Measuring Up



District of Columbia

TOTAL SCORE:
104 out of 1161

Rank: 1 out of 26

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in DC?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

107

49%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

36,565

44%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

8

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

3%

16%

-13%

Black

83%

69%

14%

Hispanic

12%

13%

-1%

Asian

1%

1%

0%

Other

1%

1%

0%

Total minority

97%

84%

13%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

72%

61%

11%

Special education status

12%

14%

-2%

English learner status

8%

9%

-1%

Total special student populations

92%

84%

8%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

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 (2012–13)

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  (2009–14)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

8

Average Annual Open Rate

6.8%

2010–11

7

2011–12

10

2012–13

6

2013–14

4

Total number

35

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

5

Average Annual Closure Rate

3.8%

2009–10

6

2010–11

4

2011–12

1

2012–13

3

Total number

18

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

76

Average

29%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

64

Year-round calendar

9

Independent study

15

School-to-work

0

Higher education courses

12

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

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

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

72

 

 

 

 

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

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

101

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

93%

7%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

54

55%

 

 

Charter management organization

37

38%

 

 

Education management organization

7

7%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

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

107

107

100%

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

100

 

 

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

0%

 

 

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 public charter school movement ranked #1 out of 26, scoring 104 points out of 116.

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

  • Forty-nine percent of D.C.’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
  • Forty-four percent of D.C.’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
  • D.C.’s public charter schools served a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012-13 (13 percentage points more).
  • D.C.’s public charter schools served a higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students during 2012–13 when compared with traditional public schools (11 percentage points more).
  • Eighteen public charter schools closed in D.C. between 2008–09 and 2012–13, a 3.8 percent average annual closure rate.
  • An average of 29 percent of D.C.’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • On average, public charter school students exhibited higher academic growth when compared with traditional public school students between 2007–08 and 2010–11 (72 more days in reading and 101 more days in math).

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

  • Thirty-five public charters opened in D.C. between 2009–10 and 2013–14, a 6.8 percent average annual open rate.
  • Ninety-three percent of D.C.’s public charter schools were startups, and 7 percent were conversions during 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 55 percent of the public charter schools in D.C. were independently managed, 38 percent were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization, and 7 percent were associated with a for-profit educational management organization.
  • In 2013–14, 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 107 public charter schools that year.
  • There was one virtual charter school in D.C. during 2012–13, serving 100 students (1 percent of D.C.’s public charter school population).

Recommendations

Colorado has sizable populations of public charter schools and public charter school students. Such students, on average, are performing better than their peers in traditional public schools in reading but not math, although it is important to note that the most recent student academic growth data available are from 2010–11.

To better support the growth of high-quality public charter schools, we recommend that the state change its law to enhance its funding and facilities support to charters. We also encourage the state to explore why public charter schools are serving a lower percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (such as the lack of kitchen spaces in buildings) than traditional public schools and take steps to remedy these issues.

1Only nine of the 11 indicators were applicable to D.C. D.C. received 94 out of 104 points for those nine indicators, or 90 percent. We then multiplied the total points possible for all 11 indicators (116) by 90 percent to get a score comparable to the other states.