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District of Columbia Releases Results of New Standardized Test

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
New PARCC Assessments Focus on College and Career Readiness

Jessie Harteis
(202) 344-9805

Today, District of Columbia education leaders announced a new baseline for how high school students are performing in DC. As part of its commitment to education reform, the District recently implemented the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

These annual assessments, which replace the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (or DC CAS), measure students’ proficiency in English and math. The District moved to the PARCC assessments because they more accurately measure students’ progress toward acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for success in college and in the workplace.

Eleven states along with DC administered the PARCC assessment for the first time last spring, and the high school results are now in. On English II, 25 percent of students met or exceeded expectations. An additional 17 percent of students approached expectations.  On math, 10 percent of students met or exceeded expectations.  An additional 24 percent of students approached expectations. Overall, students scored as follows on the primary high school assessments:

2014-15 DC High School PARCC Results English II Math*
Level 5: Exceeded Expectations 7% 1%
Level 4: Met Expectations 18% 9%
Level 3: Approached Expectations 17% 24%
Level 2: Partially Met Expectations 20% 45%
Level 1: Did Not Yet Meet Expectations 37% 21%

*This includes Geometry and Integrated Math II. Only 11 students in DC took Integrated Math II.

More detailed results can be found at osse.dc.gov/parcc.

“Knowing where students stand on their path to college and careers better equips educators, students and their families to prepare for the future,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “As we continue to build pathways to the middle class, we will use the PARCC results to ensure that our students have the skills they need to succeed after graduation.”

PARCC asks students to demonstrate their knowledge and apply their skills in areas such as critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving.  

“These results set a new baseline and reflect the higher standards the District adopted to ensure students achieve 21st century college and career readiness,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “Just as scores improved on the DC CAS over time, the District expects scores to improve on the PARCC assessment.”

The District of Columbia transitioned to the Common Core State Standards in 2012 as part of a comprehensive plan to raise expectations and prepare students to succeed in college and career. The move to higher standards and aligned assessments has been widely supported by kindergarten to grade 12 educators, higher education leaders, legislators, and the business community.

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education will release statewide and school-level PARCC results for grades 3 through 8 next month. Student-level score reports will be shared with parents and educators in December. In addition to reviewing students’ individual score reports, parents can access online tools to help bolster student skills, as well as learn more about how to use the results to inform conversations with teachers.

While no single test shows a complete picture of achievement, annual assessments provide important information about student strengths and areas for improvement, especially when combined with student grades and teacher reports.  Parents and teachers can use this information to make sure students get the help they need to succeed.

To support teachers and schools, the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education continues to work with local education agencies to provide professional development and ensure every school has the resources it needs to support struggling students.  For more information about PARCC, parents and educators can visit osse.dc.gov/parcc.