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

September 18, 2021
  • D.C. Policy Center

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 at-risk priority and its implications on access and diversity in schools.

The report explored three scenarios for at-risk priorities for prekindergarten — a preference before siblings, a preference after siblings and reserving seats for at-risk applicants.

In her testimony, she said the report found that match rates for at-risk students can jump to as high as 71% if there’s a preference before siblings, 42% for after siblings, and 19% if a school reserves 30% of seats to at-risk applicants.

With the current lottery system, only 4% of at-risk students match to a school choice.

The report, she said, also found that at-risk priority has the potential to increase socioeconomic diversity at schools that have a low percentage of at-risk students. The D.C. Policy Center said socioeconomic diversity is “extremely low at 35 schools with less than 20% of students who are at risk.”

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

Related: Testimony from Chelsea Coffin on the Expanding Equitable Access to Great Schools Act of 2020 | D.C. Policy Center


D.C. Policy Center

Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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