Since 2017, the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative has brought objective analyses to education conversations in the District of Columbia. The Education Policy Initiative’s research reflects the D.C. Policy Center’s broad urban policy perspective, making our work unique in the education research space.
We recognize that public schools factor into where families want to live; how public schools mix students from different backgrounds can increase opportunities (or amplify inequities); schools can shape neighborhoods, and vice versa, even in a unified school district with a great degree of choice; and that schools can alter how employers perceive the local workforce. Thinking of the public school system through this urban policy lens is important because it focuses the policymakers on what local laws and policies can do to bring about change.
Throughout our work, we highlight inequities in education, and how these tie to other areas such as housing and workforce policies. We seek to bring new data and information to help improve outcomes for D.C.’s students, especially those students furthest from opportunity.
How do 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.
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 …
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 …
Charts of the week
Charts of the week are published every week in the D.C. Policy Center’s email newsletter. In addition to content created across the organization, the EPI team creates education-specific charts to illustrate relevant data.
Now in years 5 and 6 of its work, the Education Policy Initiative’s current two-year research agenda examines how D.C.’s public schools create opportunity through progress into upper grades and transitioning to workforce.
Jon Valant Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute
The D.C. Policy Center created the Education Policy Initiative in October of 2017 to focus on the intersection of education and demographics in D.C. Our Education Policy Initiative is supported by generous grants from Education Forward DC and the Walton Family Foundation.