Recently, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released a report entitled “Mid-Year Student Movement in DC.” The report, a follow up to a 2013 analysis of student movement in the District, adds data for two more years: SY2012-2013 and SY2013-2014. The goal of the analysis was to determine the total mid- year student movement; movement into and out of DC; and movement between DCPS and public charter school sectors.
In SY2013-2014, while the majority of students (92%) stay enrolled in the same school from the beginning to the end of the school year, 6,100 students “entered, exited, or had at least one change within or between DCPS schools or public charter schools” (2). Of those 6,100 students, 75% of them either entered or exited the District. The report breaks down the demographics more. It’s not surprising that in SY2013-2014 that student mobility was lowest in 12th grade and highest among 9th grade students. As charter schools have open spaces, 9th graders may leave their DCPS school, and additionally, students may be recommended out of a charter school and choose to attend another charter or DCPS school.
The report revealed significant movement between charter schools and DCPS schools. According to the report, over the course of three school years (2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014), the number of students who move from a charter school to a DCPS school was 12 times higher than students who move in the opposite direction. Data indicates that charter schools expel students at higher rates than traditional public schools, leaving expelled students with the following options: attend another charter school or a DCPS school. The movement is disruptive for the student who, according to the report, is already at-risk academically and predominately African American, low income, and male.
OSSE plans to use this information to gain a better understanding of the factors that drive mid-year movement and uncover trends between student groups with the highest mobility rates in order to develop policies and practices.