State of D.C. Schools 2019-20 Report Launch & Panel Discussion

March 16, 2021
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On Tuesday, March 16, 2021 the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative hosted a virtual release event for its report, State of D.C. Schools 2019-20.

About the Report

State of D.C. Schools is an annual systemwide overview of education in the District of ColumbiaThe report’s 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. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered public education in D.C. Therefore, it is the central focus of this year’s report, which examines how students, families, and schools are navigating distance learningThe focus of the report is school year 2019-20, but some of our findings also reflect the experiences of the current year. We hope that this State of D.C. Schools report will help inform local education policymakers in the development of future policy decisions as we recover from COVID-19. 

About the Event

The novel coronavirus pandemic, and the spring 2020 school closures and stay-at-home orders in response to it, brought unprecedented changes to the District during school year 2019-20. With little time to prepare, D.C. students, families, and educators shifted to distance learning at or DCPS and public charter schools. The D.C. Policy Center report, State of D.C. Schools, 2019-20, provides a portrait of how students, families, teachers, and schools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying challenges during the spring of 2020. It begins with a look at schools and enrollment in 2019-20, exploring how some students in D.C. might have been more affected by the pandemic. It follows with a look at distance learning in the spring of 2020, and then closes with lessons learned and how the education community found ways to be resilient.

The release event began with a welcome from Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn, followed by a panel discussion of the key challenges and lessons learned that highlights the parent, student, and teacher perspectives.


  • Perry Stein, Reporter at the Washington Post


  • Chelsea Coffin, Director of Education Policy Initiative at the D.C. Policy Center
  • Katrice Whitaker, Parent Leader in Education with PAVE
  • Cedric Missouri, Student at Benjamin Banneker High School
  • James Tandaric, Teacher at Center City PCS – Brightwood Campus

Event Materials

We are pleased to share the video recording of this virtual event.

On-demand Spanish translation was available for this event. A Spanish-language event transcript is available.

En Español: Nos complace compartir la grabación de video de este evento virtual. Se dispuso de traducción al español bajo demanda para este evento. Se encuentra disponible una guión de conferencia en español.

Feature photo: Panelist discussion at last year’s (in-person) event. (Source)