For each of the previous 39 years, enrollment in the DC Public Schools has declined. That stopped in 2010. DCPS announced an enrollment increase this morning in a press conference with Mayor Adrian Fenty and Chancellor Michelle Rhee. 73 of the
168 123 schools (see comments for alteration) in the District are showing an increase in enrollment, and 14 of those have had to add waitlists for the first time in recent memory.
One of the interesting schools that saw an increase in enrollment of 12% was Coolidge High, which is featured on today’s WAMU morning news, along with Dunbar High, for being one of the District’s turnaround projects. The ventures, conducted along side the Federal Government and private partners, have boosted test scores at the two high schools by 10-20% depending on the test involved.
481 additional pre-K students enrolled this year are a part of the overall percentage increase, which has yet to be released. DCPS is adamant, though, that K-12 enrollment remains increased over the 2009-2010 school year.
Is this the economy taking effect? Are parents who’ve lost jobs faced with the prospect of bigger and bigger loans necessary for private education taking their children to the resurgent DCPS? Perhaps. We’re not sure what else, beyond improved conditions, represents the shift toward the boost in DCPS.