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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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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)|
|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|
|School name||Students||Low grade||High grade|
|BASIS DC PCS - Middle School||597||5th||8th|
|Capital City PCS - Middle School||325||5th||8th|
|César Chávez PCS for Public Policy - Chávez Prep||306||6th||9th|
|César Chávez PCS for Public Policy - Parkside Middle School||278||6th||8th|
|DC Prep PCS - Benning Middle||281||4th||8th|
|DC Prep PCS - Edgewood Middle School||330||4th||8th|
|District of Columbia International School||520||6th||10th|
|E.L. Haynes PCS - Middle School||348||5th||8th|
|Friendship PCS - Blow Pierce Middle||230||4th||8th|
|Friendship PCS - Chamberlain Middle School||330||4th||8th|
|Friendship PCS - Woodridge International Middle School||199||4th||8th|
|Howard University Public Charter Middle School of Mathematics and Science||278||6th||8th|
|KIPP DC - AIM Academy PCS||373||5th||8th|
|KIPP DC - KEY Academy PCS||337||5th||8th|
|KIPP DC - Northeast Academy PCS||326||5th||8th|
|KIPP DC - Valor Academy PCS||223||5th||8th|
|KIPP DC - WILL Academy PCS||346||5th||8th|
|Monument Academy PCS||76||5th||7th|
|Paul PCS - Middle School||242||6th||8th|
|SEED PCS of Washington, DC - Middle School||361||6th||8th|
|Somerset Preparatory Academy PCS - Middle School||324||6th||8th|
|Washington Global PCS||174||6th||8th|
|Washington Latin PCS - Middle School||362||5th||8th|
|School name||Students||Low grade||High grade|
|BASIS DC PCS - High School||597||9th||12th|
|Capital City PCS - High School||333||9th||12th|
|César Chávez PCS for Public Policy - Capitol Hill||332||9th||12th|
|César Chávez PCS for Public Policy - Parkside High School||359||9th||12th|
|E.L. Haynes PCS - High School||450||9th||12th|
|Friendship PCS - Collegiate Academy||751||9th||12th|
|Friendship PCS - Technology Preparatory High School Academy||233||9th||12th|
|Kingsman Academy PCS||254||6th||12th|
|KIPP DC - College Preparatory Academy PCS||594||9th||12th|
|National Collegiate Preparatory PCHS||275||9th||12th|
|Paul PCS - International School||487||9th||11th|
|Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts||285||8th||12th|
|SEED PCS of Washington, DC - High School||361||9th||12th|
|Somerset Preparatory Academy PCS - High School||324||9th||12th|
|Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS||388||9th||12th|
|Washington Latin PCS - Upper School||335||9th||12th|
|Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCHS||277||9th||12th|
|Academy of Hope Adult PCS||334|
|Briya PCS - Adult Education||497|
|Carlos Rosario International PCS||2,011|
|Community College Preparatory Academy PCS||359|
|LAYC Career Academy PCS||185|
|Maya Angelou PCS - High School||209|
|Maya Angelou PCS - Young Adult Learning Center||101|
|The Next Step PCS/El Próximo Paso PCS||393|