Over the years, OSSE has worked hard to improve systems and supports through policy changes and other initiatives to sustain, accelerate and deepen progress for DC students, and in 2019, we were thrilled and heartened to receive longawaited validation through several measures that clearly show we are headed in the right direction: DC remains the fastest improving state and urban school system in the country on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card; in fact, the progress our students have made both in scale and sustainability over time is unprecedented. Our statewide assessment scores showed four consecutive years of growth; more schools have earned the highest ratings on the DC School Report Card and STAR Framework and we now have schools earning 5-STAR ratings in every ward; student enrollment has increased for the 11th consecutive year meaning more families are choosing our schools; and in January, Education Week gave DC schools a solid B on its Quality Counts Chance-for-Success Index, with DC ranking seventh among states, a significant improvement from last year when we were ranked 27th nationwide. And in a Washington Post poll released in November, 92 percent of parents with a child attending a public school in the District rate their child’s school as “excellent” or “good.”
As we visit schools across the city celebrating students, educators and school leaders on this incredible progress, we also keep in mind the work that lies ahead, particularly as we aim to close achievement gaps for our vulnerable student populations. With our new, five-year strategic plan, launched in 2019, we intend to build on our successes and address our challenges with a renewed sense of purpose as we work to improve student outcomes and collaborate with our partners to create a world-class education system in the District of Columbia.
It is an honor to present to you our 2019 Annual Report, which includes highlights from the past year. As you browse this report, we hope you will see the important strides we have made in connecting our work to the pillars of our strategic plan guided by our mission. Thank you to every staff member, parent, student, educator, school leader, advocate and community member for your partnership, feedback and trust, and look forward to working with you and serving you as we embark on the second year of our strategic plan.