Over the past decade, Washington D.C. has been one of the fastest improving school systems in the country. The city has greatly improved its traditional public schools while also increasing the number of schools governed by non-profit organizations. Our nation’s capital is a striking example of how all boats can rise when educators are empowered and supported.
For decades, Washington DC was home to one of the lowest-performing school systems in the United States.
2005 Fourth Grade Score Averages in Large Cities
In 2007, Mayor Fenty gained authority over the public schools and made significant changes to how schools were governed.
Achievement has gone up dramatically. Just over 10 years after being one of the lowest-performing school systems in the U.S., both traditional schools and charter schools in Washington D.C. now score at the NAEP big city average.
D.C. public schools have caught up to the national big-city average
Demographic shifts explain a small portion of DC gains. But the projected increases, both in charter schools and in the district, have been outstripped by the actual gains.
There is still much work to be done in Washington D.C., but the growth of high performing non-profit charter schools, coupled with major improvements in the district, has made Washington D.C. one of the most improved school systems in the country.