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Mayor Bowser Launches EdScape Beta, A New Planning Tool for Public Education

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn released EdScape Beta, a powerful new planning tool that provides information about the landscape of DC’s public schools and students. EdScape Beta will support policymakers, agencies, and schools in making data-driven decisions to inform and support programs and school planning.

“We have a strong system of public schools in DC, but we know that with better data and increased collaboration, we can better serve our students and families,” said Mayor Bowser. “Improving equity and ensuring that every student and every family has access to the opportunities they deserve demands bold thinking, strong planning, and cross agency collaboration. That is what this new tool represents.”

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) developed the new tool in response to a recommendation from the Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force. EdScape Beta supports Mayor Bowser’s commitment to increasing transparency and collaboration between and amongst public school sectors with the goal of delivering high-quality education to every child in every neighborhood. Along with data from the MySchoolDC common lottery, the first-ever cross-sector quality STAR rating system, the 2018 Master Facilities Plan, the first-ever Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force Report, as well as funding to begin review of the Uniform Per-Student Funding Formula and a DCPS School Budgeting Review, EdScape provides information and data to facilitate meaningful engagement and productive planning.

“This tool will aid us in better leveraging resources to help our schools, neighborhoods, and city to continue to grow and thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “We are excited to work through this data with District leaders and agencies to improve planning on everything from schools and career centers to housing and transportation. We are also very excited to work with the community to gain feedback on what we can add and improve upon. While the District has made tremendous gains in education over the last decade, we take seriously the Mayor’s directive to think boldly in closing the achievement gap and tackling education equity challenges.”

EdScape Beta builds upon the foundational information provided in the 2018 Master Facilities Plan released earlier this year. The DME will regularly update EdScape Beta with information as it becomes available. Future versions will include information about school quality and family/student demand.

Key Information:

EdScape Beta is organized into five chapters covering the following topic areas: population and students, public schools and programs, public school facilities, enrollment patterns, and neighborhood factors. Users of EdScape Beta can manipulate information to focus on particular wards and neighborhoods of the city, grade levels (elementary, middle, and high), and by sector (DCPS or public charter). All data are downloadable.

Some key questions the planning information helps inform are the following:

  • How has Washington, DC’s child population changed over time and how much is it expected to change in the future?
  • Where do public school students live?
  • What types of specialized school programs are offered and where?
  • Do public school students enroll close to home? Does this change based on where students live?
  • Are public school students more likely to live in particular types of housing (apartment, condominium, or single family)?
  • How will new housing developments affect the population of children in the neighborhoods in which they are being built?

The DME encourages users to provide feedback about the site using the on-line comment and feedback functions. The DME intends to upgrade to EdScape 1.0 based on this feedback and new information next year.

EdScape Beta can be found at edscape.dc.gov.