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District of Columbia Releases School Achievement Data

Friday, August 17, 2007
Scores demonstrate incremental gains

(Washington, DC) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), and the Public Charter School Board (PCSB)  today released the 2006-2007 achievement data from the state test known as the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS). Annual testing is mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation and is used to determine student proficiency in reading and math. The test scores increased during the 2006-2007 school year, although many of the 191 schools tested did not reach proficiency standards. These results are based on the more rigorous and challenging testing standards put in place two years ago. To view the actual test scores, select the link below:

Overall, 42 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in reading and mathematics during the 2006-2007 school year--an increase compared to 33 schools making AYP in 2005-2006. Schools that do not reach AYP two years in a row are designated as schools “in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.” Of the 191 public schools categorized, only 48 schools are designated as “Not in Improvement."  The remaining schools are in categories ranging from “In Need of Improvement” to the most serious “In Need of Restructuring.”

For the 2006-2007 school year, 38.2% of elementary students achieved proficiency in reading, a 1% increase over 2005-2006.  Secondary school students rose 2.4% during the same period from 32.3% to 34.7%.

The most significant gains were made in math. For the 2006-2007 school year, 30.5% of elementary students reached proficiency in math, a 3.7% increase. More dramatic was the secondary school score of 32.8% proficiency in 2006-2007, a 6.5% increase.

Deborah A. Gist, State Superintendent of Education, states, “It is critical that we take steps to more dramatically improve student achievement to ensure our students’ success in the 21st century. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education will work closely with the DC Public Schools and the Public Charter School Board to provide our schools with the support they need to reach these aggressive but attainable goals. We will implement the intervention steps called for by NCLB.”

Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC Public Schools states, “Increasing the academic achievement of our students is our top priority.  We saw some areas within DCPS that saw strong growth and hope to build on those best practices.  Other areas that were weaker will be looked at carefully so that a plan can be developed including our Office of Secondary School Transformation.”

Ms. Gist, Ms. Rhee, and Ms. Josephine Baker, Executive Director of the Public Charter School Board, will study the practices of performing and underperforming schools to determine ways to increase the rate of improvement, and Ms. Gist says that the OSSE will consider additional options for measuring achievement including growth or value-added accountability models.

For more information regarding the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), please visit the agency’s website at http://osse.dc.gov.

For more information regarding the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), please visit the agency’s website at http://www.k12.dc.us/.