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  • NAEP 4th grade reading score 2003: 188, 28 points below national average
  • NAEP 4th grade reading score 2007: 197, 23 points below national average
  • NAEP 4th grade math score 2003: 205, 29 points below national average
  • NAEP 4th grade math score 2007: 214, 25 points below national average


  • SAT average for DC public schools, 1981: 782
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 1991: 802
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 1998: 810
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 2000: 822
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 2001: 798
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 2002: 799
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 2004: 818
  • SAT average for DC public schools, 2004: 820

SARA MEAD, WASHINGTON POST - More than half the charters in the District have lower test scores than the public school averages, and several have been mired in financial and management problems. Eight have been closed because of fiscal, management and student-achievement shortcomings, and more closures are likely as schools come up for renewal of their five-year contracts.


Number of open work orders for 150 DC public schools: 28,781 [6/05]

Per pupil expenditure DC: $11,094
Per pupil expenditure Montgomery Cty: $11,636
Per pupil expenditure Alexandria: $13,198
Per pupil expenditure Arlington Cty: $14,906

Percent low income & special ed enrollment DC: 64%
Percent low income & special ed enrollment Alexandria: 47%
Percent low income & special ed enrollment Arlington: 36%
Percent low income & special ed enrollment Montgomery: 22%

Nbr of DC public elementary schools with not art teacher and no music teacher: 100

[Washington Post]

Using National Center for Education Statistics, during a four-year period, the dropout rate for the District was 36.5 percent.

The average daily attendance for the schools is at more than 90 percent.

The uniform per-pupil funding formula allots $7,059 per student for all costs of education other than special education and bilingual services. Therefore, the District is not the highest in per pupil spending in the nation, as is often claimed, nor is it even the highest in the metro area. In fiscal year 2003, for example, Montgomery County spent $8,638 per pupil and Arlington spent $11,769.

The 2003 college-attendance rate was 61 percent -- 21 percent higher than the national average of 40 percent. [Peggy Cooper Cafritz]

Listed below are the percent of students at each high school who scored below basic in the Stanford 9 Achievement Test.

Anacostia - 67%
Ballou - 65%
Woodson - 64%
Spingarn - 58%
Roosevelt - 56%
Cardozo - 55%
Washington M.M. - 54%
Eastern - 53%
Dunbar - 49%
Coolidge - 48%
Bell - 44%
Ellington - 28%
Wilson - 5%
School Without Walls - 2%
Banneker - 1%

Nine of the schools above did worse than in 2002


GEORGE ARCHIBALD, WASHINGTON TIMES - The District's schoolchildren rank as the worst readers in the country and only slightly better in some grades than non-English-speaking children in the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa, according to a new national report. The verdict of "The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2000," issued yesterday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is that the nation's fourth- and eighth-graders generally showed slight improvement in reading ability over the past several years. But the nation's high school seniors entering the work force or headed to college were worse readers than 12th-graders in 1998. . .

Neither Superintendent Paul Vance nor any other D.C. school official returned calls for comment on the report, which shows that more than two-thirds of the city's fourth-graders and more than half of its eighth-graders had "below basic" reading ability last year, according to NAEP tests. "Below basic" means the children could not demonstrate an understanding of what they read. Only 10 percent of D.C. fourth- and eighth-graders last year were "at or above proficient" reading ability - the same percentage of fourth-graders as 10 years ago, but 2 percentage points fewer eighth-graders than in 1992. . .

A report revealed that current per-pupil spending for public schools is virtually as high in the District as it is in any of the 50 states. Specifically, for the school year ending in June 2001, the District spent $10,852 per student, a mere $70 per student behind New York State, the national leader. The District's per-pupil current expenditure exceeded the national average of $7,284 by more than $3,500, or 49 percent. Regarding current spending and capital outlays (construction, equipment, etc.), the District's per-pupil figure was $15,122, a level that was far higher than a comparable figure for any state. Indeed, the highest level of total revenues of any state - $12,454 for New Jersey - was nearly $2,700 per pupil below the District's. [WASHINGTON TIMES]



Here's the rating by the independent Education Commision of the States of DC's progress under Bush's federalization of public education. The categories are: appears to be on track, appears partially to be on track; appears not to be on track.

To compare DC to other states and see how poorly Bush's ill-designed plan is faring in the one place where he has control, go to this page.

USA Today article

  Standards & Assessment
Reading Standards Y
Mathematics Standards Y
Science Standards Y
Annual Assessments in Reading P
Annual Assessments in Mathematics P
Assessments in Science N
Assessment of English Language Proficiency Y
Inclusion of LEP Students P
Inclusion of Students with Disabilities P
Inclusion of Migrant Students P
Disaggregation of Results N
Single Accountability System N
All Schools Included N
Continuous Growth to 100% Proficiency N
Annual Determination of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) N
Accountability for All Subgroups N
Primarily Based on Academics N
Includes Graduation Rates and Additional Indicator N
Based on Separate Math and Reading Objectives N
95% of Students in all Subgroups Assessed N
  School Improvement
Timely Identification N
Technical Assistance N
Public School Choice N
Rewards and Sanctions N
School Recognition N
School Restructuring N
  Safe Schools
Criteria for Unsafe Schools N
Transfer Policy for Students in Unsafe Schools N
Transfer Policy for Victims of Violent Crime N
  Supplemental Services
Criteria for Supplemental Services N
List of Approved Supplemental Services Providers N
Monitoring of Supplemental Services Providers N
Implementation of Supplemental Services N
  Teacher Quality
Highly Qualified Teachers Definition N
Subject Matter Competence N
Test for New Elementary Teachers N
Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom N
High Quality Professional Development N



Percent of city residents who read at a third grade level: 37%

ACCORDING TO THE NY TIMES, H. Patrick Swygert of Howard University makes the list of the ten highest paid presidents of colleges and universities in the U.S. - at $603,031 a year.

Although the District does not keep comprehensive records of promotion and graduation rates, private studies have concluded that less than 50 percent of the students in the D.C. system graduate. Those who do finish have not completed the minimum level of college-preparatory work that they need to succeed at most colleges. On the 2000-2001 SATs, D.C. students scored 200 points lower than students in Maryland and Virginia. On last year's Stanford 9 tests, more than half of D.C. high school students scored below the basic level in reading and 72 percent below basic in math. - John B. Childers, president, Consortium of Universities 11/02

$ per student spent by DC school system in 2001 dollars

1991: $7961
2002 $8186

JIM KEARY, WASHINGTON TIMES - The University of the District of Columbia is spending less than half the national average for instruction and research for its undergraduate students. The land-grant university spends about $5,023 per student for instruction and research, which amounts to 41.7 percent of its $64 million budget, according to UDC financial records obtained by The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act. The national average is $10,149 per student for instruction and research, according to the U.S. Department of Education, which calculates such spending as accounting for 56.8 percent of the average budget. In addition, UDC spends $4,668 per student for administration and operation costs, which amounts to 40.3 percent of its budget. The national average is $4,237 per student for such costs, or 20.5 percent of the average budget.

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR - Only about 2,400 students were eligible to receive diplomas from almost 20 D.C. public high schools this year. That's about 700 fewer students than made up last year's graduating class. In other words, the graduating class of 2002 makes up less than 4 percent of the approximately 68,000 students enrolled in D.C. Public Schools. 6/02


1990 8,957
2000 9,409


1990 80,160
2000 81,168


1990 62,131
2000 59,498


1990 33.3%
2000 39%


According to Parents United, this year DC public schools had the lowest average SAT scores in 2000 since 1992.

1982 14,107
1992 11,578
1998 5,284

The Washington area has the highest percentage of adults with graduate degrees: 17% and with undergraduate degrees: 39%.

In 1973, the DC schools had 136,000 students. In 1999 they had about 71,000. -- 2/00

Size of school system central administration in 1979: 511
Size of school system central administration in 1992: 967