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District of Columbia Students Make Gains on PARCC Assessment for Second Consecutive Year

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Scores from 2016-17 school year administration show improvement across almost all grades, subjects and student groups.

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, and State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang announced the District’s 2017 statewide results on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. In its third year of administration, statewide PARCC results show the percentage of DC students who are on track for the next grade level and to leave high school prepared for success in college and career (scoring at level 4 or higher out of five possible levels) increased overall in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).

Overall State-Level PARCC Results

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Administered in the spring of the 2016-17 school year, the PARCC assessment measures the knowledge and skills that matter most for students’ future academic success — such as reading complex texts, writing, and problem-solving. Scores from the 2014-15 school year, the first year PARCC was administered, set an important baseline for students and provided a starting point for assessing their readiness for college and career success over time.  

PARCC measures students’ performance in math and ELA in grades 3-8 and high school. Score results for the PARCC assessments fall into five performance levels, with levels 4 and 5 indicating that students met or exceeded expectations respectively and are on track for college and career readiness, and level 3 indicating that students approached expectations.

In addition to overall increases in math and ELA, 2016-17 school year results show that scores are up across almost all grades and subjects for the second year in a row.

English Language Arts (ELA) Results

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Math Results

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All student groups improved including female, male, students with disabilities, at-risk, economically disadvantaged, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino. Additionally, specific groups of students outpaced state improvement. The percentage of Hispanic/Latino students scoring at a level 4 or 5 increased by 4 percentage points in both ELA and math; the percentage of economically disadvantaged students scoring at a level 4 or 5 increased 5.3 percentage points in ELA and 3.8 percentage points in math; and the percentage of English learner students scoring at a level 4 or 5 increased by 2.7 percentage points in math.

Importantly, at the same time that we are increasing the number of students who are on track for college and careers (level 4+), we are reducing the overall number of students scoring at the lowest levels of PARCC. The percentage of students scoring at levels 1 and 2 has decreased 3 percentage points in both math and ELA.

While scores show sustained progress, State Superintendent Kang said there is still much work to be done to ensure that all students are on track for success in college and careers. “In the third year of PARCC administration, more students across the city are performing at the highest levels. We are incredibly proud of the hard work and determination by students and educators that is leading to sustained growth across the state,” Superintendent Kang said. “We are particularly pleased that more students are moving out of scoring at the lowest levels of PARCC and intend to keep up that momentum by supporting our schools as they prepare all students for college and career readiness and bright futures.”

PARCC results are one of several measures — including report card grades, classroom performance, and teacher feedback — that create a broader picture of a student’s progress. Schools will receive individual student reports in early September. OSSE has prepared a suite of resources, available at, that help parents and teachers use the scores to further improve student progress.

For more information about PARCC, including 2017 PARCC scores, visit