Democrats for Education Reform-DC (DFER-DC), in partnership with EmpowerK12, created these interactive tools to allow policymakers, advocates, and members of the public to explore the District of Columbia’s 2016-2017 performance on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam at the ward, neighborhood, ANC, and school level.
ABOUT THE DASHBOARDS
The dashboards above display both absolute achievement (proficiency) and change in proficiency since the 2014-2015 school year for all wards, neighborhoods, ANCs, individual schools, and demographic groups.* We encourage policymakers, particularly Councilmembers, staff, DC State Board of Education members, ANC Commissioners, and the city’s education leaders to explore PARCC performance for students in their ward and neighborhood.** The reports are best viewed in desktop mode on computer or tablet.
* Normed growth scores, or median growth percentile (MGP) scores, will not be available until fall 2017
A CALL TO ACTION FOR CITY LEADERS
DFER-DC applauds the significant progress District public and public charter schools have made in the last two years on the PARCC exam since it was first administered in the 2014-2015 school year. However, although many public and public charter schools have made huge strides in serving all students, particularly our most vulnerable, many other schools have not improved at all.
DFER-DC calls on our city leaders and policymakers to (1) examine and replicate what’s working in our highest-performing and most-improved schools and (2) develop an ambitious plan for the turnaround or restart of chronically low-performing schools where more than 90% of students are not on grade level.
SCHOOLS LEADING THE WAY***
11 public and public charter schools have grown more than 15 points in the percent of at-risk students demonstrating proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and math combined since 2014-2015. At-risk students are our most vulnerable -- students who are homeless, receiving social services (including SNAP and TANF), over-age and under-credited, or in foster care -- and receive additional funding on a per-student basis. Citywide, 14.9% of at-risk students are proficient.
10 public and public charter schools have grown more than 15 points in the percent of African-American students proficient in ELA and math combined. Citywide, 20.2% of African-American students are proficient.
In 17 elementary and middle schools, at-risk students outperformed the District average for all students. Citywide, 29.9% of all 3rd-8th grade students are proficient in ELA and math combined.
*** Some smaller chools may not be included given an N size (# of students tested) below 25 in either 2015 or 2017, where applicable
GAPS IN EQUITY
Wards 1 and 6 have the largest racial achievement gaps in the city, with the largest gap (more than 60 percentage points) in outcomes between African-American and White students.
In Ward 1, 86.4% of white students are proficient in ELA and 72.1% proficient in math. 25.8% of African-American students are proficient in ELA and 21.1% proficient in math. 25.2% of Hispanic/Latino students are proficient in ELA and 21.0% proficient in math.
In Ward 6, 83.6% of white students are proficient in ELA and 82.4% proficient in math. 22.8% of African-American students are proficient in ELA and 21.0% proficient in math. 38.1% of Hispanic/Latino students are proficient in ELA and 51.2% proficient in math.
CHRONICALLY UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOLS
DC has 23 public and public charter schools with extremely low achievement (below 10%) and low growth in proficiency rates*. In these 23 schools, less than 10% of students were proficient in ELA and math combined in the 2014-2015 school year and again in 2016-2017. The vast majority of these schools have been low-performing for the last decade or more. Schools are listed alphabetically with the combined weighted average of their 2016-2017 ELA and math PARCC proficiency rates.
* This list excludes alternative schools and schools serving special populations.
PARCC assessments, administered in grades 3-8 and in either grades 9 or 10 at the high school level, measure students’ mastery of the Common Core standards. These standards were created by a coalition of states, in conjunction with educators, to ensure that all children in all parts of the country have access to challenging academics that prepare them to succeed in both college and careers. (Learn more about the Common Core standards, courtesy DC Public Schools.) The PARCC exam has been shown to predict a student’s likelihood of achieving at least a C average in his or her freshman year of college, according to a 2015 study by Mathematica Policy Research.
** Responsible note about aggregating fine grain data in the dashboards: The more filters you apply to a dashboard, the less likely you will see true values, due to the OSSE n-size requirement of 25 students. For example, say you want to find the reading proficiency for 3rd grade black boys in the Congress Heights neighborhood cluster. According to our dashboard, the proficiency rate for that demographic is 15.9%, which is very close to the true value. However, for example, the data result does not include 13 3rd grade black boys who tested at Center City PCS-Congress Heights, a small public charter school serving PK-8th grades.