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More details on DCPS enrollment

The District released more details late Wednesday on the October enrollment count.

Unaudited enrollment as of Oct. 5 is 46,515, a gain of 743 students over the 2009 unaudited figure. That's a 1.6 percent increase.

Of those new students, 524 are in pre-school or pre-K, an 11 percent increase in enrollment at those levels.

DCPS says there was no enrollment loss in K-12, compared to a 3 percent dip in 2009 and 8 percent in 2008.

This constitutes the first enrollment growth since 1969.

The numbers now go to OSSE, which hires an auditing firm to examine documentation for each student. This kind of vetting almost always brings the final numbers down a bit. The audited figures will be available sometime in the first quarter of next year.

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By Bill Turque  | October 7, 2010; 8:27 AM ET
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And a .5% increase for K-12.
3 per school.

Posted by: edlharris | October 7, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

This comment was posted in the WaPo nearly two years ago, and near the end came the prediction of increased public schools enrollment in DC and across the couuntry, along with the economic reason why. Bonus prediction: Michelle Rhee's demise.

Comment on: Fenty, Rhee Look for Ways Around Union at 11/16/2008 1:22 PM EST

Michelle Rhee, who needed a fairy tale to be created around her three years in the classroom not to be laughed out of town, has no answers for the problems of the D.C. schools. Just like the radical right-wing policies implemented in New Orleans since Katrina, nothing Rhee offers will amount to a better public school system.

Lacking any discernible qualifications, her shocking appointment as D.C. Chancellor, can be understood only when you realize that Michelle Rhee was brought in to create chaos at every turn and inflict maximum damage on the district's public schools and its children. And as a cultist (Teach For America, New Teacher Project) and true believer she was had at a bargain basement salary. Really qualified superintendents were courted (Mayor Fenty spent a week in Miami with several members of the D.C. Commission to interview Dr. Rudolph Crew) but those candidates would have asked questions and refused to implement destructive or absurd policies. They could not be counted on to mindlessly take a sledgehammer to D.C.'s schools. The havoc that Rhee is now causing is no accident. It was the plan!

You see Michelle Rhee appeared in the District because and when the "global economy" was riding herd on this planet. Globalization is at the very foundation of business model for schools, charters, vouchers, data driven instruction, merit pay, standardized testing, and most perversely of all, paying students to consume their version of education. It was the reason the Business Roundtable and Bill Gates were so helpful in getting Mayor Fenty put in charge. The CEO's wanted a profit making private school system. There would be Wal Mart and security guard jobs for the kids that used to go to public schools.

But read the rest of the Post and see the economic earthquake that has now cracked the foundation of the model that spits up a Michelle Rhee.

Soon it will be every private school and charter school investor for himself. Private school students are being moved to the public schools by their debt ridden parents in significant numbers already. In the scramble to save their own hides the privatizers will throw their tool Ms. Rhee to the wolves. Stripped of her powerful patrons, Michelle Rhee will stand alone as a petty, vindictive, insecure bureaucrat who had to hide behind her BlackBerry and laptop, answering e-mails, lest she be discovered as a fraud.

And she will leave town. Hold on D.C.!

Posted by: natturner | October 7, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

How is this not better than previous years when large numbers of parents routinely just bailed out of DCPS after 3rd grade or 5th grade or 7th grade or whenever their private school of choice would accept their kids? Some families are still leaving to be sure but others are coming back. Clearly, there is more than the bad economy at work here. Bad economies in years past never stopped the exodus from DCPS.

Posted by: tyty1 | October 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

This confuses me.

Why announce three slightly different sets of enrollment numbers in three days?

Posted by: efavorite | October 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

What a coup! DCPS was able to convince a bunch of yuppies to take advantage of free childcare.

Posted by: Nemessis | October 7, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Once they take into account all of the bodies from Maryland and Virginia (who early on Rhee's team railed against, they should pay tuition) the enrollment will not have improved a bit. If anything, the numbers of MD and VA license plates dropping and picking up kids from outside of the District has increased. Rhee learned way back without those outliers she'd have little to show. Hence, we have kids illegally getting educated at DC tax payers' expense. As for the kids, they know it's not fair and they are often nervous around teachers and classmates about exactly where they live. Why is this continuing practice not dealt with appropriately?

Posted by: modern1 | October 7, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

If kids are traveling from MD or VA to DC to get an education, I guess something is going at least a little bit right :-)

The numbers are fluctuating because the official audits haven't happened yet. When they do the official numbers will drop slightly.

After the official count (which is what DCPS uses to calculate budgets on a per-student basis) we will see the annual "charter school dump", where charter schools drop their least successful and most troublesome students to their neighborhood schools after getting money for them.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | October 8, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Also the increase is at the school levels where the most influence can be yielded. Ironically Rhee, will be a statistic to her own increase. Such as she brought her children here in elementary and will probably be outta here by the time they get to middle-school and it would have been a miracle if they would have remained here until high-school.

Posted by: PowerandPride | October 8, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

This is great news if it proves true. Great news--no one can discount that. My only caveat--she has said it before and it was not true--once the audit was concluded.

Posted by: CultureClub | October 8, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Wyrm1: McKinley Technology High School (151 T St, NE) had several students from Maryland at least from Fall 2007 - Spring 2009. Nonetheless neither this nor McKinley's status as one of three high schools in DC to make AYP during this period kept Chancellor Rhee or Principal Pinder from engaging in what many teachers there viewed as a kind of ongoing assault on teachers there.

Posted by: kirtu | October 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: pisatrade0 | October 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Nostalgia for Education Readers ...

Remember those good'ol days (not many days ago) when the information box about Bill Turque said, "Bill Turque chronicles Chancellor Michelle Rhee's efforts to reform DC's Public Schools." Or something to that effect.

Today, I noticed that our Chancellor is no longer in Bill's job description. Now we find. "Bill Turque is an education reporter for The Washington Post."

If someone, anyone, knows where Rhee has gone, please let the rest of us know. It was somehow easier to sleep when I knew Bill's job was dedicated to tracking our Chancellor, as now she could suddenly surface and potentially be even more lethal than before.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Posted by: AGAAIA | October 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

True, the pre-k/pre-school numbers skew the overall figures; however, Rhee would want to pull in the wealthier demographic early and try to retain them in DCPS throughout their school years. Our neighborhood schools have seen enrollment increases, too, primarily due to these grades. It has yet to be seen if these families will keep their kids in DCPS for the long haul.

@modern1 -- Regarding MD and VA kids who attend DCPS and DC charters: I was told by a politically active neighbor that DCPS administrators all the way up to Rhee, charter school administrators, and our elected officials know what is going on. They do nothing in part because these "outliers," as you call them, keep the enrollment numbers higher than they would otherwise be, and the greater the enrollment on October "count day," the greater the funding. I suspect there's more at work here because it is a problem that can be handled since other school systems manage to do so.

By the way, non-resident kids are not nervous about telling people where they really live. Their parents drive up with MD/VA tags knowing there will be absolutely no consequences (seen this at schools in NE and NW). The kids invite their classmates to birthday parties at their MD/VA homes and talk about where they live; so, the kids aren't concerned either. One year, I suspected nearly 20% of my daughter's class were non-residents. The class was not full; so, the school administration did not care.

@Wyrm1 -- The problem of non-residents attending DC schools did not start with Rhee. It's been going on for years (decades?). If you could somehow get an accurate count of resident students, I predict DCPS and charter enrollment would drop by at least 10% if not more. So, to amend your statement, "If kids [have been] traveling from MD or VA to DC to get an education, I guess something [has been] going at least a little bit right [for years]."

Posted by: 1950snoopy | October 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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