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State of D.C. Schools, 2018-19

January 16, 2020
  • Chelsea Coffin


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 improvements are still necessary. We hope this State of D.C. Schools report will help inform local education policymakers in the development of future policy decisions.


The report was prepared with generous support from Education Forward DC. The D.C. Policy Center was grateful to the DC Public Charter School Board for the use of their beautiful photos throughout the report. Photos courtesy of the DC Public Charter School Board except where otherwise noted. The authors also appreciated the opportunity to present and analyze publicly available data, especially from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education’s EdScape Beta tool, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s DC School Report Card, and common lottery data.


This report was prepared and produced by the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative. The D.C. Policy Center is an independent nonprofit think tank committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia.

The views expressed in this report should not be attributed to the members of the D.C. Policy Center’s Board of Directors or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of D.C. Policy Center employees and experts. Further information about the D.C. Policy Center is available at dcpolicycenter.org/about.


Chelsea Coffin

Director of the Education Policy Initiative
D.C. Policy Center

Chelsea Coffin joined the D.C. Policy Center in September 2017 as the Director of the Education Policy Initiative. Her research focuses on how schools connect to broader dynamics in the District of Columbia. She has authored reports on diversity in D.C.’s schools, the D.C. schools with the best improvement for at-risk students, and the transition after high school in D.C. Chelsea has also conducted planning analysis at the D.C. Public Charter School Board, carried out research at the World Bank, and taught secondary school with the Peace Corps in Mozambique.

Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in International Economics and Development.

You can reach Chelsea at chelsea@dcpolicycenter.org.