District of Columbia Public Charter School Board
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District of Columbia Public Charter School Board

As of 2019, public charter schools in the District of Columbia have operated for more than 20 years. During this time, student enrollment has grown to roughly 43,000 students in 123 schools.

DC PCSB currently provides oversight to 66 nonprofits that operate 123 public charter schools educating more than 43,000 or 47% of all DC public school students.[1] It fosters quality education opportunities for students by approving new schools, monitoring schools in operation, and revoking school charters if the school fails to meet its academic goals, Through quality authorizing, DC PCSB has created positive outcomes for DC public charter school students.

With the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board's (DC PCSB) vision, DC's public charter sector and schools have greatly improved student performance, school quality, and districtwide access to high quality seats in recent years.[2] DC PCSB is the only government agency in the District of Columbia with the authority to approve schools, monitor schools while in operation, and revoke school charters if they fail to meet their performance goals.

DC PCSB gives DC public charter schools a high degree of flexibility in exchange for accountability for results, and encourages schools to exhibit fidelity by requiring schools to remain faithful to their status as public schools and responsibility to educate all students equitably.

Through a multi-faceted approach, DC PCSB has developed a model of authorization and oversight that has improved the quality of District of Columbia charter school sector and led to DC public charter school students making significant learning gains. According to the CREDO study, the average student enrolled in a District of Columbia public charter school receives an educational benefit equivalent to 99 extra days of school per year compared to his or her peers attending the district's traditional public schools.


DC PCSB was created in 1996 by the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 as a second, independent authorizer of public charter schools in District of Columbia. In 2006, the DC Board of Education (BOE), which had served as the first charter authorizer since 1996, voted to relinquish its authorizing responsibilities.

In 2007, the DC Council passed legislation to give the DC Mayor direct authority over the traditional public school system, and to transfer the oversight responsibility for the charter schools previously authorized by the BOE to DC PCSB.


Scott D. Pearson is DC PCSB's Executive Director. Since joining DC PCSB in 2012, Mr. Pearson has implemented significant reforms in how the Board approves and provides oversight public charter schools.

Naomi Rubin DeVeaux is DC PCSB's Deputy Director. A national expert in public charter school education, Ms. DeVeaux has developed new tools and measurements, curricula, and policy initiatives that have shaped public education across the country.

Performance Management Framework

Under the School Reform Act (SRA), DC PCSB is granted authority to hold DC public charter schools accountable for fulfilling their obligations under the Act.

With a high proportion of PK-12 and adults in public charter schools, DC PCSB created the performance management framework (PMF) in 2011. It was developed to evaluate charter school performance, based on common measures across all schools. Schools are rated Tier 1, 2, 3, with Tier 1 being the best. The PMF measurements evaluate student achievement as well as student growth, indicators of readiness for high school and college, and mission-specific measures at each school.

Since its first announcement in 2011, the PMF has significantly helped to determine the quality of public charter schools creating a standard by which new charter schools can aim to be "Tier One on Day 1."

The results of the PMF have improved year to year. In 2014, six elementary/middle schools and six high schools were rated Tier 1 based on their performance during the 2013-14 academic year. Seven schools received this high-performing designation for the first time, while 10 public charter schools have been rated Tier 1 for all four years the PMF has been in existence. And today, 54 schools are rated as Tier 1.

Moreover, the results of the PMF are released every year in our School Quality Report.[3]

Student Assessments

Even as public charter schools have grown in DC, school quality has remained high. For more than a decade, public charter school students have shown steady improvement on the statewide assessment, first on the DC-Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) and now PARCC. Additionally, the charter sectors proficiency growth is occurring across traditionally disadvantaged subgroups.[4]

According to the 2018 results, students at DC public charter schools are continuing to improve on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC) test. Public charter students increased by 2.7 percentage points on the English language arts (ELA) assessment and by 1.8 percentage points on the math assessment.


In its role as DC's sole charter authorizer, DC PCSB has a strong record of ensuring equity and access across public DC charter schools.

Public charter schools in DC educate several student populations including students with disabilities, English language learners as well as low-income students of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. And, public charter schools demonstrate significantly higher proficiency among each of these historically disadvantaged groups

Overall, DC public charter schools educate virtually the same percentage of English language learners (8%) and students with disabilities (13%), and a substantially higher percentage of African-American students (75%) as the state average.

Additionally, in an effort to prevent any type of discrimination, the Board has also implemented several processes and initiatives, such as the Mystery Shopper policy, and have partnered with My School DC to create a common lottery, which adheres to the US Department of Education's guidance on non-discrimination and will eliminate many potential barriers to enrollment.

Using Data to Improve Outcomes

DC PCSB uses data to increase transparency, improve and inform school improvement.

In 2013, DC PCSB and the traditional school system released the first-ever District of Columbia School Equity Reports. These unprecedented reports, produced in collaboration with the Office of the State Superintendent and DC Public Schools, offer school-by-school data on a school's demographics, percentage of students with disabilities, and academic, attendance and discipline data disaggregated by student group.

DC PCSB's data releases have sparked important conversations and caused many schools to change their policies and practices. As a result, since 2012 expulsions have dropped by nearly half. In SY 2012-2013, the DC public charter schools expulsion rate stood at 186 students and in the SY 2013-2014 it dropped to 139 students. Additionally, suspensions have dropped significantly. In SY 2012-2013 the suspension rate stood at 14.7% and decreased to 11.9% in SY 2013-2014.


Public school enrollment in the District of Columbia has increased overall for five straight years and there is also an increased demand for public charter school education.

Overall, the District's public school enrollment increased from 82,958 in SY 2013-14 to 85,403 in SY 2014-15 or 3.06%. And, the overall waitlist increased to 8,526 unique names, an 18% increase over 2014's 7,205 names.[5]

In addition to overall enrollment numbers, this year's enrollment report--released by PCSB--showed that the quality of public charter schools continues to grow in that more students are attending high performing schools and that sector growth is the slowest in history as the charter board prioritizes school quality over growth.


Early Childhood Schools

School name Students Low grade High grade
AppleTree Early Learning PCS - Columbia Heights 160 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
AppleTree Early Learning PCS - Lincoln Park 60 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
AppleTree Early Learning PCS - Oklahoma Avenue 134 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
Appletree Early Learning PCS - Southeast (Douglas Knoll) 169 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
AppleTree Early Learning PCS - Southeast (Parklands) 172 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
AppleTree Early Learning PCS - Southwest 108 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
Breakthrough Montessori PCS 81 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
Briya PCS - Early Childhood 644 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)
Cedar Tree Academy PCS 385 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
KIPP DC - Arts and Technology Academy PCS 277 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
KIPP DC - Connect Academy PCS 325 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
KIPP DC - Discover Academy PCS 352 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
KIPP DC - Grow Academy PCS 328 Prekindergarten (3) Kindergarten
KIPP DC - LEAP Academy PCS 198 Prekindergarten (3) Prekindergarten (4)

Elementary and elementary/middle schools

School name Students Low grade High grade
Achievement Prep PCS - Wahler Place Elementary School 464 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Bridges PCS 328 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Capital City PCS - Lower School 325 Prekindergarten (3) 4th
Center City PCS - Brightwood 276 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Center City PCS - Capitol Hill 238 Prekindergarten (4) 8th
Center City PCS - Congress Heights 253 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Center City PCS - Petworth 257 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Center City PCS - Shaw 234 Prekindergarten (4) 8th
Center City PCS - Trinidad 184 Prekindergarten (4) 8th
City Arts and Prep PCS 522 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Creative Minds International PCS 341 Prekindergarten (3) 7th
DC Bilingual PCS 410 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
DC Prep PCS - Anacostia Elementary 203 Prekindergarten (3) 1st
DC Prep PCS - Benning Elementary 449 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
DC Prep PCS - Edgewood Elementary 447 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
DC Scholars PCS 505 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Democracy Prep Congress Heights PCS 656 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
E.L. Haynes PCS - Elementary School 345 Prekindergarten (3) 4th
Eagle Academy PCS - Capitol Riverfront 144 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Eagle Academy PCS - Congress Heights 734 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Early Childhood Academy PCS 229 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS 350 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Friendship PCS - Armstrong Elementary 438 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Friendship PCS - Blow Pierce Elementary 388 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Friendship PCS - Chamberlain Elementary School 387 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Friendship PCS - Online 145 Kindergarten 8th
Friendship PCS - Southeast Academy 553 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Friendship PCS - Woodridge International Elementary School 305 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Harmony DC PCS - School of Excellence 97 Kindergarten 5th
Hope Community PCS - Lamond 321 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Hope Community PCS - Tolson 561 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Ideal Academy PCS 300 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Ingenuity Prep PCS 376 Prekindergarten (3) 4th
Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS 414 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
KIPP DC - Heights Academy PCS 461 1st 4th
KIPP DC - Lead Academy PCS 418 1st 4th
KIPP DC - Promise Academy PCS 525 Kindergarten 4th
KIPP DC - Quest Academy PCS 365 1st 4th
KIPP DC - Spring Academy PCS 335 1st 4th
Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS (LAMB) 426 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Lee Montessori PCS 145 Prekindergarten (3) 4th
Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS 402 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Meridian PCS 692 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS 563 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Perry Street Preparatory PCS 306 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Rocketship Rise Academy PCS 441 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Roots PCS 118 Prekindergarten (3) 5th
Sela PCS 177 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS 203 Prekindergarten (3) 6th
The Children's Guild DC PCS 342 Kindergarten 8th
Two Rivers PCS - Fourth Street 527 Prekindergarten (3) 8th
Two Rivers PCS - Young 226 Prekindergarten (3) 3rd
Washington Yu Ying PCS 571 Prekindergarten (3) 5th

Middle schools

High schools

Alternative, Adult, and Vocational Education Schools


  1. ^ https://www.dcpcsb.org/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ DC Public Charter School Board. "Executive Summary: Transforming Public Education in the Nation's Capital." Scribd.com. N.p., 22 Oct. 2014. Web.
  3. ^ https://www.dcpcsb.org/schoolquality. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Office of the State Superintendent of Education. "2014 DC CAS Results." Osse.dc.gov. N.p., 31 July 2014. Web.
  5. ^ "Demand for DC Public Charter Schools Remains High." Demand for DC Public Charter Schools Remains High. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.

External links

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