DFER-DC Statement on Elementary & Middle School PARCC Scores
November 30, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement From DFER D.C. Director on Elementary & Middle School PARCC Scores
“For too many kids, their zip code is still determining their access to quality education.”
Washington, DC — Today, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education released the 2014-2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) scores for students in grades 3-8. The results show that an average of 25% of District students in grades 3-8 are meeting college-ready standards in English, and 22% in math. Catharine Bellinger, DFER’s D.C. Director, released the following statement about this morning’s announcement:
“We know significant work lies ahead to prepare our kids to succeed in college and in their careers. The new PARCC test measures progress against a higher bar than the old DC-CAS. With this data, we have meaningful information about how many of our kids are on a college-ready track. Unfortunately, for too many kids, their zip code is still determining their access to quality education.
“This year’s scores show that we are not yet where we need to be to provide every child in every neighborhood with a high-quality education. But I am confident that this new baseline will help shine a light on what’s working and what’s not and allow schools to concentrate resources where needed, share best practices, and aim higher. We fail our kids if we are not honest about whether or not they are ready for college. College readiness is no longer a luxury — it is vital for the economic and life opportunities all children deserve, and for the ongoing vitality of the city.
“There are bright spots within the data. Three public charter schools posted scores on par with the best schools in Wards 2 and 3, which serve a predominantly white and affluent student population: KIPP DC LEAD Academy, KIPP DC Promise Academy, and DC Prep Edgewood. These three schools serve a majority of Ward 5, 7, and 8 students and a high percentage of students designated ‘at-risk.’ And DCPS schools such as Ludlow-Taylor ES, Marie Reed ES, and Tyler ES that are serving almost exclusively economically-disadvantaged students are also beating the odds by demonstrating results that are significantly above the District average. We commend the teachers and leaders working every day in these schools to prepare their students to succeed, not just on tests, but as life-long learners and critical thinkers.
“DC’s public schools are on the rise, and by expanding what’s working in both sectors we can ensure that our progress continues — and accelerates. Now is the perfect time to set even higher expectations so our students can rise to meet them.”
The PARCC results also reflected recent polling conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and Education Reform Now, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) that has partnered with DFER DC, which found that majorities of DC voters believe that schools are improving, but see that improvement as uneven and disproportionately helping wealthier neighborhoods.
Catharine Bellinger, DFER-DC Director