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SBOE Sees Continued, But Limited Growth on PARCC Test

Friday, August 17, 2018
Much work still to be done to close achievement gap

Washington, DC - Today, public school and public charter school results for the 2017-18 statewide Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams were released by Mayor Muriel Bowser, Interim Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith, and State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. 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 DC State Board of Education (SBOE) is encouraged by the score increase across the board for almost all students, but State Board members remain 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. An analysis of statewide results for both DCPS and public charter schools shows less of a gain (.7%) on high school math.

“An increase in scores across the District for the third straight year is something we can be proud of,” said Karen Williams, Ward 7 Representative and President of the SBOE. “Students, teachers, and school leaders should be commended for their work over the last year. However, overall results are not where we want them to be and the scores highlight that we must do more to create an environment where every child can succeed in school.”

In October 2015, the SBOE approved a resolution that defined proficiency for PARCC testing as a score of 4 or 5 on the PARCC Exams. In its fourth year, PARCC is the statewide assessment for all public and public charter schools in the District of Columbia to measure student learning and academic growth. Students in grades 3 through 8 and high school take PARCC in ELA and mathematics online each spring. Students that score a four or higher within PARCC’s five-point grading scale are considered to have “met or exceeded expectations.”

“There is widespread desire among community members to tackle the gaps which persist,” Williams continued. “We are glad to hear that OSSE and the mayor will make additional resources available to local education agencies for the specific purpose of assisting those most in need of help.”

Individual Student Reports will be sent to students and parents in early September.

About the SBOE

The DC State Board of Education is an independent agency within the Government of the District of Columbia that advises the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District’s state education agency. The State Board is comprised of nine elected representatives, each representing their respective wards, with one member representing DC at large, and two appointed student representatives. The State Board approves statewide education policies and sets academic standards, while OSSE oversees education within the District and manages federal education funding. More information about the SBOE can be found at