SBOE sees continued, but limited growth on PARCC test 

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By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

During a press conference held last evening at the newly-modernized Bancroft Elementary School, Mayor Muriel Bowser, with Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Interim Deputy Mayor Ahnna Smith, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang, Interim DC Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Amanda Alexander, DC Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, and Principal Arthur Mola from Bancroft Elementary School publicly announced results for the 2017-18 statewide Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. Overall, the percentage of District students who are on track for the next grade level and to leave high school prepared for college and career increased since last year. The full results can be found here.

The SBOE is encouraged by the increases in scores for almost all students, but remains concerned about the enormous gaps that remain between students of color and white students. The District’s scores for high school math and students with disabilities are also of particular concern. Statewide, the proportion of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the PARCC has increased gradually in each of the last two years, and the District is up 5.5 points in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and 4.8 points in math over 2014-15 levels.

PARCC results represent just one of several measures that define a student’s progress. Additional methods include a student’s report card grades, a student’s performance in the classroom, and feedback from a student’s teacher. Schools will receive individual student reports in early September.

In October 2015, the SBOE approved a resolution that defined proficiency as a score of 4 or 5 on the PARCC exams. Both DCPS and public charter schools use PARCC as a summative assessment, which is used to evaluate a student’s academic achievement during a defined instructional period.

In its fourth year, PARCC is the federally required statewide assessment for all public and public charter schools in the District of Columbia to assess student learning and academic growth. Each spring, students in grades 3 through 8 and high school take PARCC assessments in ELA and mathematics online. Students that score a four or higher within PARCC’s five-point grading scale are considered to have “met or exceeded expectations.”


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