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District Releases School Equity Reports

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The District of Columbia today released comprehensive school-by-school data that shows families, educators, and the community how public and public charter schools in the District are performing on a variety of measures of educational equity, including attendance, discipline, and student mobility. Referred to as the 2015 School Equity Reports and available at LearnDC.org, these reports provide detailed information from public schools in the District for the 2014-15 school year.

DCPS and public charter schools joined together in 2012 to create the first School Equity Reports to improve student outcomes across DC. Since then, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), and the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) worked collaboratively to provide data in specific categories that would be of interest to families researching schools for their children and to education policymakers as they work to ensure equitable access to quality education across the District. The data show how individual schools performed in comparison to statewide averages. Equity Reports include: 

  • Demographic profiles;
  • In-seat attendance by subgroup;
  • Student suspension rates by subgroup and expulsion rates;
  • Month-by-month rates of student movement in and out of schools throughout the 2014-15 school year; and
  • The high school graduation rate.

“Our School Equity Reports provide vital information about schools to students, families, citizens, policy makers, and community members.  We have seen schools improve their practices after learning their performance on the School Equity Reports compared to other schools in the City.” said Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles. “This is an excellent example of how collaboration across DCPS and public charter schools improves outcomes for all our students; I look forward to even more collaboration as we expand high quality education across the District.

Comparisons included in the school Equity Reports are to a state average calculated using data for students in the same grades. Data are displayed for all students at a school, as well as separately by race, gender, special populations (economic disadvantaged, special education, and English language learner status). The only exception is student movement, which is not analyzed by student subgroups.

“We believe that equity is an important lens to bring to our work because every child in the District of Columbia deserves the opportunity to attend an excellent school," said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. "This report offers robust data that informs the collective work of education agencies as we work together to ensure all of our schools provide a high-quality education, and provides a valuable tool for families seeking the best fit for their children.”

Highlights from the city-wide results show:

  • For the 85,403 public school students in the 2014-15 school year, the in-seat attendance rate for the city was 89.7 percent, an increase from 89.2 percent in the 2013-14 school year.
  • Across the District, about 10 percent of all students received an out-of-school suspension for one day or more, a decrease from 11 percent in the 2013-14 school year.

“Creating a strong school culture, where students are engaged, is a priority for DC Public Schools,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “I’m proud that our discipline rates are down for the year and our in-seat attendance rates are increasing.”

“The District has reaffirmed its commitment to making good data available to address the most critical issues about equity in public education,” said Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the Public Charter School Board. “These reports have unprecedented amounts of information on how well each public and public charter school serves all students.”

New this year is a State Equity Report, which provides an equity profile for all the students in the DC public education system. Individual School Equity Reports, as well as the State Equity Report, are available at www.LearnDC.org.

  • A School’s Equity Report can be found by navigating to ‘school profiles’ and then ‘find a school.’ Once a school is selected or typed in, a user can click on ‘view school’ and the ‘equity report’ tab on the far right of the screen to browse data on that school.
  • The State’s Equity Report can be found by navigating to ‘school profiles’ and then ‘DC report card.’ The State Equity Report is located on the far right tab.

Previous years’ Equity Reports have included data on student achievement, as measured by the state assessment. Data from the 2014-15 school year Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), will be integrated into School Equity Reports and the State Equity Report in a subsequent release in early 2016.

About the District of Columbia School Equity Reports

DCPS and public charter schools joined together in 2012 to create the first School Equity Reports to improve student outcomes across DC. This year, the DME, OSSE, DCPS, and PCSB worked collaboratively to create transparent and comparable School Equity Reports. The School Equity Reports are meant to make schools, parents and the larger community aware of metrics related to equity that exists across DC schools. Equity, when used in education, refers to all students receiving the same caliber of education regardless of the neighborhood they live in or their demographic characteristics, such as their race, ethnicity, gender, special education status or other factors.