The Washington Post

Schools report lays out hurdles

Findings from 2021-2022 reveal extent of upheaval


In the year that D.C. schools fully reopened after being forced to shutter campuses because of the pandemic, math and reading proficienc­y plummeted, more high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless, and scores of teachers left their jobs. Out of every 100 ninth-graders, eight were forecast to finish college within six years of high school graduation.

Those findings are part of a report from the D.C. Policy Center that shows the extent of the challenges D.C. schools endured in the 2021-2022 school year, a term marked by low test scores, rising absenteeis­m and increased demand for mental health services — reflecting trends in education seen nationwide.

“It’s sobering to look at where we are today,” Christina Grant, D.C.’S state superinten­dent of education, said about the report’s findings. But she also noted the city’s gains. Enrollment hit a 15-year high this school year, and graduation rates have continued to improve. Thousands of children have received small-group tutoring, financed by an infusion of federal and local funding designed to helped schools recover from the pandemic that upended student life. “In D.C., we may get down, but we don’t stay down,” she said.

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