(Washington, DC) Today, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released the Annual Public School Enrollment Audit report. The 2007-2008 report reveals that District of Columbia public charter school enrollment increased to 21,947 students in 2007 from 19,733 students in the 2006 audit. Enrollment at DCPS dropped to 49,422 in 2007 from 52,645 DCPS students in 2006. The audit is conducted annually in compliance with DC Code and serves as the official enrollment count for all public schools in the District. This is the seventh year that the OSSE has conducted the census-type audit of the District’s public school students.
In addition to verifying the accuracy of the official membership counts submitted by the public and public charter schools, the audit is designed to identify any material weaknesses in the procedures or methodology used to determine the student counts. Each year, the OSSE makes ecommendations to the school system to improve student enrollment data quality and accountability based on the audit. In addition the OSSE verifies student residency through the audit process.
The current report highlights two obstacles that prevent District schools from attaining a higher level of accuracy in enrollment reporting, including 1) the lack of a “comprehensive District-wide student information system” and 2) no standard system for “enrollment and attendance reporting.”
State Superintendent of Education, Deborah A. Gist said, “the enrollment count continues to be an important tool that helps us determine the appropriate and adequate level of funding for all of our public schools. A greater level of accuracy in enrollment reporting will also be possible with the implementation of the District’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data Warehouse (SLED).”
The SLED will standardize student academic information currently stored in various databases within DCPS and the public charter schools and track student data city-wide over multiple years and in multiple education institutions.