Increasing Graduation Rates and Enrollment

In the last two weeks, OSSE (office of the state superintendent of education) released information that everyone is glad to hear.

Graduation rates increased in the 2014-15 school year for both DCPS (6.1%) and DC charter schools (2.8%). The overall graduation rate increased 4%, to 65.4%.

In addition, enrollment for school year 2015-16 increased in both charter and DCPS schools by about 2% for each sector, for a total DC public school enrollment of 87,749.

Happily, no one has (yet?) claimed that one sector or approach deserves credit (or blame)—though to what extent enrollment increases are due to population shifts, decreased enrollment of DC kids in private and parochial schools, or particular enchantment with DC public schools remains unclear.

For instance, the Post story on enrollment noted that the 1960s population of students was decimated as “families left the schools for the suburbs or for private schools,” then noted how charters “grew rapidly” after the School Reform Act was passed in 1995–without also noting that even with that growth of charters, the student population in DC is still much smaller than at its height, even as overall population has increased greatly AND the overall population of school-age kids has actually declined.

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