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Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program

April 2005


This report is the first of a series of annual reports, as mandated by Congress. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of a significant number of individuals in its preparation and production.

Staff from the U.S. Department of Education and the Mayorís Office provided ongoing support throughout the process. Special recognition and thanks go to Marsha Silverberg at the Institute of Education Sciences' National Center for Education Evaluation, the Contracting Officerís Representative for this project, for her contributions and her encouragement. Guidance and comments were also received by Ricky Takai, Director of IESí National Center for Education Evaluation and Phoebe Cottingham, Commissioner of IESí National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance; Nina Rees, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement and Michael Petrilli, Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement; and Michelle Walker, Senior Advisor for Education, Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

Staff from the Washington Scholarship Fund, the Public School Aid Service, and the District of Columbia Public Schools provided critical data and were always there to answer our many questions.

We are also fortunate to have the advice of an Expert Advisory Panel. Members include: Julian Betts, University of California, San Diego; Thomas Cook, Northwestern University; Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University; William Howell, Harvard University; Guido Imbens, University of California; Rebecca Maynard, University of Pennsylvania; Larry Orr, Abt Associates.

The challenging task of assembling the many data files was capably undertaken by Robert Schrack and Yong Lee at Westat. Providing invaluable assistance in the many analyses were Mike Ingram and Dan Hoople of Georgetown University. The management and conduct of the data collection was performed by Juanita Lucas-McLean and Kevin Jay of Westat. Expert editorial and production assistance was provided by Evarilla Cover, Saunders Freeland, Joan Murphy, and Beth Sinclair of Westat. Insightful comments throughout the course of the work were provided by Tom Stewart of Qwaku Productions. Administrative support for the Georgetown University project activities was provided ably by Stephen Cornman.