Office of the State Superintendent of Education

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Education Week Releases Quality Counts 2013: Code of Conduct - Safety, Discipline, and School Climate Report

Thursday, January 10, 2013
D.C. is first in the nation in preschool and kindergarten enrollment for third year in a row

CONTACT: Ayan Islam (202) 316-1841; [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C.Education Week released today its annual Quality Counts 2013: Code of Conduct: Safety Discipline and School Climate report and, for the third year in a row, reaffirmed the strides made under Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s continued investment in early childhood education. The report ranked the District first in the nation for preschool enrollment, as well as kindergarten enrollment for the third year in a row. Additionally, between 2003 and 2011, the District had greater gains than any other state on both the NAEP 4th and 8th grade mathematics assessments. Score gains in DC were 16.9 and 17.4 points for grade 4 and grade 8, respectively. The national average gains on the NAEP mathematics assessment were 6.2 and 6.6 for grades 4 and 8, respectively.

This year’s Quality Counts 2013: Code of Conduct: Safety Discipline and School Climate report leads with a special examination on the impact of a school’s social and disciplinary environment on students’ ability to learn. The report includes a supplemental District of Columbia – State Highlights 2013 report, which provides a state policy-and-performance framework that compares the District’s grades, scores and rankings in six major areas to the national average. Those six areas are Chance for success (2013), Transitions and alignment (2013); School finance analysis (2013); K-12 achievement (2012); Standards, assessments, and accountability (2012); and The teaching profession (2012).

In the Quality Counts 2013 report, Education Week provides an in depth look at a range of school-climate factors—including strong peer relationships, a sense of safety and security, and school disciplinary policies and practices—that help to lay the groundwork for academic success across the nation. To address the District’s school-climate factors, and pursuant to the South Capitol Street Memorial Amendment Act of 2012, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) proposed rulemaking on Compulsory Education and School Attendance and creation of a new chapter titled Standards for Student Code of Conduct and Discipline in the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR). Both of the proposed rulemakings will enable Local Education Agencies to respond to truant and absent students with early interventions and to ensure student attendance and safe learning environments in their schools.

The District of Columbia – State Highlights 2013 report acknowledges the gains made in certain academic areas by District of Columbia students over the past two years. In the State Highlights report, DC received a score of C+ or better on the following three major indicators: chance for success; transitions and alignment; and standards, assessments and accountability. The District received a grade below C on the following two major indicators:  K-12 achievement and the teaching profession. The report did not include a school finance analysis grade for DC because the authors were under the assumption that it is a single-district jurisdiction. While the summative grade for the nation was C+, the District of Columbia received a C-, which yields a ranking of 45th in the nation. This ranking is higher than previous years.

While we are working towards improving the District of Columbia’s K-12 achievement, we are able to report that we have made academic gains on The Nation’s Report Card,” said Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley Jones. “With awards such as Race to the Top, along with various initiatives that have been implemented, we expect to see continuous academic improvement to achieve our goals set in our State Education Plan, also known as the ESEA flexibility waiver.”

Table: Grades and Rankings for Quality Counts Indicators for the District; 2011-2013




grade (rank)

Chance for Success

Transitions and alignment

School finance analysis

K-12 achievement*

Standards, assessments, and accountability*

The teaching profession*


D+ (50)

C+ (29)

C-  (36)


F (49)

C+ (37)

D- (49)


C-  (49)

C+ (28)

C-  (36)


F (51)

B   (30)

D- (48)


C-  (45)

C+ (21)

C+ (26)


F (51)

B   (30)

D- (48)

*The following indicators were last updated for Quality Counts 2012.


In addition to the proposed rulemaking, the adoption of comprehensive graduation requirements is another means to improving K-12 achievement and to ensure the goal that all students, regardless of their background, are prepared for college and career success. Currently, the State Board of Education is receiving public comments on the proposed revisions to the District’s High School Graduation Requirements proposal until January 23, 2013. Click here for more information.

Although the Education Week Quality Count report gives credit for existing state policies, the District is in a unique position as it awards its Local Education Agencies (LEA) the flexibility to develop innovative programs that are not mandated by state policy. This flexibility is a result of the District’s receipt of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver in 2012, which is now known as the State Education Plan. The waiver requires all LEAs receiving federal funds to implement several initiatives, such as providing training to evaluators and conducting regular leader and teacher evaluations, which includes student achievement outcome measures, to name a few. OSSE is also in the process of developing a teacher preparation scorecard that will evaluate the effectiveness of teacher preparation institutions.

In addition to the development of innovative programs, many of the LEAs have local autonomy to provide various types of incentives such as pay-for-performance scales and incentives for differentiated roles, which are nationally recognized for effective promotion of the teaching profession in the District of Columbia. Promising practices for local teacher recruitment, retention and development across the District include:


  • KIPP DC’s Capital Teacher Residency is a teacher-training program operated in partnership with E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. The program was recently awarded a U.S. Department of Education four-year Race to the Top-District $10 million grant which will support the program’s expansion to train 415 teachers over the next four years.
  • DCPS’ Leadership Initiative For Teachers (LIFT) is a five-stage career ladder that provides high-performing teachers with opportunities for advancement inside the classroom, as well as additional responsibility and increased recognition and compensation. The program aims to retain top performers; reward experience; and increase career stability in DCPS.



For more information about OSSE, go to: www.osse.dc.gov; www.twitter.com/OSSEDC; www.facebook.com/OSSEDC

About Education Week Quality Counts Report

Quality Counts regularly tracks and grades state progress in six categories comprising more than 150 different state-by-state indicators. Most of these 50-state indicators are based on original analyses and state-survey data from the EPE Research Center.  Between June and October of 2012, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center (EPE Research Center) conducted an original survey of state education agencies and the District of Columbia public schools.


About Editorial Projects in Education (EPE)

Editorial Projects in Education (EPE)’s primary mission is to help raise the level of awareness and understanding among professionals and the public of important issues in American education. Editorial Projects in Education publishes Education Week, America’s newspaper of record for precollegiate education, Digital Directions, the online Teacher channel, and the TopSchoolJobs employment resource. The EPE Research Center conducts annual policy surveys, collects data, and performs analyses that appear in the Quality Counts, Technology Counts, and Diplomas Count annual reports. For more information about Education Week’s Quality Counts Report, go to: http://www.edweek.org/ew/index.html?intc=thed