District of Columbia Public Schools:

Audit Confirms Reasonableness of Enrollment Count, but Report's Presentation Is Unclear

HEHS-99-66R: Published: Mar 31, 1999. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1999.

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Cynthia Maher Fagnoni
(202) 512-7202


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed an independent audit of the District of Columbia Public Schools' (DCPS) enrollment counts, which is required by the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995, focusing on whether the: (1) audit methodology was reasonable; and (2) audit report's presentation was clear and complete.

GAO noted that: (1) it found the audit methodology to be reasonable given the limitations of DCPS' data; (2) both the sampling approach and the analysis of the data involved analytical techniques that were carried out by using generally accepted statistical methods; (3) in presenting the results, the audit report determined that DCPS' enrollment count had been fairly stated; (4) it did not, however, fully present supporting detail explaining its conclusion; (5) for example, the report did not clearly explain that the sample data actually yielded a wider range of estimates than it presented; and (6) better presentation would have made it easier to fully understand the basis for the report's conclusion.

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