This report is the first phase of a three-part project to help the District of Columbia create a firm analytical basis for planning for quality schools to meet the needs of the city’s families. While the city’s overall population is growing, the number of school-age children living in the District is actually in decline. The availability of quality public schools, especially near housing that is appropriate for and affordable to families, will help determine how successful the city can be in attracting and retaining families with children.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (the OSSE) commissioned this project to study the patterns of school supply and student demand in order to better understand the choices parents are making in choosing schools, the relationship between school choice and school quality, and between school choice and neighborhood development. The Quality Schools Project will explore policy changes that can improve the availability of and access to quality school options throughout the city. This project is a joint effort of Brookings, the Urban Institute, and the 21st Century School Fund. Together, the three organizations bring unique perspectives and expertise on education, housing, and neighborhood development in the District.