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District of Columbia: A National Leader in Education
In comparison to other states and urban centers, OSSE and the District of Columbia ranked first in the country in several nationwide educational categories in 2011.
First in the Nation in Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment:*
In 2011, the OSSE Division of Early Childhood Education and District of Columbia led the nation in Pre-kindergarten enrollment, with almost 10,000 District 3-and-4 year olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs. Washington, DC also ranked third nationally for Child Care Center requirements and oversight.**
First in the Nation in Childhood Summer Nutrition:***
For the seventh consecutive year, the OSSE Division of Wellness and Nutrition Services and District of Columbia led the nation in childhood summer nutrition for participation, meals distributed and number of children served in 2011 during the extended summer break, reaching 80% of low-income children in the District that qualify for free and reduced price meals through the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program, compared to a national average of only 15%.
First in the Nation in School Breakfast Participation:****
Under the D.C. Healthy Schools Act of 2010 and administered by the OSSE Division of Wellness and Nutrition Services, the District of Columbia led the nation in providing school breakfast to children from low-income areas during the 2010-2011 school year, increasing school breakfast participation for District public and charter school students by 35% and allowing Washington DC’s national ranking to jump from 20th to 1st in one year.
First in the Nation in Higher Education Enrollment:*
In 2011, the District of Columbia led the nation in postsecondary participation, with 71% of 17-24 year-old young adults either residing in or relocating to the district having a college degree or enrolled in a postsecondary institution.
First in the Nation in K-12 Science Standards:*****
When evaluated for Content, Rigor, Clarity and Specificity, the District of Columbia led the nation in both grade-specific (K-8) and course-specific (9-12) science standards.
First in the Nation to Implement Common Core Standards:******
Under Race to the Top, the District of Columbia was the first state in the nation to implement common core standards, and the OSSE Division of Elementary and Secondary Education remains a national model for creating a statewide growth model utilized by both charter and traditional public schools. Race to the Top participating Local Education Agencies will also align Common Core Standards in Math in 2012.
*Education Week, Quality Counts National Highlights Report 2012
**National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, We Can Do Better: NACCRRA’s Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulation and Oversight.
***Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report, Food Research and Action Center
****School Breakfast Scorecard, Food Research and Action Center
*****The State of State Science Standards 2012, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
******District of Columbia Report, Year 1: School Year 2010-2011, US Department of Education