[The following is a transcription, by Suzanne Wells, of Chancellor Wilson’s response to a question from David Grosso during the council roundtable on DCPS’s strategic plan, held last week on September 21, 2017. At 3:47, Grosso asked about goal 6, which is to have 54,000 students enrolled in DCPS by 2022. Grosso noted that some testimony during the hearing (see here and here) showed that 54,000 amounts to essentially the same marketshare as DCPS currently has and that a better goal is to increase DCPS’s enrollment to 65,000 by 2022. Below is the chancellor’s reply; neither Grosso nor anyone else on the council had any response.]
“This [65K DCPS enrollment by 2022] is a very ambitious goal. I feel very proud of the goal. And, in order to hit it, what we might want to think about is whether or not it makes sense to continue to authorize new schools at the rate that they are being authorized at the expense of current schools that are there without an intentional strategy to make sure that the authorization and the growth of schools is not going to in any way take away from the opportunity of an existing school to reach its full potential. That’s where I would commend we focus our attention. I am very committed to supporting DCPS schools. I support the right of families to choose any schools. I’m agnostic to school type. So I support, and I want, every successful school to continue to be successful.
“But, I also recognize we cannot continue to grow at a rate and add schools that outpaces the number of students that we have available to attend them, and then expect the District to somehow get to a number that the math doesn’t support.”