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Washington – 2022

2022 City Studies

Summary of Findings

This summary highlights major findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in Washington DC. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next.1 We benchmark the growth of Washington DC students in each sector against the city average growth and then compare the progress of charter and magnet school students with that of similar TPS students within Washington DC, accounting for student characteristics.


Sector:

Washington DC magnet students posted stronger growth than the city average in reading, while exhibiting similar learning gains in math across 2017-18 and 2018-19. Students in Washington DC charter and traditional district schools were on par with the city average student in both subjects across the two years.

Sector against sector comparisons within Washington DC demonstrate that the students in magnet schools outperformed students in charter and traditional district schools in reading over the two growth period, while there is no significant difference in reading performance between the students in charter and traditional district schools. For math, Washington DC charter school student outperformed traditional district students in 1718.

Across the two years, Washington DC magnet schools indicated no significant difference in math relative to Washington DC charter or traditional district schools.

A deeper dive into Washington DC student growth for the period ending in Spring 2019 reveals the following findings:

Charter School Type:

Washington DC charter schools grow on par with the city average, regardless of whether they are affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) or independent charter schools. Sector comparison within Washington DC indicates that the students in CMO charter schools outperform independent charter school students in math, while there is no significant difference in reading learning gains between the charter sectors. 

Race/Ethnicity:

Black students enrolled in charter schools show similar growth in both subjects than the average black student in the city. Washington DC magnet black students show stronger growth in both subjects compared to the city average. Washington DC traditional district school black students grow similarly in reading while underperform in math compared to the average black students in the city.

Shifting the focus to sector comparison within Washington DC, black students enrolled in charter schools post stronger growth than district school black students in math, while grow similarly in reading. Magnet school black students outperform traditional district school black students in both subjects.

Washington DC charter school Hispanic students make weaker reading gains than the city average of Hispanic students, and do not grow differently in math. Washington DC magnet school Hispanic students post stronger gains in reading compared to the city average of Hispanic students, while do not show significant difference in math. Hispanic students enrolled in Washington DC district schools grow on par in both subjects relative to the average Hispanic student in the city.

Breakout analyses by sector within Washington DC suggest charter and magnet school Hispanic students exhibit stronger growth in reading than district school Hispanic students, while charter and magnet school Hispanic students do not grow differently in math compared to the Hispanic students enrolled in traditional district school.

Poverty, ELL, and Special Education:

Washington DC charter and traditional district school students in poverty exhibit similar growth in both subjects than the average student in poverty citywide. Washington DC magnet students in poverty exhibit stronger reading growth, and grow on par with the average student in poverty citywide. Breakout analyses by sector within Washington DC indicates that compared to the district students in poverty, magnet school students in poverty make greater learning gains in both subjects, while charter school students in poverty make similar growth in both subjects.

ELL students in Washington DC charter schools underperform the average ELL students in the city in both subjects. ELL students enrolled in Washington DC magnet and district schools make similar learning gains compared to the average ELL student in the city in both subjects. Comparisons of sectors within Washington DC reveal stronger growth in both subjects among ELLs at magnet schools when they are compared to traditional district ELLs. ELLs at Washington DC charter schools post similar growth in both reading and math than ELLs at traditional district schools.

Special education students enrolled in Washington DC charter and traditional district schools grow on par with average students receiving special education services in the city. Washington DC magnet students receiving special education services outpace the average special education student in the city in math, while no significant difference in learning gains in reading is observed. Comparisons within Washington DC demonstrate that compared to the district school students receiving special education services, magnet students receiving special education services make greater progress in both subjects. Charter students receiving special education services post similar growth in both subjects than the district school students receiving special education services.

Gender:

Washington DC male students in charter schools exhibit similar growth than the average male student in the city in both subjects. Male students from Washington DC magnet schools register stronger growth in reading, while grow similarly in math compared to the average male student in the city. Male students enrolled in traditional district schools grow on par with city average of male students in reading, and underperform in math. Within Washington DC, charter male students exhibit similar growth in reading and math than the district male students. Magnet male students post stronger reading growth compared to male students at traditional district schools.

Female students enrolled in Washington DC charter and traditional district schools exhibit similar learning gains in both subjects compared to the average female student in the city. Female students in magnet schools in Washington DC outperform average female student in the city in both subjects. Comparisons of sectors within Washington DC reveal stronger growth in reading among female students at charter schools when they are compared to average female student in traditional district. Female students at Washington DC magnet schools post stronger growth in math than female students at traditional district schools.

1  In estimating the reading growth of high school students for the period ending in Spring 2018, we use student test scores from the 2015-16 school year as starting scores because there is a noncontiguous grade reading test (ie., no reading test taken in grade 9).


Presentation of Findings


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