Students in D.C. continue to show improvement on tests that measure how well they are being prepared for careers and college.
Data released Monday show that student scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessments have improved for the fourth year in a row. See the full results.
“We now can document and note gains over the past four years in English language arts of almost 15 percentage points, and in math of 11.5 percentage points,” D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said.
Ferebee said that improvements year after year occurred citywide, in all eight wards. Public charter schools showed improvement, as well.
“Historically, we see that this is the 13th year in a row that public charter school students have steadily improved,” said Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board.
D.C. charter schools have given the PARCC exams for five years, and direct comparisons show improvements year after year, Pearson said.
City officials reacted to the findings and addressed the issue of achievement gaps in schools.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that every student, regardless of race, disability or other factors, completes their education prepared for a bright future; and while today’s results show some improvements, we still have more work to do in order to fulfill that responsibility,” Council member David Grosso, chairman of the Committee on Education said in a news release.
He said that the findings will provide valuable information on where the focus needs to be in order to continue the progress and ensure student success.
Offering children and families support outside the classroom is one strategy being deployed to help address achievement gaps.
“We’re building upon the ‘community schools’ approach,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “We know that frequently the education achievement gap mirrors the opportunity gap that families experience all across our nation.”
Bower said students have better opportunities to do well in school when families have stable housing, when they have access to good health care and families know how to connect to social services.
“We are hopeful that this expanded and more intensive ‘connected schools’ model will help them do that,” Bowser explained.
To help address achievement gaps in mathematics, math teachers in both public charter schools and D.C. public schools are being offered new support and professional development opportunities.
You can find PARCC scores for multiple years on the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s website.