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State Board of Education Sees Need for Renewed Urgency in PARCC Results

Monday, November 30, 2015

(Washington, DC) Today, school level results for last year’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams were released for elementary and middle school students. The District of Columbia State Board of Education (SBOE) acknowledges the need for renewed urgency that these results call for.  

“These PARCC results echo the scores for our high school students," Jack Jacobson, President of the State Board of Education (SBOE), said. "Every student in every ward should have the same opportunity to succeed. We must do better." 

PARCC was developed by a consortium of states to provide a true test of readiness, and to align to the Common Core State Standards. In the 2014-15 school year, PARCC was given for the first time to over five million students in the District and eleven other states. Results for two high school exams, Geometry and English II, were released in October.  

“Using this data as a foundation, we can track the growth of our students year to year,” Jacobson continued. “Growth is a critical measure because it means our students are progressing in their education.” 

On the English language arts exam, a quarter of test takers were in level four or five, meaning that they met or exceeded expectations. Another 24 percent were “approaching expectations” at level three. In math, 24 percent of students performed at level four or above, and another 26 percent at level three.   

The results, however, were not consistent across race/ethnicity or across special populations. On the ELA exam, 79 percent of white students scored a four or above, while only 17 percent of black students scored at that level. A mere four percent of special education students met expectations. These gaps in achievement existed across the math exams as well. 

"The reality is that we have much more to do, especially when we look at the achievement gap between racial groups," said Karen Williams, Vice President of the SBOE and Ward 7 member.  

Elementary school students scored higher on the math assessment than students in middle school. Thirty percent of 3rd grade students scored at level four or above, while 7th and 8th graders met expectations at a 14 percent and 17 percent rate, respectively.  

Parents and families will receive individual student PARCC score reports from schools and will be able to view school-level results.

The State Board of Education provides policy leadership, support, advocacy, and oversight of public education to ensure that every student is valued and learns the skills and knowledge necessary to become informed, competent, and contributing global citizens. More information about the SBOE can be found at http://sboe.dc.gov.