DFER-DC Statement on PARCC High School Scores

Blogs, Letters & Testimonials

October 27, 2015


Democrats for Education Reform-D.C. Releases Statement on PARCC High School Scores

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education released the 2014-2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test scores for DC public high schools. The results show that citywide, only 1 in 4 high school students are college-ready in English, and only 1 in 10 are college-ready in math.

DFER-D.C. Advisory Board Member Joy Russell released the following statement:

“Like all parents – and especially as a parent of a public school student – I want to see my child succeed, but knowing that his success means something is just as important. We have a responsibility to prepare our students to compete in the realities of the modern economy. To do that, we need high standards and honest assessments that allow us to understand exactly how our students are doing. I want my child to be challenged to meet his full potential, to continually improve, and to gain the skills necessary for him to excel in college and beyond.

“Today’s PARCC results are sobering, but show where we as a District can do better for our kids. This data also helps expose the gaps in opportunity for children of different backgrounds that persist in our city. With meaningful tests like PARCC, we can continue to close these gaps and ensure that every child from every ward receives a high-quality public education. We know that overall, our schools are improving, but these scores show that there’s still work to be done, particularly for our low-income children, children of color, children with special needs, and English Language Learners. Some will point to these scores and deny the importance of rigorous, reasonable assessments. However, if our students are not learning the skills they need to succeed in college and in life, we must understand where the gaps are, and expand the programs that are working in order to allow more students to achieve their full potential.

“Previous assessment systems often painted an overly optimistic picture, but today’s results show the work we have to do on behalf of our kids—so let’s get to it. Let’s learn from and expand what’s working in our best schools, both DCPS schools and public charters. Let’s give educators the necessary flexibility and class time they need to improve learning in their schools. And let’s continue to measure our students’ progress to make sure we are living up to our most important social effort: to ensure that every child gets a high-quality public education.”


Catharine Bellinger, DFER-D.C. Director