‘The State of Pre-K in the District of Columbia’ Report from The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and SRC

February 7th, 2017 | by SRC

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recently released its 2016 pre-kindergarten (pre-K) report: “The State of Pre-K in the District of Columbia.” The report, a product of the collaboration between SRC and OSSE, highlights the results of the Pre-K Evaluation that SRC has conducted since 2013.

The results presented this year highlight the gains that DC’s pre-k programs have made in the past three years, and report on a case study of successful programs in all three sectors (public, public charter and community based pre-k programs) of the mixed-delivery model that DC has successfully implemented.


  • Of the estimated 16,753 3- and 4-year-old children in DC, 12,910 were enrolled in public pre-K programs in FY16– an increase of nearly 300 children since FY15. Additionally, 819 pre-K eligible children attended full-day subsidized child care in community-based organizations that were not part of the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion program.
  • Pre-K programs significantly improved across all measures of quality as measured by CLASS Pre-K® when compared to average scores from the previous two years. In FY16, most pre-K classrooms across DC improved providing high-quality environments that are supportive of children’s social-emotional development, effectively communicate behavioral expectations, and maximize learning time.
  • High-quality pre-K programs in DC were found to use data to inform classroom instruction and interactions, offer instructional coaching to help integrate effective practices, and create constructive and supportive work environments for teachers.
  • The Head Start Birth-to-Five Pilot in DC impacted 6,398 children and families by providing comprehensive educational, nutritional, health, and social services supports.
  • Data was collected on 4,465 children in 109 schools by 373 teachers via the Early Development Instrument (EDI) to provide a snapshot of children’s health, development, and school readiness across the District of Columbia. The EDI data revealed that 73 percent of pre-K aged children are “ready” for Kindergarten.
  • OSSE launched the pilot of the 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 including DCPS schools.
  • Nearly $8 million in funding was invested through the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Program to support community-based organizations in maintaining high-quality pre-K standards. Promulgation of new regulations allowed the expansion of pre-K programs in the CBO sector, increasing by 5 percent the number of children served.

As highlighted in the press release issued by OSSE, the State Superintendent Hanseul Kang says, “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. These are exciting, positive gains, both in terms of access and quality.”

SRC looks forward to continuing to support OSSE Division of Early Learning in efforts to understand and translate the quality of early education for all children in the District of Columbia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *