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September 23, 2009
October 02, 2009
There was some concern (and maybe a few I-told-you-so's) when DCPS counted only 37,000 students on the first day of school. But now, only three weeks later, enrollment has??boomed up to 44,397. That means the system can just about justify the $760 million allocated to it by the DC Council for a projected enrollment of 44,691. Enrollments tend to grow in the first few weeks of school as students straggle in, so that DCPS is closer to its goal is not too surprising (though maybe a bit that it's THIS close...). But here's what caught my attention: DCPS schools that were featured in the Rediscover DCPS campaign this summer have all gone??over their enrollment projections, and account for most of the 7,000 students that have enrolled since the first count on August 24.??I gave DCPS a hard time last week for focusing its side-of-buses and radio ads on the intangible and irrelevant statistics that might make a school more appealing--smiling happy kids, school building renovations, and the like. But what about achievement?
That's why I was pleased to see these "school snapshots" on the DCPS website. (You can also listen to their radio ads and, of course, hear about building renovations.) They have the typical feel-good stats, like how many teachers are certified or have Master's degrees, but they also have whether the school made AYP, percent proficient in math, and percent proficient on reading. And it looks like DCPS isn't pulling the wool over our eyes. On the snapshot for??J.O. Wilson Elementary School in NE, only 56.77% of students were proficient in math last year.??Eliot-Hine Middle School only has 37% of their students proficient in reading. Those are obviously not stats we should be celebrating, but being honest about achievement is the first step to improvement. Now, if only they were so honest on the sides of buses instead of just on their website...