Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

In D.C., Public Schools Struggle to Woo Students

July 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke

Principals in Washington, D.C.’s public schools are taking on a new role this summer: neighborhood canvasser. They have been going door-to-door in an effort to retain and recruit students amid a growing charter and choice sector in the nation’s capital. As the Washington Post reported last week:

“The District’s traditional public school system is sending principals out to knock on doors in a campaign to sell itself to city families, an aggressive move to boost enrollment and maintain market share after years of ceding ground to charter schools.”

Charter schools now account for 44 percent of D.C. school enrollment, and, since 2004, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has provided nearly 6,000 scholarships to children from low-income families to attend private schools of choice. That’s well above the 6 percent threshold Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby identified as the percentage of students needed in choice schools to place sufficient competitive pressure on the traditional public system to generate a response from school leadership.

In cities such as D.C. with robust school choice options, public schools are beginning to recognize they no longer have the luxury of solid enrollment regardless of school performance. Traditional public schools now have to convince parents they’re a good fit for their children. As the Post’s Emma Brown wroted:

read full article: In D.C., Public Schools Struggle to Woo Students

bureaucracy, children, culture, education, freedom

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