Housing Complex

Who’s Affected by the School-Assignment Changes

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Now that Mayor Vince Gray has adopted a set of changes to the city's school-assignment policies, the question many D.C. parents are likely asking is: How will this affect me? The office of Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith has released some data that help answer this question. Here's a rundown.

High School

Most families—63 percent—won't experience any change to their school assignment. Twenty-six percent will be assigned to a new high school, while 11 percent—all currently in the Spingarn boundary—will lose their ability to choose from multiple schools.

The ward with the most affected students is Ward 7, where 1,266 students will be reassigned to a new school and 945 will no longer have a choice. Ward 3 will be the least affected, with no students reassigned. Cardozo, Dunbar, Roosevelt, and Eastern high schools will have the most new students in their boundaries.

Nearly half of affected students would move to a school with worse scores on the DC CAS test; fewer than one in 10 would move to a school with better scores. This change is most acute in Ward 7, where nearly every affected student would move to a school with worse scores, given the shift of many Eastern students to HD Woodson High School.

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Middle School

Middle school is the level at which most students will be affected by the changes, due in part to the proposed opening of three new neighborhood middle schools. Just 51 percent of students will remain within their current assignment, while 40 percent will be reassigned to a different school and 9 percent will lose the ability to choose between multiple options. The greatest changes will take place in the north and central parts of the city.

Ward 4, which currently lacks a standalone middle school, will be the most affected ward, with nearly 90 percent reassigned to a new school boundary (the reopened MacFarland Middle School or a new school in the north section of the ward. Ward 3 will see the least change, with only 73 students assigned to a new school.

For nearly 60 percent of affected students, the changes will mean a longer walk to school; fewer than 20 percent will experience a shorter walk. This effect is most pronounced in wards 1 and 4. Unlike at the high-school level, very few students will move to schools with worse CAS scores, while more than 30 percent will move to better-performing schools, although these figures do not include the schools that are not yet open.

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Elementary School

Elementary school is the level at which fewest students will have new assignments. For 68 percent, boundaries will remain the same, compared to 15 percent who will be assigned to a new school and 17 percent who will lose the ability to choose between multiple options. Ward 8 will have the most reassigned students, although it also has the most total students. Ward 2 will have the fewest reassigned students, although it also has the fewest total students.

Unlike at the middle-school level, more elementary-school students (about 18 percent) will now have a shorter walk to school than will have a longer one (about 7 percent). However, more will move to schools with worse DC CAS scores than with better scores. Wards 7 and 8 have both the most students who will gain a shorter walk and the most students who will move to schools with worse test scores.

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Maps and charts from the deputy mayor's report

  • Northwesterneer

    The Middle School policy is an unmitigated disaster. No more can be said.

    Mayor Gray has been a complete and utter failure as a mayor from day one.

  • Justin

    "Nearly half of affected students would move to a school with worse scores on the DC CAS test..."

    I was under the impression that the students were the ones taking the CAS tests, not the schools.

  • Northwesterneer

    I get your point Justin, but it's actually the Teacher's Unions which have been trumpeting a kind of falsehood- they've been saying that parental involvement and student interest is the only gauge for success and it's actually not true. The really amazing teachers, the Jaime Escalante's of the world, get great results from students without moneyed backgrounds. Don't believe the hype that teachers have no affect on student scores, much of their success is based on the quality of the teaching.

  • Incredulous

    You would all be much better of to be concerned with the quality and supply of food at the restaurant instead of obsessing on the past diets of the guests.
    If only so much attention went to meeting kids' needs in schools as went into the descriptive statistical charting of before /after against very limited criteria of quality.
    How about, instead, eg : How many kids now have access to $1+ billion in facilities new and renovated since YR 2000. Or some other school qualities, if you can be convinced of the integrity of any DCPS has invested in. If they don't matter more, the money was as ill-advisedly spent as on these PR maps.

  • RB

    This really has no bearing on much at all. Fewer than 1/4 of all high school students in DC attend their neighborhood school. That is a joke. Honestly, this will have no effect whatsoever.

  • http://liquidator.blog.com Gertrud

    Az Épületgépészet a Környezetért Alapítványt 2004-ben hozta létre Dr. Munz Károly ügyvéd. Vajon a tervezett gyurcsányi egészségügyi

    privatizáció nagyravágyó magán privatizációs lépéseinek kába köve lett volna ez? - amely az elképzelt építkezési beruházások mozgató rugója

    ként szolgálta volna a szocialista éra magán vagyongyarapodást. Továbbá az EnergEtika Magazin néven új országos lap jelent meg az

    Épületgépészet a Környezetért Alapítvány gondozásában. Ez Dr. Munz ambiciózus EU-s energetikai pályázati lenyúlásait ágyazta volna meg,

    természetesen aktív MSZP-s lobbyval a kívánt források megszerzése érdekében egy következő MSZP-s növekedési fázisban. Más célokat szolgál ez

    az intézmény. Az alapítvány háttértevékenysége, hogy a dr. Munz által a felszámolások során megzsarolt emberektől sápot szedjen,

    természetesen számla nélkül. Az alapítvány ténylegesen semmilyen valós tevékenységet nem végez, ahogy magáról hivatalosan is bevallja: „Az

    Alapítvány 2006. év folyamán emberhiány miatt nem tudott érdemi tevékenységet végezni,” „Az Alapítvány 2009. év folyamán tartalmi

    tevékenységet nem végzett, működése formális létezésére

  • Advisory Committee Member

    When identifying how many students will be going to schools with worse CAS scores, it is important to note that one of the major recommendations of the report is that a minimum of 25% of the seats available to students who live out of boundary will be reserved for "at risk" students. This was a carefully crafted compromise, designed to try to balance between the overwhelming public preference to keep "neighborhood" schools but still permit those whose neighborhood school was of lower quality to have a safety valve. The recommendation is that the 25% at-risk set aside also apply to charter schools, with time provided for a task force to work out whether and how that would be accomplished.

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