his mayoral bid official; new report delves into why DC families leave public schools; and more | The DC Line

“Parents who move their children from D.C. public schools to surrounding jurisdictions cite school quality and housing affordability as major contributing factors to leaving — but what makes a quality school varies widely by household, a new report out today by the D.C. Policy Center found. 

October 13, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Why some parents leave D.C. public schools | Axios D.C.

On October 13, 2021, the D.C. Policy Center’s report, Exit & voice: Perceptions of the District’s public schools among stayers and Leavers, was cited by Axios D.C.: Parents who move their children from D.C. public schools to surrounding jurisdictions cite school quality and housing affordability as major contributing factors to leaving —…

October 13, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Morning links: Racine declines 2022 run | Axios D.C.

Parents who move their children from D.C. public schools to surrounding jurisdictions cite school quality and housing affordability as major contributing factors to leaving — but what makes a quality school varies widely by household, a new report out today by the D.C. Policy Center found. 

October 13, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Exit & Voice: Perceptions of the District’s public schools among stayers and leavers

Quick links Download this report in the original PDF format here. Access the 1-page report summary here. Download additional tables prepared with the survey data here in MS Excel format. View the launch event discussion recording here. Executive summary Enrollment in D.C.’s public schools had been steadily increasing since 2009 until the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this…

October 13, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin, Yesim Sayin

11 charter schools in DC will give admissions preference to at-risk students | WTOP

On September 18, 2021, the D.C. Policy Center Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin was cited by WTOP: During a public hearing in July 2020, before the law was passed, Chelsea Coffin, the director of the Education Initiative of D.C. Policy Center, testified before the city council on the report the center published on…

September 18, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Eleven D.C. Charter Schools To Give Admissions Preference To At-Risk Students | DCist

On September 17, 2021, the D.C. Policy Center’s report, At-risk priority in D.C.’s common lottery: Potential implications for access and diversity, was cited by DCist: In an analysis published last year, the D.C. Policy Center determined that a new at-risk preference would likely accomplish those goals. “Implementing a priority for at-risk applicants…

September 17, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Friendship PCS Blow Pierce Campus Maintains Ties with Parents During In-Person Learning | Washington Informer

On September 8, 2021, D.C. Policy Center’s article, Challenges outside of school for D.C.’s students and families during the pandemic, was cited by the Washington Informer: A report published by the D.C. Policy Center in March found that District children who stayed home during the pandemic experienced social isolation, anxiety and depression. As adults…

September 8, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

D.C. public schools’ plans for instruction in school year 2020-21

In October 2020, all 67 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the District submitted their Continuous Education and School Recovery Plans (CEPs), providing information on what changes they were aiming to implement during school year 2020-21 to best serve their students. The plans were mandated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)…

July 27, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: Social studies standards in D.C.’s public schools

In July 2020, the District of Columbia State Board of Education (DC SBOE), in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), created the Social Studies Standards Advisory Committee to review and update the District’s social studies curriculum. These standards were last revised in 2006. The goal of this…

July 14, 2021 | Ava Lundell

Landscape of student engagement during the pandemic

One year after schools physically closed on March 16, 2020,[1] an estimated 88 percent of students in the District of Columbia were still learning from home[2], as most programs for students in kindergarten to grade 12 remained virtual through the end of the fall 2020 semester and start of the spring 2021…

July 6, 2021 | Yanesia Norris

D.C. Voices: Professional development for teachers in summer 2021

In focus groups conducted by the D.C. Policy Center in August 2020, some teachers reported that when D.C.’s public and public charter schools transitioned to distance learning in March, they didn’t have the tools they needed to design and deliver virtual lesson plans. They didn’t know how to best engage students in…

June 24, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani

Education testimony by Chelsea Coffin at the FY2022 D.C. Council budget oversight hearing

On June 3, 2021, D.C. Policy Center Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin testified at the Committee of the Whole Public Oversight Hearing on education, addressing what the budget means for students who are designated at-risk. You can read her testimony below or download a PDF version here.  Good morning, Chairman Mendelson…

June 3, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: Spending federal ESSER funds

To help schools and students cope with the extreme challenges created by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education awarded three rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These grants were given to states to assist schools and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on elementary…

May 27, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin, Ashley Zheng

Testimony at Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery & Committee of the Whole Joint Public Oversight Hearing

On May 26, 2021, D.C. Policy Center Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin testified at the Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery & Committee of the Whole Joint Public Oversight Hearing, addressing learning gaps and ensuring that students’ mental and physical health needs are met. You can read her testimony below or…

May 26, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

Outcomes for high school students during the pandemic

High school students in D.C. have been especially impacted by the pandemic. In an EmpowerK12 survey of 2,500 public charter school students, high schoolers’ responses indicated that they were the least confident in their ability to succeed during distance learning compared to students in other grade bands.[i] Although some have thrived in…

May 12, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: Summer 2021 programming to address learning loss and student well-being

For students at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), and many public charter schools, the 2020-21 school year will end on or around June 24, 2021.  After the academic year ends, many students will participate in summer programs to address reduced learning and socialization over the last year. In 2017, at least…

May 5, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani

D.C.’s adult learners during the pandemic: Results from a Fall 2020 survey

The disproportionate health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 health pandemic have been widely documented. In Washington, D.C., adult learners suddenly found themselves pivoting to virtual learning while simultaneously navigating heightened concerns about their employment, health, and housing. In May 2020, adult charter schools in D.C. conducted a survey of learners to…

May 4, 2021 | Ashley Simpson Baird, Jamie Fragale, Dwayne Smith

D.C. Voices: Lessons learned after a year of virtual instruction

On March 24, 2020 – exactly one year ago – D.C. public schools and many public charter schools began their first day of distance learning. The D.C. Policy Center’s State of D.C. Schools report documents how students, parents, and teachers (representing the most directly impacted groups) experienced this transition to virtual instruction.[i]…

March 25, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani, Chelsea Coffin

Testimony of Chelsea Coffin on pandemic distance learning at D.C. SBOE

On March 17, 2021, Chelsea Coffin, Director of the Education Policy Initiative, testified before the District’s State Board of Education (SBOE) regarding distance learning during the pandemic. You can read her testimony below, and download it as a PDF. Good evening, Members of the State Board of Education. My name is Chelsea…

March 17, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

State of D.C. Schools, 2019-20

State of D.C. Schools, 2019-20 is an annual systemwide overview of education in the District of Columbia. Its main purpose is to give D.C. residents, parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders a snapshot of the overall performance of the District’s public schools.

March 16, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Challenges outside of school for D.C.’s students and families during the pandemic

Health The health impacts of the pandemic have been concentrated among Black and Latino residents, likely related to unequal access to healthcare and essential work status across race and ethnicity lines, among other factors. As of February 15, 2021, residents of Wards 7 and 8 accounted for 28 percent of the District’s…

March 9, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani, Chelsea Coffin

Testimony of Chelsea Coffin regarding education agencies at the D.C. Council oversight hearing

Good morning, Chairperson Mendelson and members of the Committee of the Whole. My name is Chelsea Coffin and I am the Director of the Education Policy Initiative at the D.C. Policy Center, where our education research focuses on how schools connect to broader dynamics in the District of Columbia. The pandemic put…

March 9, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin

Economic characteristics across D.C., students, and COVID-19

Most students in the District of Columbia have been learning from home since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020. School closures have likely been more challenging for students living in low-income households than for those in higher income households – households in Wards 7 and 8 are less likely than…

February 11, 2021 | Yanesia Norris

D.C. Voices: School priorities for the District’s new research-practice partnership

What does a successful research-practice partnership look like? In 2018, the D.C. Council enacted legislation to create a research-practice partnership (RPP) in support of actionable, independent research for the District’s education sector. An education research-practice partnership is a collaborative engagement between researchers and education agencies that aims to identify paths for continued…

February 4, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani, Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: Data suggest a decline in routine vaccinations during COVID-19

In D.C., students are required to receive certain vaccines to attend school,[1] a practice that increases community protections against potentially life-threatening diseases. However, data show that routine vaccination rates among kindergarteners in D.C. are declining, and had been even before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 school years, the…

January 14, 2021 | Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: Transitioning to postsecondary school or the workforce during the pandemic

The public health and economic crises caused by COVID-19 have created additional challenges for students who are navigating the transition from high school to postsecondary school or to the workforce. High school seniors in spring 2020 found it difficult to visit schools, complete the necessary tests, apply for financial aid, and discuss…

December 3, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani

District Links: Another deal to return teachers to classrooms falls apart… | The DC Line

On November 18, 2020, the D.C. Policy Center’s report, At-risk application patterns in D.C.’s common lottery, was cited by The DC Line: Families of at-risk students are less likely to participate in the school lottery and submit applications prior to the deadline, a new report from the D.C. Policy Center found. Even so, author Chelsea Coffin says, there…

November 18, 2020 | D.C. Policy Center

At-risk application patterns in D.C.’s common lottery

The D.C. Council has passed legislation to allow (but not mandate) public charter schools to prioritize at-risk applicants in the common lottery. Charters could do so either by prioritizing an at-risk applicant pool over other student groups in the common lottery, or by reserving a certain share of their seats for at-risk…

November 18, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: How can we safely and successfully transition to in-person learning?

As the District takes steps to identify what changes need to be made to safely and successfully transition back to in-person learning, the D.C. Policy Center reached out to school leaders, parents, teachers, and students to ask: In short term, what changes would make students, teachers, and staff feel safe attending school in person? What academic and socio-emotional supports would ensure student success? What about in the medium and long-term?

November 5, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani, Chelsea Coffin

District Links: DCPS cancels plans for in-person instruction for some students next week; 95 voting centers open for Election Day; and more | The DC Line

On November 3, 2020, the D.C. Policy Center’s article, COVID-era health care workforce capacity in Washington, D.C., was cited by The DC Line: A new report from the D.C. Policy Center examines the District’s COIVD-era health care workforce, including the geographic distribution of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other health providers in the District. In…

November 3, 2020 | D.C. Policy Center

The impact of COVID-19 on D.C.’s adult learners: Results from a Spring 2020 survey

Washington, D.C. is one of the highest-earning, most educated cities in the country, yet almost 20 percent of families with children under 18 live below the poverty line and 45,000 adult residents do not have a high school diploma. Adult-serving public charter schools in D.C. reduce these disparities by working with adult learners to put them on a path toward economic prosperity.

September 30, 2020 | Ashley Simpson Baird

D.C. Voices: Distance learning supports for students with disabilities and English learners

The shift to distance learning last spring created access and language barriers for some of D.C.’s most vulnerable students, including students with disabilities and English learners. In this installment of our D.C. Voices series, we asked, how are schools serving students with disabilities and English learners during distance learning this fall? What lessons were learned last spring?

September 23, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: Rebooting distance learning

On July 30, 2020, Mayor Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) would begin the 2020-21 school year entirely virtually. Most public charter schools have made similar decisions, including the city’s two largest charter networks: KIPP DC PCS and Friendship PCS. This virtual start will follow a shortened 2019-2020 school year that…

August 27, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani, Amanda Chu

D.C. Voices: What factors are parents weighing as they make enrollment decisions for their children?

On July 30, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that public schools in the District would start the academic year virtually and remain that way until November 6, 2020. This announcement does not apply to the city’s public charter schools, which educate nearly half of the city’s public school students. While a…

August 11, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani

Testimony from Chelsea Coffin on the Expanding Equitable Access to Great Schools Act of 2020

On July 31, 2020, D.C. Policy Center Director of the Education Policy Initiative Chelsea Coffin testified before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education on B23-0717, the Expanding Equitable Access to Great Schools Act of 2020. Download this testimony.

July 31, 2020 |

Update: Diversity in D.C.’s public schools, 2018-19

Within schools, student diversity is low in the District of Columbia. The 2018 D.C. Policy Center report, Landscape of Diversity in D.C.’s Public Schools, looked at data from the 2016-17 school year and found that there was less racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public…

July 30, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

At-risk priority in D.C.’s common lottery: Potential implications for access and diversity

The “At-risk priority in D.C.’s common lottery: Potential implications for access and diversity” report explores the implications of implementing a preference for at-risk students in Washington, D.C.’s common lottery, and what such a preference could mean for public charter schools in the city. Below is the full report. You can also read…

July 21, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: Sustainability of D.C. child care facilities during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, households with children are more likely to face loss of employment income than households without children nationwide. This is likely due to parents having to give up jobs or reduce their hours to shoulder the additional responsibilities of educating and caring for their children without outside help. Until…

July 15, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Amanda Chu

Where D.C.’s former students attend postsecondary

The D.C. Policy Center’s recent report, Transition to College or Career for the District’s High School Students, examined what we do and don’t know about outcomes for D.C.’s high schoolers. Fifty-six percent of D.C.’s high school graduates continue to postsecondary within six months of completing high school, but we don’t know much…

July 7, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

Transition to college or career for the District’s high school students

“Transition to college or career for the District’s high school students” explores outcomes for D.C.’s students at the close of high school and as they become young adults transitioning into postsecondary or entering jobs. Below is the full report. You can also read the summary – available in both English and Spanish…

June 30, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: How will facilities and operations adapt when schools reopen?

On May 22, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools would begin its next school year on August 31. Public charter schools are determining their start dates independently, but it’s likely that some will align their calendars with DCPS. It remains uncertain whether students will attend school in-person, learn virtually,…

June 11, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani, Chelsea Coffin

Testimony from Chelsea Coffin at the Joint Budget Oversight Hearing for Public Education

On June 4, 2020, D.C. Policy Center Director of the Education Policy Initiative Chelsea Coffin testified before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education at the Joint Budget Oversight Hearing for FY21. Download this testimony.

June 4, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C. Voices: Teacher retention and recruitment during the pandemic

Teacher quality is the most influential school-level contributor to student achievement,[i] which means retaining effective teachers is an essential component of improving student learning. Amid the challenges of distance learning during COVID-19, retaining teachers might also provide students with much-needed stability as teachers can build on their pre-existing relationships with students to…

May 19, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: Mental health supports during school closures

After declaring a public health emergency for the District of Columbia on March 11th, 2020, Mayor Bowser closed non-essential businesses and issued a stay at home order, requiring residents to socially distance from those outside their households. Schools closed two days later. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new health concerns for many,…

May 4, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Tanaz Meghjani

D.C. Voices: The challenges of distance learning

In response to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, educators in D.C. have had to confront the daunting task of virtually teaching almost a hundred thousand students. It’s crucial to continue supporting schools in navigating this transition, but it’s also important to recognize that distance learning cannot provide the same experience as traditional schooling….

April 21, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani

Initial national and state education policy changes in response to COVID-19

Across the country 46 states[1], including the District of Columbia, have closed schools. Beginning on March 16th, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) closed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and will remain closed through at least April 24th, following the Mayor’s declaration of a public health emergency. Public charter schools in…

March 30, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Tanaz Meghjani

Resources for the D.C. student and education community to stay informed and safe as COVID-19 spreads

Everyday life in Washington D.C. metropolitan area and beyond is on hold, including for students, educators, and their families and caregivers. Many are sharing guidance on how we can best adjust to the new normal. Below are resources compiled by our Education Policy Initiative that may be useful. The D.C. Policy Center…

March 18, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin, Tanaz Meghjani

Testimony from Chelsea Coffin on the Critical Risk Rate School Funding Designation Act of 2019

On March 10, 2020, D.C. Policy Center Director of the Education Policy Initiative Chelsea Coffin testified before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education on the Critical Risk Rate School Funding Designation Act of 2019. Download this testimony.

March 10, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

Student achievement is on the rise, but critical gaps persist

The D.C. Policy Center’s State of D.C. Schools, 2018-19 report highlighted where D.C.’s traditional public and public charter schools have made progress as well as where targeted improvements are still necessary. Learning outcomes can be examined in the same way – student achievement on D.C.’s state assessment is on the rise, but large…

March 5, 2020 | Tanaz Meghjani

When students don’t feel safe in the neighborhood: How can schools help?

In D.C., a large share of children and youth up to age 17 are likely to be exposed to traumatic events: 21.3 percent have been exposed to an adverse childhood experience, including an estimated 9 percent who have been a victim or witness to neighborhood violence. Community violence often happens without warning, which can cause feelings of sudden, horrifying shock and loss of control and safety. It involves intentional acts to harm others, which can lead to feelings of extreme mistrust of others and powerlessness.

March 3, 2020 | Yunsoo Park

Testimony of Chelsea Coffin, D.C. SBOE Public Meeting

On February 26, 2020, D.C. Policy Center Director of the Education Policy Initiative Chelsea Coffin testified before the D.C. State Board of Education at a public meeting. You can read her testimony below, and download it as a PDF. Good evening, members of the State Board of Education. My name is Chelsea…

February 27, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

What D.C. schools need to do to tackle chronic absenteeism

In the two years since a graduation controversy at Ballou High School exposed a serious student absenteeism problem across the city, D.C.’s traditional public schools and many of its public charter schools have deployed  numerous interventions to improve attendance. Extensive evidence suggests that absenteeism undermines learning, beginning in very early grades. National…

February 13, 2020 | Phyllis Jordan

State of D.C. Schools, 2018-19

ABOUT THIS REPORT This State of D.C. Schools report is a systemwide overview of education in D.C. meant to help local residents, and especially parents of current and future D.C. public school children, better understand where D.C.’s traditional public and public charter schools have made progress. The report also addresses where targeted…

January 16, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

New D.C. education data show how school choice plays out across wards

This post originally appeared on the Urban Institute’s Greater DC blog.   D.C.’s school choice policies allow families to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood boundaries, and more than three-quarters of D.C. students attend a school that isn’t their in-boundary or neighborhood school. Some of those students go to school…

October 25, 2019 | Megan Gallagher, Chelsea Coffin

More difficult to get a spot at D.C.’s leveler schools

The recent D.C. Policy Center report, Access to schools that level the playing field for D.C.’s at-risk students, examined where in the city at-risk students have the shortest commutes to “leveler schools”—schools with the very highest growth for at-risk students.[1] About a third of the population under 18 lives within a typical…

October 17, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

Access to schools that level the playing field for D.C.’s at-risk students

Test scores have improved for D.C. students in recent years, even taking into account demographic shifts in the city’s public school students.[1] However, achievement gaps persist by race and ethnicity, special education and English learner needs, and at-risk status. Access to high-quality schools—schools with strong academic outcomes and the student support systems…

September 30, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

Even for early grades, there is a weak link between where families live and where students attend school

Since the mid-2000s, the District of Columbia has experienced a population boom accompanied by rising housing values—and, in recent years, more students in public schools. In most cities with similar population growth, housing prices rise in tandem with the number of school-age children in neighborhoods with schools that are perceived as high-quality….

September 26, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C.’s disconnect between enrollment growth and neighborhood change

The D.C. Policy Center report “D.C.’s disconnect between citywide enrollment growth and neighborhood change” examines changes in enrollment, school-age population, and housing values, finding that although these three are growing in parallel for the city, they are not linked neighborhood by neighborhood. Download the report as a PDF here. The District of…

August 26, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

Testimony from Chelsea Coffin on the Master Facilities Plan Approval Resolution of 2019

On June 5, 2019, D.C. Policy Center Director of the Education Policy Initiative Chelsea Coffin testified on PR23-0193, The “Master Facilities Plan Approval Resolution of 2019” before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education. Download this testimony. Read the underlying D.C. Policy Center essay “Enrollment still expected to increase…

June 6, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

Updated data suggests despite D.C.’s slowing population growth, school enrollment still expected to increase­

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 20, 2019 CONTACT: Chelsea Coffin, Director, Education Policy Initiative (202) 223-2233 chelsea@dcpolicycenter.org   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Released today, an updated report using new data from 2018 indicates that despite the District of Columbia’s slowdown in population growth, enrollment is expected to continue to increase, as births have stabilized…

May 20, 2019 | D.C. Policy Center

Enrollment still expected to increase despite slower population growth in D.C.

Population growth in the District of Columbia is slowing and migration patterns are changing. Population growth in 2018 was 2,400 lower than the previous year (growth of 6,764 in 2018 compared to 9,116 in 2017).[1] While D.C.’s growth used to be driven in part by domestic migration, the District’s current population gains…

May 20, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

Funding sources and expenditure patterns of out-of-school time programs in D.C.

Out-of-school time programs in D.C. In 2016, an estimated 33,400 children and youth attended subsidized afterschool programs in the District of Columbia, and at least 15,000 children and youth participated in subsidized summer programs. These estimates are from a report the D.C. Policy Center published in October 2017, “Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time…

March 29, 2019 | Yesim Sayin, Kathryn Zickuhr

The Funding Landscape of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia: Full Report

This report describes the current funding landscape of out-of-school time (OST) programs in the District of Columbia. It explores where funding for OST programs comes from, where funds are distributed, and how these funds are used. The report also explores the potential fiscal needs of expanding OST programs, opportunities that are available to expand and better use existing funds, and bottlenecks that might impair expansion efforts.

March 29, 2019 | Yesim Sayin, Kathryn Zickuhr

Testimony of Executive Director Yesim Taylor on Confirmation of State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang

On March 6, 2019, D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Yesim Sayin Taylor testified before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education on the “State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang Confirmation Resolution of 2019.”  Read her testimony here.

March 6, 2019 | Yesim Sayin

Beyond diversity to equitable, inclusive schools

By Laura Wilson Phelan and Lee Teitel   After centuries of exclusion and segregation within the American education system, major policy efforts in the last 60 years have focused on desegregating schools in terms of getting a diverse set of students into school buildings.  In some American cities today, desegregation also occurs…

February 26, 2019 | Guest Contributor

Racial and ethnic diversity over time in D.C.’s schools

One key finding of the recent D.C. Policy Center report “Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools: What Does School Diversity Look Like in D.C.?” was that racial and ethnic diversity is low in the city’s public schools,[1] even considering the composition of D.C.’s students – individual schools were less diverse than the public…

February 6, 2019 | Chelsea Coffin

No Guarantee of a Seat at D.C.’s Most Racially Diverse Schools

How easy is it to get a seat at D.C.’s most diverse schools? This blog post examines the relationship between diversity scores and waitlists as a follow up to the D.C. Policy Center report, Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools. Racial and ethnic diversity in D.C.’s traditional public and public charter…

December 20, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

What does school diversity look like in D.C.?

The D.C. Policy Center report “Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools: What Does School Diversity Look Like in D.C.?” presents a snapshot of racial and ethnic diversity as well as economic diversity in D.C.’s public schools, characteristics of D.C.’s most diverse schools, and how diversity has changed in recent years. Only…

December 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Analysis of Diversity in D.C. Schools Finds Little Overlap Between Racial and Economic Diversity New data shows a diversifying Washington region, but diversity is hard to find school by school in the District of Columbia. A new report, “Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools”, by D.C. Policy Center…

December 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools

New data shows a diversifying Washington region, but diversity is hard to find school by school in the District of Columbia.

December 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

D.C.’s Master Facilities Plan Will Shape the City’s Balance Between Neighborhood Schools and Charters – Washington City Paper

On October 10, 2018, Rachel M. Cohen at Washington City Paper wrote about Chelsea Coffin’s report “How D.C.’s Young Families May Shape Public School Enrollment.” The D.C. Auditor projects school enrollment to grow by 12,000 to 17,000 students in the next 10 years, with the bulk of that growth occurring in the…

October 10, 2018 | D.C. Policy Center

School-age population likely to grow most outside the Wilson High School boundary

Where is the school-age population likely to live? This post examines population forecasts and housing prices to highlight areas of the city that could see a growth in the population aged 3-17 as a follow up to the D.C. Policy Center report, Will Children of Millennials Become Future Public School Students?. If…

September 27, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Future enrollment is likely to grow in upper grades

How will enrollment in D.C.’s public schools grow? This blog post examines which grade bands are expected to grow the most over the next ten years as a follow up to the D.C. Policy Center report, Will Children of Millennials Become Future Public School Students?. Public school enrollment in D.C. has been…

September 25, 2018 |

Two drivers of D.C.’s public school enrollment increase

Why has enrollment in D.C.’s public schools grown? This blog post examines births and cohorts staying in schools at higher rates over time as two drivers of enrollment growth to follow up on the D.C. Policy Center report, Will Children of Millennials Become Future Public School Students?. Enrollment in D.C. traditional public…

September 20, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Will Children of Current Millennials Become Future Public School Students?

This report examines births and public school enrollment by cohort, and estimates that public school enrollment in the District of Columbia may grow by as many as 21,100 students by 2026-27. Half of this growth is likely to occur in middle and high school grades.

September 18, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

How D.C.’s Young Families May Shape Public School Enrollment

The D.C. Policy Center report “Will Children of Current Millennials Become Future Public School Students?: How D.C.’s Young Families May Shape Future Public School Enrollment” examines births and public school enrollment by cohort, and estimates that public school enrollment in the District of Columbia may grow by as many as 21,100 students…

September 18, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Will Children of Current Millennials Become Future Public School Students?, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Analysis of D.C. Families Indicates Middle & High School Enrollment Could Turn a Corner — If Millennials Can Afford to Stay in the City Enrollment in DC public schools is expected to increase by 21,100 students from the end of school year 2016-17 to 2026-27. Most growth will occur…

September 18, 2018 |

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin’s testimony at the Public Hearing on Bill 22-776, District of Columbia Education Research Advisory Board and Collaborative Establishment Amendment Act of 2018

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin is giving testimony on July 13, 2018 at the public hearing on Bill 22-776, District of Columbia Education Research Advisory Board and Collaborative Establishment Amendment Act of 2018, in the D.C. Council. Read the testimony here.

July 13, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Primer on research-practice partnerships

As an addendum to D.C. needs research for school improvement and audits for oversight, but not from the same source, the D.C. Policy Center produced a research-practice partnerships primer to explain the basics of successful arrangements and highlight the extent to which the proposed D.C. education research collaborative aligns with existing partnerships. Access the primer…

June 18, 2018 | D.C. Policy Center

D.C. needs research for school improvement and audit for oversight, but not from the same source

The D.C. Council is considering an education research collaborative that would carry out priority research on education in D.C. However, its current approach has one major flaw: the Council plans to place this entity under the Office of the D.C. Auditor, where it will also carry out an audit of D.C.’s education…

June 13, 2018 | Steven Glazerman, Chelsea Coffin, Yesim Sayin

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin’s testimony at the Public Oversight Roundtable on the Future of School Reform in the District of Columbia

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin is giving testimony on May 16, 2018 at the Public Oversight Roundtable on the Future of School Reform in the District of Columbia (Part II) in the D.C. Council. Read the testimony here.

May 16, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Public charter schools in the neighborhood

How do public charter school participation rates vary across the city, and which public charter schools enroll many students from the surrounding area? This blog post examines public charter school outcomes as a follow up to the D.C. Policy Center report, Schools in the Neighborhood: Can Neighborhood Characteristics Explain Enrollment at In-boundary…

May 3, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Schools in the Neighborhood: Exploring the Data

Three-quarters of public school students in the District attend a school other than the in-boundary school in their neighborhood, where they have a right to attend. But boundary participation rates, or the percent of public school students who attend their in-boundary school, vary widely across the city and are extremely high in…

April 19, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin, Simone Roy

Schools in the Neighborhood: Full Report

This report examines the connections between neighborhood characteristics and boundary school enrollment rates among the District of Columbia’s public school students to identify commonalities across school neighborhoods that draw higher proportions of in-boundary students.

April 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Schools in the Neighborhood, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Analysis of School Enrollment Finds Few Predictable Pathways Through 12th Grade for D.C. Families Three-quarters of all public school students living in the Wilson High School feeder pattern attend their in-boundary school, but elsewhere in D.C., a nearly equal share go out of boundary or choose charters. WASHINGTON,…

April 17, 2018 | D.C. Policy Center

Can Neighborhood Characteristics Explain Enrollment at In-Boundary Schools?

The D.C. Policy Center report “Schools in the Neighborhood: Can Neighborhood Characteristics Explain Enrollment at In-Boundary Schools?” examines the connections between neighborhood characteristics and boundary school enrollment rates among the District of Columbia’s public school students, and finds there’s only one pocket of the city where a majority of families in public…

April 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Characteristics of neighborhoods with high in-boundary school enrollment

Chelsea Coffin, Director of the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative, spoke at a poster session at a conference organized by The Lab @ DC on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.  Her presentation previewed new findings from a study of D.C. students’ enrollment patterns at in-boundary and out-of-boundary public schools and public charter schools that will be published…

February 27, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin, Simone Roy

The loss of DC TAG could disrupt college attendance among the children of low-income families

On February 12, 2018, the Trump Administration announced it had eliminated funding for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG) program in its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request to Congress. If the Congress follows through—and this is still a big if —District families will lose $40 million in federal funding that helps…

February 14, 2018 | Yesim Sayin

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin’s testimony on the Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017

Education Policy Initiative Director Chelsea Coffin is giving testimony on January 30, 2018 about the “Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017” in the D.C. Council. Read the testimony here.

January 30, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Banning suspensions is a blunt tool to reduce exclusionary discipline [Updated]

Update: The text has been updated with footnotes 2 and 3 to include context on two cited studies. (2/2/2018).  The proposed “Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017” prohibits out-of-school suspensions aside from the most extreme disciplinary incidents. The bill follows a trend of disciplinary policy reform in nearly 27 states and…

January 30, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin, Kathryn Zickuhr

Proposed Partial Suspension Ban Requires Shift in Mindsets

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Councilmember David Grosso, the chairperson of the Committee on Education, introduced the “Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017” with three co-sponsors. The bill would severely limit the use of out-of-school suspensions and instead ask educators to create a positive school climate through restorative practices…

January 25, 2018 | Guest Contributor

Is D.C. on pace to meet its graduation rate targets?

Update 11/30/2017 To provide context for this analysis in light of recent reporting by WAMU questioning the validity of Ballou High School’s graduation rates in 2016-2017, the state Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) would decrease to an estimated 70.6 percent if Ballou High School seniors who missed at least 60 days of…

November 10, 2017 | Chelsea Coffin

Announcing Education Policy Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   ANNOUNCING EDUCATION POLICY INITIATIVE   WASHINGTON, D.C. October 26, 2017 – The D.C. Policy Center is growing and now launching its new Education Policy Initiative to study how the city’s education policies, demographic changes, housing options, and transportation intersect. Since its establishment in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center…

October 26, 2017 | D.C. Policy Center

New report on out-of-school time programs shows gaps between needs and capacity

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New report from the D.C. Policy Center finds that many children and youth participate in out-of-school time programs in the District, but there are gaps and mismatches between needs and capacity The report reviews capacity and need for afterschool and summer programs and identifies program gaps across the city….

October 24, 2017 | D.C. Policy Center

Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia

Abstract This report describes the current landscape of out-of-school time (OST) programs in the District of Columbia. It takes stock of existing OST programs and assesses the extent to which these programs are meeting the needs of children and youth attending D.C. public and public charter schools. The report focuses on “subsidized”…

October 24, 2017 | Yesim Sayin, Kathryn Zickuhr

Out-of-School Time Programs in D.C.: Mismatches in capacity and need

Today, the D.C. Policy Center is releasing a new report, “Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia,” which examines the extent to which out-of-school time programs—offered after school and during the summer—are meeting the needs of children and youth attending D.C. public and public charter schools. We worked…

October 24, 2017 | Yesim Sayin, Kathryn Zickuhr

Four principles to guide child care policy in D.C.

The District’s child care crunch has been well-documented. Earlier this year, WTOP produced a five-part series on D.C.’s child care crisis, in addition to pieces from the Washington Post and WAMU. Most recently, D.C. made national headlines by requiring that lead teachers at child care centers earn a bachelor’s degree by 2020, the…

May 24, 2017 | Kathryn Zickuhr

How should we measure D.C.’s “child care gap”?

D.C.’s parents are in a bind. While the District offers free pre-K for its three- and four-year-olds, finding high-quality child care from a licensed provider for infants and toddlers is challenging at best. D.C.’s licensed child care capacity for children under age three is limited, and the spots that are available are…

May 9, 2017 | Kathryn Zickuhr

Threading the needle between housing costs and school value

This is the third part in a series. Read part 1 and part 2. When considering houses for sale in Washington D.C.’s Ward 4, my wife and I see tree-lined streets, great parks, and neighborhoods still affordable for middle-income buyers. Filling the District’s northern point, most of Ward 4 is wedged between Rock…

April 13, 2017 | Ben Werner