DC students see big gains on standardized tests

WASHINGTON – District of Columbia public and charter school students have achieved their highest marks ever on the city’s standardized tests.

City officials announced the test results Tuesday. The year-to-year gains were the largest since 2008, the second year the tests were administered.

Earlier gains in test scores were tainted by allegations of cheating, although multiple investigations found only isolated instances of cheating. The school system has tightened testing security in response to the allegations.

School officials say proficiency in math and reading were up by nearly 4 percentage points apiece. Science proficiency was up nearly 2 percentage points, and proficiency in writing increased by nearly 5 points.

Chancellor Kaya Henderson says the results show the city’s approach to school reform is working.

The district evaluates proficiency in math, reading, science and writing for students in grades 3-8 and 10. Students have been tested annually since 2007, and the 2013 results will be announced Tuesday.

Last year, the district showed only modest gains in elementary math and reading. And in middle and high schools, proficiency in reading and math declined slightly.

The district has faced questions about the integrity of its testing since a USA Today investigation that found unusually high numbers of erasures from wrong to right answers at more than 100 schools. Multiple investigations found isolated cheating but not to the extent suggested by the erasure rates.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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