It looks like it’s more of the usual Rhee-and-Fenty lying propaganda. Or poppycock. Or choose your own, preferred, expletive.
When making comparisons like this, it’s best to compare apples to apples, watermelons to watermelons, and horseshoes to horseshoes. Thus, if we want to see if the population of DC public schools is going up or going down, it’s best to compare the same grades. Especially when enrollment has been recently opened up, by DC Council legislation, to a much larger population in certain other grades (namely, certain grade levels earlier than grade 1).
Well, that’s what I’ve done here. Look for yourself.
As you can see, the number of students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 in the regular public schools dropped by about another 640 students from 2009 to 2010. So much for Michelle Rhee’s claim of having stopped the hemorrhage.
In fact, under the Kanzler’s reign, the total population in the tested grades dropped by about 5,470 students, out of a total of about 26,200. That means that under her watch, She-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong has presided over a drop of nearly 21% (my calculator says about 20.9%) in the tested population of DC public schools.
Nice going, Michelle R! (I am being sarcastic.)
I, for one, certainly hope that you keep your promise to quit once Fenty is replaced by Gray as mayor. (There, that’s my prediction for who is going to win today’s Democratic mayoral primary.) Unfortunately, that means that you will get an even bigger national stage on which to spread your pernicious ideas.
Notes on data:
Other than the caveat below, I have no reason to doubt this data. Like the other data, it’s from the NCLB-OSSE-DCPS site, and I calculated the number of students in the charter schools by subtracting the number of regular public school students from the number of kids in all publicly funded DC schools. You do have to do quite a bit of work to massage all this data into a spreadsheet. Here is the link to mine; feel free to peruse it or do what you like.
I realize that there are some students who are in neither category: those who attend out-of-town special-education boarding schools and those who are transported daily to more-local private special-education schools, all at public expense. I am hoping that their numbers are not great enough to throw off my calculations; so far I haven’t figured out where their NCLB data is hiding.