Media Contact: Fred Lewis, [email protected]; (202) 412-2167
The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released today its 2016 pre-kindergarten (pre-K) report: “The State of Pre-K in the District of Columbia.” The report highlights that the District continues to be a leader in pre-K access and investment, while showing gains in quality across public and public charter schools and community-based settings.
Of the estimated 16,753 3- and 4-year-old children in DC, 12,910 were enrolled in public pre-K programs in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) – an increase of nearly 300 children since fiscal year 2015 (FY15). The report also shares for the first time data on the health, development, and school readiness of pre-K 4-year-old students using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The data revealed that 73 percent are developmentally ready for kindergarten. EDI is a population-based measure that provides a snapshot of children’s health, development, and school readiness.
“Access to high-quality pre-K is critical to the success of our young people,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This report demonstrates the progress we are making in delivering early childhood services to District residents, across every ward. We will continue building an even stronger foundation for families that ensures a pathway to the middle class.”
In the third year of the District’s use of a common assessment of quality environments and instruction, pre-K programs significantly improved across all measures of quality as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K® (CLASS Pre-K®) when compared to average scores from the previous two years. In FY16, most pre-K classrooms across DC improved in providing high-quality environments that are supportive of children’s social-emotional development, communicating behavioral expectations effectively, and maximizing learning time.
“The 2016 pre-K report shows that the District is not only serving a greater number of 3- and 4-year-olds, but also has significantly strengthened the quality of programming so that more children in the District are being served by high-quality pre-K programs that support children’s social-emotional development and maximize learning,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “These are exciting, positive gains, both in terms of access and quality, and I look forward to seeing even more progress next year.”
The annual report on the state of pre-K describes how the District has supported rigorous efforts to ensure that all 3- and 4-year-olds have access to high-quality early learning. In 2016, OSSE launched the pilot of an Enhanced Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) – a common approach to measuring the quality of programs across educational sectors in DC – with a diverse set of 24 early education programs. The pilot sites provided insight and feedback into the quality standards and are helping OSSE better understand the supports, interventions, technical assistance, and professional development required to improve the quality of early care and education in DC.