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D.C. Public Schools Releases Detailed Lottery Data

D.C. Public Schools today released detailed data on the results of last week's common lottery for public and charter schools, showing which public schools received most interest from parents and which have the longest wait lists.

The lottery, known as My School D.C., allowed parents to apply to up to 12 public and charter schools at once. Results were announced on March 31, and according to city officials, over 12,000 of the 17,000 students were matched with one of their ranked schools. Of those, said officials, 85 percent got a seat at one of their top three schools.

The data released by DCPS today shows in part how parents seek out certain schools, whether or not they are nearby to their homes. Only one-quarter of DCPS students attend their in-boundary school.

Hearst Elementary School in Ward 3 had 39 open seats for its pre-K program for four-year-olds, for which it received 282 applicants. Aiton Elementary in Ward 7, on the other hand, had 15 applicants for its seven open seats in the same program — only six of which were matched with applicants.

Wilson High School in Ward 3 received 592 applications but had no open seats, while Anacostia High School in Ward 8 took in 61 applications for 80 open seats. Deal Middle School in Ward 3 had no open seats at all, but still accepted 331 applications and has a 134-student-long wait list.

The data released also includes basic information on those matched with seats. At Heart, for example, 21 of the 135 applicants were in-boundary students, while eight have a sibling enrolled in the school.

Data was not made available for charter schools as a whole; according to one city official, it's up to each charter school to release its lottery data.

But speaking on The Kojo Nnamdi Show last week, Scott Pearson, the executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, offered hints on demand: He said that Two Rivers Charter School received 2,470 applications for 60 seats, while KIPP took in 6,450 applications for 1,100 seats.

Pearson said that while the common lottery simplified the school search process for many parents, it still showed that there are not enough high-quality seats in D.C. public and charter schools to meet demand.

A committee is currently considering plans to redraw school boundaries and feeder patterns, and has released three proposed alternatives that could reshape where parents send their children.

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