This time we will look at percentages of white & asian students, of students with limited or no english proficiency, students who are poor, students in special education, and also the percentages of students ‘proficient’ in reading, from 2007 through 2010.
First, the percentages of white and asian students enrolled in the tested grades:
As you can see, the percentage of white or asian students has not been large in the past few years, in any of these categories. However, in the regular public schools, in the grades tested, the percentage of white and asian students has gone up from about 7% to about 10%, which seems significant to me. But again, please remember that lots of grades do NOT get tested, and therefore the real percentage for DCPS as a whole, including those non-tested grades, could be higher, lower, or the same.
I also notice that the fraction of white or asian students in the charter schools appears to be very low, less than half of the percentage for all of the publicly-funded schools in DC. Apparently, the fears of some that charter schools would become a refuge for white, middle-class-background students, away from majority-black regular DC public schools, has not come to pass. (At least not yet.)
Next, let’s look at percentages of students who are educationally disabled (students in special education). Here is the graph and table:
As you can see, these graphs are all pretty close to horizontal, meaning not a lot of change. Is the change that we see, the slight wiggles upwards or downwards as we read from left to right, significant? I don’t know for sure, but I doubt it.
What I think IS significant is that the proportion of students receiving special education services in the charter schools is much lower than the proportion of those students in the regular public schools. As you can see, a bit more than 20% (one student in five) in the regular public schools receives special education services. THOSE SERVICES ARE LABOR-INTENSIVE, SO THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. However, in the charter schools, the fraction is roughly 13% (about one student in eight).