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District Releases School Equity Reports

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Media Contacts:
Briant Coleman (OSSE) 202-654-6120, [email protected]
Ernestine Walls Benedict (DCPS) 202-805-2885, [email protected]  
Tomeika Bowden (PCSB) 202-577-6158, [email protected]
Jennifer Comey (DME), 202-727-6588, [email protected]

Today, the District of Columbia announced its release of the 2014 School Equity Reports describing how the District is performing on a variety of measures of educational equity, including attendance, discipline, student movement, and academic growth. This is the first year the District has measured academic growth by gender.

The education agencies and offices – DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), DC Public Schools (DCPS), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) – worked collaboratively to align data among public and public charter schools so the report could feature comparable metrics for all public schools in the city, including:

A school’s demographic profile;

  • The percentage of students with disabilities;
  • Performance on state assessments by student group (African-American, Hispanic, White, Special Education, English Language Learners (ELL), and others);
  • In-seat attendance rate;
  • Student expulsion rates;
  • Student suspension rates by subgroup; and
  • Month-by-month rates of student movement in and out of schools throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

The reports show in detail differences in these and other critical measures of educational equity, including identifying stark disparities for certain schools and certain groups of students.

“I am pleased with the publication of these reports because they are important for all parents across the city,” said Deputy Mayor of Education Jennifer Niles. “The reports provide everyone with key information about our schools and help us ensure that we serve all students well. This effort also represents a successful collaboration between DCPS and public charter schools working on behalf of DC residents.”

All metrics are by school and include comparison to a state average. Specifically, these comparisons 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 disaggregated by race, gender, economic disadvantage, and special education and ELL status. The only exception is student movement, which is not analyzed by student subgroups.

“Our work over the last several years has moved us closer to providing reliable, transparent information and resources to families,” said Interim State Superintendent of Education Amy Maisterra. “Removing barriers and transforming the way we tackle inequities in education will help ensure long-lasting positive change and access to a high-quality education for all of our students.”

Highlights from the city-wide results show:

  • Of the 82,958 public school students in school year 2013-2014, the in-seat attendance rate for the city is 89.2%. On student discipline, there were a total of 140 expulsions for a city-wide rate of 0.17%. City-wide, about 11% of all students received an out-of-school suspension for one day or more.
  • This is the first year the District has calculated student test achievement growth, known as the Median Growth Percentile (MGP), by gender.

At the state level, females had a slightly higher MGP than males in math in both SY2012-2013 and SY2013-2014 and a significantly higher MGP in reading as shown in the chart.

“The new data provided in these reports confirms what we know -- not all students have benefited from the progress we’ve made across the school district,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “With our focus on ensuring equity in academic rigor across all schools and the launch of our new initiative to support boys and young men of color, DCPS has a comprehensive plan to address the most significant gaps.”

“PCSB is committed to ensuring all demographic groups of students are being well-served by public charter schools,” said Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the Public Charter School Board. “This equity report is an important measurement that provides full transparency into the performance of all of DC’s public and public charter schools.”

Individual school results are available at www.LearnDC.org. For more information about this topic, please visit www.osse.dc.gov.

About the District of Columbia School Equity Reports

The DME, OSSE, DCPS, and PCSB work 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, special education status or other factors.