Expulsion Rates in DC

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Washington Post has an important story up about expulsion rates in DC district and charter schools.  I can’t figure out how to embed anything but Youtube videos so the link is here.

Go watch it.

I’ll be here when you get back.

Go on…

Ok good. One important item to note: if we were to go and look up the criminal incident reports we would quickly conclude that the expulsion rate in DCPS is far too low.  If I wanted to be cruel, I’d go dig up the crime data. The video specifies that DCPS expelled three students last year, while the charter schools expelled 200.

It seems self-evident to me that 3 was far too low, and it is difficult to know whether 200 is “too many” for the charter sector without a great deal more context.  A district where you have to make the FBI Most Wanted List before getting expelled is not a proper baseline for comparison.

Discuss amongst yourselves…

7 Responses to Expulsion Rates in DC

  1. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    DC Public Schools expel far too few students. How can students who want to study, who want to learn, accomplish anything if so many miscreants are left in the classrooms?

  2. Minnesota Kid says:

    This reinforces the claim of many defenders of traditional public schools that TPSs are unfairly disadvantaged in competitions with charter and private schools because TPSs are stuck with bad apples while charters and privates can expell them. It appears to be about as difficult to expell a miscreant from a DC public school as it is to fire an incompetent teacher.

    • Greg Forster says:

      You might want to find a different acronym to refer to traditional public schools, Minnesota Kid.

    • allen says:

      Oh Kid, it reinforces no such thing.

      Is your typical TPS district school precluded by some law from expelling troublesome kids?

      No more and no less so then a charter.

      Both are, after all, public schools in every sense of the word the difference being that those who run TPS district schools can be indifferent to troublesome kids whereas those who run charters can’t. It’s just that those who run the TPS district school haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that it’s a brave, new world of choice out there and parents with choice won’t choose your typical piece of sh*t district school if that typical piece of sh*t public school can’t demonstrate a dedication to keeping kids safe and educating them.

      Now you know why Greg suggested you get a different acronym for district public schools as well as why they don’t expel troublesome kids. There’s no disadvantage, fair or otherwise, but a difference in the relationship between the school and the parents.

  3. matthewladner says:


    I agree, but the direct impact of 200 kids per year will be tiny compared to the overwhelming impact of school climate in the district. One of the parents in the video describes students smoking, drinking and doing drugs on campus for instance.

    The bigger question to ask is “Who carved it in stone tablets that DCPS cannot expel disruptive students?” The unions got all up in arms to defeat the mayor in order to get rid of Michelle Rhee after all. They seem rather laissez faire in comparison regarding the widespread tolerance of violent crime in DC schools.

  4. momof4 says:

    Having lived in the DC area for many years, and commuted into the District itself, passing many different schools, I am sure that the dangerous or illegal behaviors are the tip of the iceberg. I’m betting that, in most DCPS schools, there is constant, “low-level” misbehavior; talking, sleeping, tardiness, rudeness, profanity, apathy, bullying, passive-agrssive behaviors, back-talk, disrespect, inappropriate use of phones and ipods etc. The kids who are well-behaved and cause no problems, particularly if they perform at a level where there’s confidence they do well on testing, are lost in the shuffle. There are no attempts to group the motivated and able kids by instructional need and challenge them. I find it infuriating when the public schools accuse charters of “creaming”, expelling/counseling out troublemakers etc. If the public schools did anything to ensure a orderly environment and to meet the needs of able and motivated kids, those kids wouldn’t leave. Let no child get ahead.

  5. So, why are the teacher unions opposed to creating an classroom environment where shit isn’t tolerated? S&M, perhaps?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s