Measuring Up



District of Columbia

TOTAL SCORE:
106 out of 1321

Rank: 1 out of 18

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state.

What is the state of charter schools in DC?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

112

50%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

37,684

44%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2013–14)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

4%

12%

-8%

Black

82%

68%

14%

Hispanic

12%

16%

-4%

Asian

1%

2%

-1%

Other

1%

2%

-1%

Total minority

96%

88%

8%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

99%

99%

0%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

99%

99%

0%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

100%

100%

0%

Suburb

0%

0%

0%

Town

0%

0%

0%

Rural

0%

0%

0%

Total nonsuburban

100%

100%

0%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

1

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2010–15)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

7

Average Annual Open Rate

7.0%

2011–12

10

2012–13

6

2013–14

4

2014–15

12

Total number

39

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2009–14)

9

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

6

Average Annual Closure Rate

4.5%

2010–11

4

2011–12

1

2012–13

3

2013–14

10

Total number

24

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Percentage of charter schools with an identified special focus (2012–13)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

14%

Total

55%

STEM

4%

Arts

3%

Classical

3%

Purposely diverse

0%

Single sex

1%

International/Foreign language

12%

Montessori/Waldorf

13%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

5%

Military

1%

Vocational training

4%

Public policy/Citizenship

4%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

72

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

101

 

 

 

12. Percentage point change in top categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

Tier I

36

34

-2

 

13. Percentage point change in bottom categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

9

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

Tier III

12

8

-4

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

94%

6%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2014–15)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

State education agency

Independent charter board

1

112

112

100%

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2013–14)

Number of virtual public charter school students

1,604

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

4%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

1

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

1%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

D.C.’s charter public school movement ranked #1 out of 18, scoring 106 points out of 116.1

D.C. scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • In 2014-15, 50 percent of D.C.’s public schools were charters.
  • In 2014-15, 44 percent of D.C.’s public school students were charter students.
  • In 2013-14, D.C.’s charter public schools served a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (8 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, 24 charter public schools closed in D.C., a 4.5 percent average annual closure rate.
  • In 2012-13, 55 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, charter public school students exhibited higher academic growth (72 more days in reading and 101 more days in math), on average, when compared with traditional public school students.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the bottom category of the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s accountability system decreased by 4 percentage points (from 12 percent to 8 percent).

In addition to the above points, we also offer the following observations about the movement in D.C.:

  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, 39 public charters opened in D.C., a 7 percent average annual open rate.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the top category of the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s accountability system decreased by 2 percentage points (from 36 percent to 34 percent).
  • During 2014-15, 94 percent of D.C.’s charter public schools were start-ups and 6 percent were conversions.
  • In 2014-15, D.C. allowed only the D.C. Public Charter School Board to serve as an authorizer, so the D.C. Public Charter School Board oversaw 100 percent of D.C.’s 112 charter public schools that year.
  • During 2013-14, one full-time virtual charter public school operated in D.C., serving 1,604 students.

 

concluding thoughts

  • D.C. has a relatively good charter law. It has laid a strong foundation for the creation of a healthy charter public school movement. However, the law still needs to provide more equitable funding and facilities support to charter students.
  • A relatively high percentage of D.C.’s public schools and students are charter schools and students, showing a high demand for these innovative public school options.
  • D.C.’s charter public schools serve a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students than traditional public schools, showing that charters are serving those students who most need a better public school option.
  • D.C. has a relatively high percentage of special-focus schools, showing that charters are providing a diverse array of options for students and educators.
  • D.C.’s charter school movement has achieved relatively strong results, as demonstrated in CREDO’s National Charter School Study 2013 and the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s accountability system.

1Only 10 of the 13 indicators were applicable to the District of Columbia. D.C. received 90 out of 112 points for those nine indicators, or 80 percent. We then multiplied the total points possible for all 13 indicators (132) by 80 percent to get a score comparable to the other states.