Vanishing urban students

Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Broward County, Florida and other urban school districts are losing students steadily, notes Education Gadfly.

Stiff competition from charter schools and other schools-of-choice may be partly to blame, but broader societal trends (middle class families continuing to decamp for the suburbs or to cities with stronger economies) are also factors.

If charters and parochial schools can do a better job educating students, declining enrollment in district-run schools is not a problem, opines the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The bottom line is simply this: Until the Cleveland schools get smarter – consistently, measurably, indisputably smarter, in ways that parents can see and believe – the Cleveland schools will keep getting smaller.

In Washington, D.C., enrollment in district-run schools is down 8 percent while charter enrollment is up by 20 percent.

About Joanne


  1. I teach in Broward, and the problem is not competition from private and suburban schools (as it is in DC, where I taught previously). Students are leaving Broward public schools because the cost of living is too high and their families are moving north. Our school district has an excellent reputation, and was growing rapidly when people were still relocating to Florida a few years back. As our county population declines, so will the student population.

  2. Hey, let’s not forget Detroit, as much as it seem like a good idea.

    Detroit Public Schools has managed a 14% reduction in one year. I wish I could lose as much weight in the same amount of time.

    Parents are both leaving the city and the school district just about as fast as the opportunity to do so presents itself. Taken together with the nearly comedic ineptitude of the school board it can’t be all that long before someone figures out where this is all going and decides to do the right thing: put the school district out of its misery.