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.
State of D.C. Schools is an annual systemwide overview of public education in the District of Columbia. This year’s 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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.