D.C. Schools See Biggest Test Improvements Since 2008
Between the 2011-2012 school year and 2012-2013, D.C. students in public and charter schools averaged a 3.9 percent increase in math proficiency and a 4.1 percent increase in reading proficiency on the 2013 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System, the largest gains in the system since 2008.
"Yes!" said Mayor Vince Gray, who kicked off the results announcement at Kelly Miller Middle School with a fist pump.
Gray used the results to push back against unnamed people —maybe Councilmember David Catania, who has introduced his own school reform proposals—-who say D.C. schools haven't changed fast enough. Gray advised Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, who was in the audience, to "stay the course" on new school policies.
"We're impatient about seeing improvements, so oftentimes we make changes," echoed Chairman Phil Mendelson.
Gray defended the large gains against charges of possible cheating. DCPS has instituted measures, according to the mayor, to prevent new cheating scandals. "Unfortunately, it's kind of cynical when people don't assume that our kids can make these kind of gains," Gray said.
The results weren't all good news. Several schools, including Garrison and Houston Elementary, posted double-digit drops in both math and reading proficiency. Dunbar's reading proficiency declined by 9.8 percent points, while its math proficiency fell by 2.9 percent. Even at Kelly Miller, held up at the event as a success story, only 37.5 percent of the students are proficient in reading.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery