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OSSE Releases District's First Student Mobility Study

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Results of District of Columbia’s student mobility study show large movements in SY2011-2012

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

(Washington, DC) -- The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) today released initial results of the first District of Columbia student mobility study. This study was conducted to determine the frequency and type of mobility that occurs in the District’s public education system. The study looked at the 2011-2012 year (including 2011-2012 school year and summer 2012) and found a proportionate number of exits and entries in the state’s public education system, with approximately 15,081 students exiting and 17,286 entering the state’s public education system.

“The fact that we are gaining more students reflects the steady growth we have seen in the District’s student population; however, the mobility from the public schools and the public charter schools during the school year is of concern because we understand that mobility can be associated with lower achievement, ” commented State Superintendent Mahaley Jones. “So we must ask ourselves – what resources do our schools need to be better equipped to fill the needs of students who move during the school year? This study will help us to further analyze other mobility implications as mobility, in some way, impacts proficiency, attendance, graduation, and the quality of education for all students.”

“The mobility study provides very useful data and certainly raises a number of policy issues for public education,” said Interim Deputy Mayor of Education Jennifer Leonard.  “In the Mayor’s State of the District Address he spoke about the need to revisit how we manage traditional public and charter schools.  We think that this is an issue that must be included in part of that review.”

“This study is a good first step and an important conversation about student mobility within the District of Columbia,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “It ultimately brings to the surface questions that we need to explore more deeply as a city. I believe this demonstrates very clearly our need for citywide coordination on education to better support all our students and our schools.”

"This important study has focused our attention on the issue of student mobility.  We look forward to working with our partners at OSSE and DCPS to find ways, working together, to reduce unnecessary migration and to mitigate the impact of this migration on student attainment," said PCSB Executive Director Scott Pearson.

Within the 2011-2012 School Year, 6,235 students transferred out of the District, while 4,626 transferred into the District. Of the 6,235 students who left the District, 3,315 migrated from the DC Public School system (DCPS), while 2,920 of the students migrated from the DC Public Charter School system (PCS). Of the 4,626 entrances into the state, 3,136 students entered the DCPS system while 1,490 entered the PCS system. This movement resulted in a net loss of 1,609 students from the District of Columbia school system during the school year. However, the largest mobility is seen during the summer months where there is natural movement in/out of the state and between sectors; between June and October 2012, 8,846 students exited the public education system and 12,660 entered the system thereby resulting in a net gain of 3,814.

For more information, the study is available for review and can be downloaded online at osse.dc.gov.

Note: The study does not include non-public enrollments and adult students since they are not accounted for in the annual enrollment audit.