At least 14 high schools in the city did not have any students earn the new “college-and-career-ready” score in math, a list that included most of the District’s comprehensive high schools and several charter schools, according to data released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education Tuesday. At least four schools had no students meet the mark in English.
Meanwhile, a few high schools had very high proficiency rates. At School Without Walls, a selective application D.C. public high school, 76 percent of students met the new college-ready proficiency score in math and 97 percent of students met the mark in English. Banneker, another selective application school, had a 74 percent proficiency rate in English and a 32 percent proficiency rate in math.
Among charter schools, at Washington Latin, the proficiency rate was 63 percent in English and 32 percent in Math, and at Thurgood Marshall Academy, the proficiency rate was 57 percent in English and a 13 percent in math. Basis Public Charter School posted a 100 percent proficiency rate in Math, but the scores were not reported by OSSE because the number of test takers was small.
The results are searchable by school and demographic categories here.
The high school scores offer the first glimpse of how District students are performing on the Common Core academic standards that were adopted in District schools five years ago and are meant to increase the depth and rigor of what public school students are learning nationwide. The new tests, first administered in the spring, are known as Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — or PARCC — and were developed by a consortium of 11 states and the District of Columbia.
“We are not making any excuses for the data you see today,” said Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson at a briefing with D.C. Council members and Mayor Muriel Bowser Tuesday. But she said the new results are an important re-setting of expectations for the city’s students.
“What we have effectively told our kids that if you make it to the 50-yard line you made a touchdown, when we knew that a touchdown is at the other end of the field,” she said.
“We can’t continue to send young people to college when they have to pay for the courses they should have been taught in high school,” she said.
Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, said the results would “set the stage” for the next chapter of educational improvement in the District.
To be considered “college and career ready,” according to PARCC, a student must earn a 4 or a 5 on the five-point scale. The D.C. State Board of Education also adopted this as the District’s new standard for proficiency.
According to OSSE, 7 percent of charter school students who took the high school Math test and 23 percent of those who took the high school English test scored proficient, compared with 12 and 27 percent of D.C. Public School students respectively.
The D.C. Public Charter Board is also reporting the number of students who earned 3s for each school.
“We think presenting more data provides people with a clearer picture of the results and of how our schools are doing,” said Pearson, noting that some schools in the city had no students or very small numbers of students who earned 4s or 5s.
The rubric that the charter board uses to evaluate charter schools will award points to schools based on the number of students who earn 3s, while also awarding an additional number of points for the students who earn 4s or 5s.
Henderson said that D.C. Public Schools does not plan to report the number of students who earn 3s
“I could report 3s, and we might feel better because the numbers don’t look so stark, but I would rather get the stark numbers and start to move them,” she said.
Some are concerned that the inconsistent approaches by the traditional and charter schools could create confusion as people are trying to interpret what the results of the new test mean or make comparisons between schools.
Superintendent Hanseul Kang, in her presentation to the D.C. Council this week, presented both the percent of students in the District that earned 3 or higher as well as the percent that earned 4 or higher on each test.
Here are charts that D.C. Public Schools and the D.C. Public Charter School Board published showing their school-by-school performance.