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Washington Education

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) operates the city's public school system, which consists of 167 schools and learning centres. In the 2007-08 school year, 49,076 students were enrolled in the public school system. Enrollment in DCPS has been steadily decreasing, and by next year the city expects total enrollment to fall to 47,700. DCPS has one of the highest-cost yet lowest-performing school systems in the country, both in terms of infrastructure and student achievement. DCPS had only one school in the US News and World Report's 2008 ranking of the nation's top 100 high schools. By comparison, suburban Washington public school systems had a total of 14 schools on the list. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) provides public post-secondary education.

Under a massive restructuring of the city's school system in 2007, the DC Council granted the mayor's office near-total authority over DC public schools. Mayor Fenty's new superintendent of DCPS, Chancellor Michelle Rhee, has made sweeping changes to the school system by cutting administration staff, firing principals, ending teacher seniority and even closing schools altogether. Due to the problems with the DC public school system, enrollment in public charter schools has increased 13% each year since 2001. As of fall 2007, DC charter schools had a total enrollment of 21,859 students. The District of Columbia Public Charter School Board monitors the 56 public charter schools in the city. DC also has some of the nation's most renowned private high schools. Many important political figures and their children have attended St. Albans and Sidwell Friends, including Chelsea Clinton who attended Sidwell during her father's presidency.

Washington DC is home to many notable universities, including The George Washington University (GW), Georgetown University (GU), American University (AU), The Catholic University of America (CUA), Howard University, Gallaudet University and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). The Corcoran College of Art and Design provides specialised arts instruction and other higher-education institutions offer continuing, distance and adult education.





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