Sunday, October 26, 2008

The enrollment decline or NOT!!! data???

Can anyone explain the following?

From the OSPI report card total k-12 school enrollment is given for each October:

10/2002 ... 1,015,968
10/2003 ... 1.021,309
10/2004 ... 1,020,959
10/2005 ... 1,013,189
10/2006 ... 1,026,682
10/2007 ...... 972,662

Looks like about 50,000 kids disappeared from the 2006-2007 SY
to the 2007-2008 School Year.

Any thoughts?
Can someone get the data for 10/2008 when it is released?

There was no decrease in the number of kids enrolled in school at WASL test time in the Spring of 2008. Did OSPI have a data foul up?

WASL Spring testing enrollments for 2007 and 2008.

2007 2008
gr 3 76,074 .. 77,079
gr 4 75,835 .. 76,878
gr 5 75,315 .. 76,673
gr 6 76,722 .. 75,878
gr 7 77,310 .. 77,777
gr 8 79,953 .. 78,058

gr 10 82,515 .. 83,667

totals 543,724 .. 546,010

There is an increase in Students enrolled in the Spring
Thus I think that someone had a data flub in 10/2007 enrollment numbers, which showed a decline of about 50,000 kids.


Anonymous said...

From OSPI report card

1996 974,504 students

2007-2008 was the largest and only significant drop in enrollment for Washington state, bringing it below the 1996 enrollment. During this same period of time, California schools grew by 850,000 students.

This could be the reason for the budget shortfall this year. 54,000students is almost the size of SPS. In which case, the state should have laid off teachers and not tried funding the deficit. That's about 7 teachers per school district on average. That's huge, like $500,000,000.

Maybe its an OSPI computer error and I'm overreacting.

Anonymous said...

Schools need kids, more than kids need school. Captain Ice Berg could use a heart implant.

Anonymous said...

Isn't 2007-2008 the first year sophomores were required to take the WASL to graduate?

Anonymous said...

Here's a b. quote:

“Students need to enter high school ready to tackle high-school level work and higher. Our high school students need our help right now to meet the new graduation requirements, but our younger students still need us, too.”

This was from an OSPI press released dtd 8/30/2007

Incoming seniors in good shape on WASL graduation requirement But many may be lacking in other graduation requirements

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if WEA was aware of this when they endorsed Dorn?

dan dempsey said...

It would be interesting to see how this breaks down by grade level.
The WA state economy has been better than most states so it is not likely this is due to population migration out of the state.

dan dempsey said...

OK so I broke it down by grade level from the enrollments reported at test time in Spring 2007 and Spring 2008 and there was an increase in the number of students tested.

Thus it appears that the 50,000 students did not really disappear ... OSPI just did not count them (I guess).

Anonymous said...

WASL test takers are not going to give you the correct enrollment. As with Issaquah or districts that don't receive much Title I anyway, its not in their interest to have low test scores, so they are not going to test all their students. I agree those 54,000 students are still in Washington, but they are not getting counted.

Anonymous said...

The longer I think about this, the more certain I am that this is real. OSPI doesn't use WASLs to count heads in school. There are almost 300 districts and if you subract 180 students from each district thats 54,000 students or about .5 classes per grade level. That would be a difficult change to measure in a school district, but easier to see when the data is combined as with total enrollment. Even if you chose 76,000 per grade level as your median average that's still less than a million students.

Here's Maine's report on their school system and declining enrollment is a concern at least in Maine. And their concern is about losing only a few thousand students per year.

Public school enrollment in the United States will hit an all-time high this fall with nearly 50 million students, but in Maine the number of students is expected to decline again, this year to below 190,000.

“We believe we will continue the downward trend,” said Education Commissioner Susan Gendron. “We have been losing 3,500 to 4,000 students a year, and we expect that will continue.”

She said all of the data reported from local schools indicate the trend will continue for several years and will hit the expected low point of 175,000 students in 2013. She said the growth after that point is expected to be small.

A federal study released earlier this summer indicated the largest factor in the increased school enrollments nationally is the growth of minorities, with the Latino population growing the fastest. The study indicated about 43 percent of all students in the nation are members of a minority group.

“We do not have the demographics of many other states that are seeing growth,” Gendron said.

But, she said, there will be growth in some school districts while others decrease more rapidly than the state average. She expects the trend to be fewer students in northern and eastern communities with a little growth in some southern Maine communities.

Gendron said that when she took office in 2003 there were about 205,000 students in Maine. She acknowledged that even though there are significantly fewer students, the cost of elementary and secondary public education in the state has increased every year.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the US paying attention? My hunch is what San Diego attempted to do in the 90's with Birsin and Alvarado is what Bergeson and company attempted to do to Washington. During their reign of ignorance, they succeeded in driving out about 35,000 students. Recently for the past two years, new programs have been implemented to attract dropouts back into school.

Bergeson is out of touch with the world.

The percentages reported in Malaysia occurred over about 10 years. The difference in Washington is the dropout numbers for students is occurring in secondary schools, not primary. Students are not reenrolling, because they are not leaving their communities, only not attending school.

"Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2007" issued by UNESCO which noted that 'Malaysia lost ground in its primary education enrolment during the period under report, falling from 98% in 1999 to 93% by 2004'.

I've always assumed that Malaysia had achieved 100% (or almost 100%) primary school enrollment rate for quite some time. The fact that this % has dropped to 93% is certainly worrying.

It is highly likely that the drop in primary school enrollment is due to children from marginalised families not attending school. Indeed, the report cites as much - 'In Malaysia’s case, it cites the difficulty of attracting and retaining marginalised children as a reason for the high number not reaching the last primary grade or moving on to secondary school.'

But my question is this - if 'at risk' or 'marginalized' children were attending primary schools previously (when enrollment was at 98% or higher), why are less of them attending primary school now? Have there been changes to the economic condition of marginalized families which have forced parents to take their children out from the primary school system? Are these marginalized children more likely to be from immigrant families who don't have the same expectations of sending their children to attend primary school as other Malaysians do?

Although not discussed often in this blog, the statistics for drop out rates after Primary Six and after Form 3 are pretty scary especially for a country that has aspirations to become a fully developed nation by 2020.

A consequence of this will be a growing section of an 'underclass' which will be denied ample employment opportunities and might be forced into illegal activities such as crime and drugs.

Anonymous said...

I've been writing about dropouts in Washington as a growing problem and finally I feel some vindication. Bergeson and some administrators have been leading sheltered lives.

Mike Bravo

Anonymous said...

Finally, here's a WEA article from June 8, 2007 linking WASL test scores to growing dropout rates.

Just as alarming is the decline of 9,000 students in total enrollment since last year's scores were released, signaling a potential alarm of a rising student dropout rate as a result of the WASL used to deny high school diplomas.

During Bergeson's decade-long tenure as the state's top school official, educators have grown increasingly frustrated with large class sizes, low pay and inadequate school funding for basic education.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking at district levels and OSPI projections for different years. Year 2000 seems to be one year when OSPI projections were significantly above actual enrollments.

Port Townsend 12/2006

At the time, it was anticipated that the district enrollment would experience an overall increase in
student enrollment of approximately 9%.

Instead, the district experienced negative enrollment
growth, actually decreasing in the number of students by 152 students, or 8% from the earlier

2000 OSPI Projections
2000 Actual
Kindergarten – Grade 6 936 776
Grade 7-8 342 280
Grade 9-12 744 661
Total 2,022 1,762

Pt Townsend enrollment in 2006 (1440 students) shows a decline by more than half, not observed since 1971

This is not reflected in OSPI's report card numbers which puts PTSD enrollment at 1557 (2006).

"Overall PTSD has experienced declining enrollment for the past 8years."

The report concluded PTSD had an excess capacity of 693 students in 2010 when projected numbers were expected to be around 1200 students or 2/3's capacity. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Just commenting as a former employee of OSPI, the posted enrollment numbers on the home page of the Report Card website are pulled directly from data submitted by the districts (their enrollment numbers used for financial purposes throughout the school year).

OSPI finds inconsistencies in district submitted data all the time in relation to AYP data sources as well as general Report Card data sources.

I'm not saying that this particular number is an error on one or more districts' part, an OSPI error or just an accurate number representing a disturbing trend.

I'm am trying to point out that you need to understand where the data comes from before you attempt to blame a particular person or organization.

One might jump to the next argument that OSPI needs to thoroughly verify this data prior to posting it out to the world. I would counter that by stating that districts need to verify their data prior to submitting and approving it with OSPI.